Tag Archives: storms

Foundation Stones for Trust

Before we begin our journey through the Psalms we must talk about the foundation stones for trust.

You cannot have a trust that will weather all the storms of life if it is built on the “sand” of what you see and feel.

Your eyes will deceive you and your feelings often shift and change with each passing storm that blows.

Therefore let us address ourselves to some of the basic truths from the inerrant and infallible word of God.

foundation of trustTo start with, the Bible doesn’t say there might be trouble in this world. On the contrary, it assures us that we absolutely will have trouble.

Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.” John 16:33John 16:33
English: World English Bible - WEB

33 I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world.”

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The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” [3:12]

So, since we know we shall have trials, sorrow, and persecution, and since our life will not be trouble-free, we can’t base our trust on the hope that we should have a painless journey.

Often our trust falters or fails because it is based on the false hope that the promises in God’s word can be manipulated to suit our own wishes. We believe  by praying fervent prayers, or  “claiming” this or that Bible verse for ourselves, or our loved ones, we can have whatever we want.

But no matter how heartfelt those wishes and desires may be, or how sincere our hopes, even in the word of God we must face all of the truth. We must acknowledge that God knows what we don’t, and we must put our TRUST in Him, and His will on any matter. Then our trust can not only weather the storm, it can also flower and flourish in it.

Anyone who reads my blog, knows by now, I love to quote from the works of C. S. Lewis. So, in closing, let me add a few more of his wonderful encouraging words.

Remember, though we struggle against things because we are afraid of them, it is often the other way around—we get afraid because we struggle. Are you struggling; resisting? Don’t you think our Lord says to you, “Peace child, peace. Relax. Let go. Underneath are the Everlasting Arms. Let go, I will catch you. Do you trust me so little?”

— C. S. Lewis

SEEDS FOR TRUST #1:

trust God's love for you

Never Losing the Light: Showers of Blessing?

Your time of blessing is quickly approaching now. Things that seemed withered and dead will begin to become green and supple again. Resource will water every part of your life.

Streams and brooks will form and it will be as I told you, “I will give you much so that you will have much to give away.” [2 Cor. 9:112 Cor. 9:11
English: World English Bible - WEB

11 you being enriched in everything to all liberality, which works through us thanksgiving to God.

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There will always be stormsStill… there will be storms.

Actually, there will always be some sort of storm.

We are in the final days of My church. The storm and conflict in the heavenly realm is constant thunder and lightening.

There is much to do.

Do not fear the storms… accept. I AM with you. That is all you really need to know.

I cannot make your barreness like Eden without the ministry the storms bring.

Accept!Accept.

Receive.

It is all part of My plan, remember?

Receive ministry from the storms that blow across your life.

I promise you, it is there if you will be willing, and receive.

Take each one and know that I AM there—behind the scenes—blessing you.

You know already that blessing sometimes comes in strange packages.

showers of blessingNevermind… just receive.

All is well child.

To be like Eden, a well-watered garden, the storms must come.

It’s all part of the plan.

Accept. Receive. It’s Me.

There shall be showers...“And the LORD will bless Israel again, and make her deserts blossom; her barren wilderness will become as beautiful as the Garden of Eden. Joy and gladness will be found there, thanksgiving and lovely songs.”

Isaiah 51:3Isaiah 51:3
English: World English Bible - WEB

3 For Yahweh has comforted Zion; he has comforted all her waste places, and has made her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of Yahweh; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

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A Closer Walk: Overcoming Dark Storms of Doubt

I was stunned at the size of the doubt-storms that were rolling across the landscape of my life. Suddenly I was being engulfed by dark clouds of questioning God, myself, what I believed about everything.

It is easy to believe in a God of Love when everything in your life is rosy, but when things fall apart? Then you begin to wonder and doubt creeps in.

Why has this happened?

Is it something I’ve done… something I didn’t do?

Or, am I just a victim of chance after all?

In the first days after I returned home from the hospital, I have to tell you, it was God’s silence that made these storms almost unendurable.

How could God be silent when I was in so much pain?

Dark, dark, thoughts paraded through my head daily.

I didn’t want the life I had just been handed. If this was what my life was now to be? I didn’t think I could bear it.

depression The darker my thoughts became, the deeper my depression grew.

It felt as if I was on a long slide into nothingness.

Nothing in my life looked good to me anymore. I felt broken, yes—but worse, I felt broken beyond repair.

This is what depression will do.

It takes you to a place where everything is doused in dark colors and shadows. All brokenness looks irredeemable. You feel completely disconnected from anyone with hope.

Because your hope, has been buried under a landslide of pain, and unanswered questions!

I found myself in a place where songs, sermons, and Christian cliches, could not even begin to reach me.

A severely depressed person sees no hope, because they see no future. Clouds of doubt and fear swallow you whole.

