Sow & Gather

Stormsoflife

And Then There Were Others

school/learningMarci AnthonyComment
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Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) 

The hurricanes of 2017 will most definitely go down as catastrophic.  I was recently in Houston and it actually looked like a war zone as I passed through the streets.  Home after home was completely emptied of its contents.  Cabinets, furniture, floor coverings and clothes lay on the curb as a representation of a lifetime of memories created in one place. 

As I saw such devastation, I couldn’t help but wonder why God would allow a catastrophe of this level?  As God always does, He nudged my spirit straight into His presence through His Word.  Hebrews 11 begins with some precious words, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”  The chapter proceeds with a list of many heroes of the faith that God used to accomplish great and mighty things.  God performed miracles for them and He protected them in many ways.  Then, almost at the end of the chapter, comes these words, “And then there were others.”  The writer of Hebrews continues to speak of these others who were beaten, mocked, killed and tortured for their faith.  “The world was not worthy of these” the writer states.  ALL of these were the heroes of the faith…those who experienced miracles and those who didn’t.  It wasn’t the outcome of their circumstances that proved their faith, but their simple faith in God, who was with them. 

In God’s tender voice, He reminded me through this scripture that your faith cannot be in things that you see.  God reminded me that my faith is not in a circumstance, an action, or an outcome.  My faith is in the one and only God…the God who can do miracles, who can accomplish great things and who can be present with those who are suffering. 

So, my encouragement for you today:  resist the urge to use your eyes to measure the work of God.  Know that the ways and movement of God cannot always be seen.  Whether God delivers you in a miraculous way today or whether He simply is present with you in your suffering, know that He is God and He loves you! 

Digging deeper |

Hebrews 11

Action items |

Do you find yourself evaluating the movement of God by observing the circumstances in your life?  If so, use your smart phone or even a piece of paper and write down Hebrews 11:1 as a reminder to keep your eyes upward.  Are you in a storm today?  Is that storm causing you to question God?  Allow God to gently remind you today that you cannot see all that God is doing.  Place in your faith in Him and not the outcome! 

Prayer |

Dear Jesus, it is so very hard not to question You at times.  Make my faith strong, Jesus.  Give me the courage to place my faith in things not seen.  God, give me peace in my storms and deliver me when it is Your will.  Amen. 

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How Do We Overcome The Storms of Life

Father'sMarci AnthonyComment
When The Storms Come Run To Jesus #sowandgather

And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the watersMatthew 8:24

Maybe you are in a storm right now that is overwhelming you. The winds are howling and the water is rising and you don’t see how you can make it~ 

In Matthew when the storm came, Jesus was sleeping and the disciples ran to Him and woke Him up saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” Matthew 8:25. That is good advice. When the storms come, run to Jesus! 

In every storm God is teaching us something, but not every storm has the same purpose.  When we find ourselves in a storm, do we seek God in it or relief from it? Some storms are meant to perfect us; to grow us in our faith and endurance. These storms are meant to deepen our faith. There are also storms that are meant to get us back to Jesus; when we have wandered from Him. This is usually when we have been rebellious and want to go our own way. Another type of storm is one meant for our protection. Many times we may never know just what we were protected from. Then, there is the storm that changes the direction of our lives; we may lose our job, have to move away…something that we were not expecting, and yet when we look back, we see God’s hand and blessing.   

Storms have the unique ability to show us where we are and where we need to grow in our faith. The way we react to storms will show us where we are spiritually. When you think of Job and the storm that he went through, in the end he said, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.” Job 42:5. It was after the storm that Job realized just how mighty and awesome God was, that he now knew Him in a much deeper and more intimate way. That is what all storms are meant to do, to draw us to a closer and deeper relationship with God. 

The next time you find yourself in a storm, remember to cry out, “Lord, help me!”  The only way to survive the storms that come into our lives is with Jesus. He is the only anchor that will keep us safe. 

Digging Deeper |

Psalm 46:1, Psalm 91:2, Psalm 18:2 

Action Item |

When we are in a storm, whose voice are we listening to? 

Prayer |

Lord, help me to seek You when storms threaten me. Show me Your purpose and work in me Your perfect will. Amen. 

Join Us |

Gather with us by sharing your “Action Item” or “Prayer” by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.