Struggles: Into The Storm
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
— Proverbs 3:5-6
When you trust in the Lord and seek His will for your life, you might not understand it and it may not be the path you had envisioned for yourself, but the Lord will guide you and make a way for you even in the storm. It might be the craziest route and you might be pleading with God - why me, why here - but the Lord places you where you need to be to fulfil purpose.
When you fight the place God has you in and you try to sin your way out of the storm, you only end up sinning your way into more suffering. When you embrace the storm, you can learn from it.
The truth is sometimes following Jesus takes stepping into the storm. Sometimes following Jesus means following the path that makes no sense. Sometimes following Jesus is about carrying the weight of His Cross yet, many times, we’re begging God to take away our sufferings, rather than asking God to make a way...
“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.” — Luke 5:4-7
It was Jesus who sent them into the deep end. Just because it might be difficult doesn’t mean it’s not from God. It may seem impossible and you may not understand why, but until you leave behind what’s comfortable and secure, God cannot transform you. It’s about being patient and discovering joy in the midst of the storm.
One of the beautiful things about Scripture is that it shows us how wretched we are and how good God is. In the Book of Jonah, we see the worst parts of ourselves magnified. When we run in the complete opposite direction to where God is calling us and we pursue our own earthly desires, like Jonah, we bring storms into our own lives.
It only takes one bad decision, one mistake or one regret to invite the storm into our lives. As a result, we then have to live with the consequences of our bad decisions. However, even if you may have caused the storm, God will still rescue you from the storm.
The Story of Jonah and the Whale has always been one of my childhood favourites. In the midst of a storm, Jonah is swallowed up by a large fish/whale and remains in its belly for 3 days, where he turns back to God in prayer.
"I sank beneath the waves, and the waters closed over me. Seaweed wrapped itself around my head. I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O Lord my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple." — Jonah 2:5-7
Don’t underestimate the power of prayer, for your prayers can calm the storm. I don’t know what’s swallowing you up right now, whether it’s depression or anxiety, suicidal thoughts or shame, guilt or low self-esteem, but what I do know is that God will rescue you if you let Him take control. For Jonah was at the lowest of lows, he was practically suicidal yet, God sent the storm as a wake-up call to Jonah to get him to turn his life around. The truth is God takes us into troubled waters not to drown us, but to cleanse us.
The Bible uses storm imagery as a symbol of our struggles in life. Yet the Bible also reminds us time and time again, that there's no storm God won't bring you through. There's no obstacle that God won't help you overcome, no enemy God won't help you defeat, no heartbreak God won't heal. Even King David rejoices when the Lord rescued him for the depths of his storm...
"He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters." — 2 Samuel 22:17
Life can be so overwhelming at times and we think enough is enough. However, it is not time to throw in the towel, for I can assure you that if you do, God will throw it right back and tell you to wipe your face because you’re almost there.
If God woke you up today, He is not done with you. You can discover joy in the midst of suffering; there is a much better place out there beyond the storm. God may even use what you learnt in the storm, to help someone else through theirs...
POINT TO PONDER: God takes you into troubled waters not to drown you, but to cleanse you.
VERSE TO LIVE: “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.“ — Isaiah 43:2
QUESTION TO CONSIDER: Are we willing to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, even if it means entering the storm?
PRAYER: Lord, help me to trust you in the midst of my storms, even when things are not going my way, give me the grace to overcome the trials in my life...
Thank you sooo much for making it to the end of my four-part: Into The Deep Bible Study. I hope it’s made you realise that God places you exactly where you need to be to grow, fulfil purpose and become the person He is calling you to be...