Only one thing was able to pierce my darkness: His Voice.

He whispered, “Life is not over…” and a small glimmer of Light pierced the darkness and found its way into my broken heart.

It was a start.

The dark and The Light began doing battle each day.

His Voice brought hope—but still the dark persisted.

The dark had all my broken evidence on his side.

He drew me outA tug-of-war was going on in my heart and mind; faith pulling one way; darkness and doubt pulling the other.

Strangely enough, it was an ancient song that turned the tide; a psalm of David.

His words from centuries past spoke to me with understanding and commiseration.

My present doubts and darkness were not unfamiliar to him…

“I waited patiently for God to help me; then He listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path…” Psalm 40: 1-2Psalm 40: 1-2
English: World English Bible - WEB

40 For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David. 1 I waited patiently for Yahweh. He turned to me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay. He set my feet on a rock, And gave me a firm place to stand.

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David was describing exactly where I was.

And, how I felt.

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RUNNING IN CIRCLES

Don’t let the enemy sidetrack you honey.

See how he taunts you; how he works to provoke you?

You’ve really got him worried Sweetheart.

The Light of God's VoiceJust settle down in Me.

(Abide, remember?)

Don’t let him stir up your inner man.

Don’t let him create chaos in your outer circumstances.

You have this power over him, not the other way around! If he can provoke you; get you running in circles emotionally; he can hinder My work in you and through you.

But you are too smart for him. You know what to do and how to do it! You have come, too far, to let him sidetrack you now.

Don’t you hear it? The music? Don’t you hear what is flowing from your heart and soul? A new song—a new symphony from you to My world!

My feet are on The RockYou thought it was just for My people?

Oh, no. I have much bigger things in mind for you.

Why do you think the enemy torments you so, day and night?

I see. I hear.

But, child… oh, My sweet adorable one… the music!

The music!

Where once there were squeaky notes of discord, ah now… the rhythm and harmony… how I love it! (How I love you!) You are beginning to understand how much I love you. And together—together we are writing new songs for the whole world to sing!

Keep your peace honey. Don’t let him steal it, ever!

It is the prelude to music!

a closer walk“He has given me a new song to sing… many will hear of the glorious thing he did… and put their trust in him.”

Psalm 40:3Psalm 40:3
English: World English Bible - WEB

3 He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God. Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in Yahweh.

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Never Losing the Light: Overcoming Fear Storms

Listen child, we must deal with this fear.

I know you do a good job of hiding it from others—even yourself—sometimes.

But, not from Me.

His power for my weaknessI see your heart, remember?

I do not see as others see.

You know this.

I look not on outward appearances. I see the inner man with all the turmoil and tumult these silent storms bring. I see the damage they do.

Fear-storms—silent storms raging in your soul.

The storms you think no one sees. (Ah, Sweetheart, I know.) You are so angry with Me, yes? The bullies of your life have always produced these terrible inner holocausts.

Yes, I know.

You think, “… if I loved you… really loved you, I would have prevented the bullies in your life.” Yes?

stormsYes!

But, haven’t I told you? (You know I have.) Storms make muscle.

Haven’t I told you? Your calling is to overcome, not outrun.

I want to help you defeat these fear storms once-and-forever.

You are on overcomer.

These storms are for your deliverance not your destruction!

Every time you overcome, “…through the power of HIS might…” (Isaiah 40:26Isaiah 40:26
English: World English Bible - WEB

26 Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these, who brings out their army by number; he calls them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, not one is lacking.

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), you weaken the hold the oppressor has held over you all of your life.

Is this not a good thing?


Overcoming Fear“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”

Isaiah 40:29Isaiah 40:29
English: World English Bible - WEB

29 He gives power to the faint; and to him who has no might he increases strength.

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Giants Fall

Francesca Battistelli

Everyone’s telling you
To let go of what you’re holding to
It’s too late, too far
You’re too small, it’s too hard
Throwing water on that spark
Living deep inside your heart
With oceans of reasons
The things you’re not seeing
But oh, maybe they don’t
Know what you know
That you’re not alone
Don’t you be afraid
Of giants in your way
With God you know that anything’s possible
So step into the fight
He’s right there by your side
The stones inside your hand might be too small
But watch the giants fall
We could really live like this
Can’t you imagine it
So bold, so brave
With childlike faith
Miracles could happen
Mountains would start moving
So whatever you may face
Don’t you be afraid
Of giants in your way
With God you know that anything’s possible
So step into the fight
He’s right there by your side
The stones inside your hand might be too small
But watch the giants fall
Ask and believe
You’re gonna see
The hand of God in every little thing
Miracles can happen
Anything is possible
Watch the giants fall

 

Never Losing the Light: Billowing Dust Beneath His Feet

terrors of cycloneI AM in every storm child.
Let that sink in…

(Selah.)

My word says,

“He shows His power in the terrors of the cyclone and the raging storms; clouds are the billowing dust beneath His feet.” (Nahum 1:3Nahum 1:3
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3 Yahweh is slow to anger, and great in power, and will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. Yahweh has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

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)

I re-arrange things by storm.

Is that not My sovereign right as Creator of it all?

Remember child, storms not only wreak havoc, they bring blessing.

I know it never seems that way at first—but, think. The fiercer the storm, the more stable everything becomes—afterward.

storm downed treeThe loose, the flimsy, the decayed, these are all removed.

Only that which:
First, is firmly rooted,
Second, with solid foundations…
⦁ Will remain steadfast and standing after the hurricane has swept by—yes?

The aftermath of storms causes everything to be re-evaluated.

Is this not a blessing in disguise?

It is the same in your life. The storm tests everything; removes the flimsy, and brings a re-evaluating.

tested by stormsThe lovely by-product is that you tend to run and embrace Me tighter than ever in a storm.

This is also a blessing in disguise.

(Well, disguised for you… not Me.)

Yes, all in all, I find great satisfaction in the storm.

I AM a Creator. I AM forever making things new. Storms are merely My servants. I send them to accomplish My will.

Your storms will save you child.

stormy seas

“My mercy and justice are coming soon; your salvation is on the way”

Isaiah 51:5Isaiah 51:5
English: World English Bible - WEB

5 My righteousness is near, my salvation is gone forth, and my arms shall judge the peoples; the islands shall wait for me, and on my arm shall they trust.

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C S Lewis quote

A Closer Walk: A Heart Overhaul

In his book, The Surprising Grace of Disappointment: Finding Hope When God Seems To Fail Us, John Koessler writes,

“The construction of the spiritual life requires as much tearing down as building up.”

disappointmentI was beginning to see that, because one truth I was definitely starting to grasp… I needed to step back, and take a fresh look at many of the scriptures I loved.

When a scripture would come to mind that seemed to contradict my circumstances, I would think, “I don’t know what that means anymore…” My beliefs and my reality had a serious credibility gap.

Since I know that it is impossible for God to lie, then the only other possibility, was that my understanding of what I was reading was somehow faulty. If there is nothing false in God (and I staunchly believe there isn’t) then that meant my beliefs about what the Bible actually teaches, desperately needed an overhaul.

(It was a place to begin and just facing that truth took some of the pressure off.)

Okay, so if I am the problem, then I need to ask God to show me where the errors in my thinking are, right? Obviously, my circumstances were in direct contradiction to what I had believed God promised; especially about His care and protection. I had thought that what I HAD BELIEVED was the unmoving, unshakable Truth…

So, if it wasn’t, what was?

Can I interject something here?

There is a short prayer one of my Senior intercessors taught me while I was serving on a church staff. It can really help in times like these. She said, “If you’ve hit a wall with God, just pray: ‘God, show me my heart as You see it.’ and He will.”

until light returnsSimple. Direct. It gets right down to business. I love that.

Not a very fancy prayer, but it was an honest start, and I had a small mustard seed of hope that God would hear my heart, and be faithful to eventually answer…

Eventually? I barely had time to say “…Amen.” before He gently began to reveal, the first of many errors in my understanding about who He was, and more importantly, about what His ultimate agenda was for me specifically, and His Kingdom as a whole.

Recent events had more than accomplished the “tearing down” of my erroneous beliefs. Now it was God’s turn, and so, He met me where I was, and patiently began the task of renewing my mind, rebuilding my faith, and reviving my broken heart… real Love does that.

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IN… NOT FROM

You don’t think of yourself this way, do you? As Loved and protected? You believe that because I have allowed you to walk through so many disasters these past few years, that you are out in the storms of life, wind and rain whipping and tearing at you, and you are alone, yes?

siftedIt is true that I have allowed the enemy to “sift you.” What good are all the lessons you’ve been taught, if they don’t stand up against the assaults of the enemy? Would I build a rugged sailing ship and then keep her in the harbor? Would I never test her hull? Her rigging? Does that make sense to you?

(Of course it doesn’t.)

tell your storyListen My child. Plant this Truth deep in your heart. You are my sheltered olive tree… but you are sheltered in the storms of life~not from them. To understand this will eliminate a great deal of confusion from your mind, and it will give you a place to “set yourself” the next time a gale blows up.

How childish My church has become regarding the suffering of this world! This is a real war you’re in and real suffering goes with it—but I have not abandoned you. Quite the contrary! Not once have I left your side.

(Though there were times I stayed silent.)

heart overhaulYour storms will make you SweetHeart… and through each one, I’ll be right here.

I will shelter and protect, “in and through” and you shall come out…

Strengthened!

Stable!

Settled!

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But I am like a sheltered olive tree protected by the Lord himself…” Psalm 52:8Psalm 52:8
English: World English Bible - WEB

8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in God’s house. I trust in God’s loving kindness forever and ever.

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A Closer Walk: Who Do You See In Your Mirror?

Who do you see in your mirror because how we see ourselves is crucial to advancing the Kingdom of God.

I struggled for years with the image of “conqueror” or “overcomer” because of my early experiences with abandonment. What my head knew, was frequently at odds, with what my heart felt.

cotton candy comfortIt’s all very well to talk about having boldness and courage to advance God’s Kingdom, but if you’re someone like me and your early years were punctuated with criticism, isolation, and rejection, not to mention a lopsided “fire-and-brimstone” presentation of who God is, it’s easy to fall prey to what I call the “cotton-candy-comfort” offered in many of our churches.

It Goes Something Like This…

If you just DO enough for God, if you just GIVE enough to God, if you just BELIEVE enough in God, or THANK Him enough, or whatever your particular brand of “enough” is, then your life will abound with sweet and painless blessings.

I swallowed that stuff for a good long distance until I discovered that it just isn’t Biblical!

The Bible speaks often of suffering and going through rough seas and dark places, and not just for the unbelieving, or the rebellious.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation.”

Many very Godly people go through very dark stuff.

still I shall followRemember Joseph, alone, accused, and abandoned in a prison?

What about Gideon hiding in a winepress, or David hunted and hiding in a cave, or the Apostle Paul ignominiously hiding at the bottom of a laundry basket?

You can make fine speeches all day long about what you believe, or you can declare yourself silly with positive statements, but it is in the darkness of that winepress or dark cave, or at the bottom of that laundry basket where you meet a God who walks with us THROUGH trouble, not far away from it.

I have wrestled over and over again with the concepts of Godly brokenness versus worldly brokenness, and frankly, I believe The Church as a whole struggles with these images too.

You could talk to me about “Christ-in-me” all day long, but that overcoming-truth seldom made it from what my head heard, to what my heart felt, or my eyes saw in my mirror.

looking into my mirror

The Church’s mandate about loving others and boldly advancing the Kingdom gets preached regularly, and it should, but I believe the core reasons we Christians so often fail to carry this through in our day-to-day lives is because a lot of us still carry the cumbersome baggage from a distorted Kingdom-self-image.

That Guilt Gets Translated To Our Intimacy Issues With Our Heavenly Father

Such had been my case.

I was seven years old when my Mother decided to forsake family in search of her longing to be seen as “a professional woman.” Predominantly raised by a father who had extremely exacting standards (that I often failed to live up to) I believed that my failures were letting him down, and that guilt became deeply engraved in how I saw myself.

I was raised by two very broken people who struggled all of their lives with their own defective self-images which meant I came to the conclusion early in my adulthood that God was impossible to please.

Therefore, why even try?

God was perfect. I was not. End of story.

Seeing myself as “a reject” in my mirror had become normal.

Now, here I was sitting in my own personal ash pile with my life in ruins, thus confirming once again my faulty-self as an utter failure, and an unworthy outcast of His Love.

I suppose that’s why God’s tenderness made me so uncomfortable. A critical demanding God I could deal with, but this “Abba-Father” who wanted to come close and get intimately loving and transparent with me, with all my messy issues? No way! It was way too touchy-feely for me.

And so, I kept pushing God away.

But what about our deal?

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YOU ARE BREAKING MY HEART!

Let’s talk about this mindset of yours.

Yes, mindset, because for reasons that are yours alone you refuse to give it up in spite of what I tell you.

Listen to Me again Mighty One.

To Him I am flawless

You are not rejected by Me.

You are not My outcast.

I will never throw you away!

Why do you dwell on the past deeds of others this way?

Why do you keep returning to this pigsty for just one more roll in the mud?

Jesus robes us

I have dressed you in snow-white robes of My righteousness.

I have covered ALL (Yes, all.) of your sins and failures with the red, pure blood of My Son’s heart.

I want you to stop this now because you are breaking My heart. I know your past. I know what others in your past have said and done to you. But, what about Me? What about what I have done for you?

Enough dearest—it is enough.

You are Mine not theirs. Mine!

I decide what you are to be called.

(I decide.)

I have chosen you

Do you hear Me?

Good!

Then listen again and wrap your heart in this truth.

Wash your mindset with righteous words.

Build a new image for your mirror—one that stands on—My love.

You are not an outcast!

I have chosen you and will not throw you away.

a closer walk“But as for you, …you are mine, my chosen ones; for I have chosen you and will not throw you away.”

Isaiah 41:8-9Isaiah 41:8-9
English: World English Bible - WEB

8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend, 9 you whom I have taken hold of from the ends of the earth, and called from the corners of it, and said to you, You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you away;

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