I’ve been thinking about what I would want to say to someone going through a storm that would most help them. I really think these will help you, massively! God doesn't often make our storms to be still, but He will always make our souls to be still in the midst of the storm.
This is not an exhaustive list of course. I’m just picking my top two!
Here’s number 1:
Let's be honest, going to God in order to praise Him is often the last thing we feel like doing when life hurts isn’t it? We feel terrible, we may feel ashamed, and we often feel upset and angry. We don’t feel that going to God is something we want to do or even should do.
Check out these very small but weighty verses:
1 Thessalonians 5
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Rejoice! When? Always!
Pray! How often? Continually!
Give thanks! In good times? And in the bad!
I remember singing a song in church a few years ago called 'Blessed be your name'. I remember belting out the words:
Every blessing You pour out, I'll Turn back to praise When the darkness closes in, Lord Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord Blessed be Your name
I remember pumping the air and saying to God 'I will always praise you no matter what!'. Well that was maybe a tad dangerous and arrogant :)
Two days later I found myself sitting on my bed and planning revenge on a church member who had hurt me - I was going to put her straight!
Then I sensed God say to me, 'worship me Neil', and I was reminded of what I said to Him on the Sunday. Stupid me!
I fought it for a while and then decided that even though I didn't feel like praising Him I would be obedient. Well, God met with me, filled me with peace, took away my anger, and replaced it with his love for that person. I love that person now, and say hello to them underneath my patio every day (I'm joking!)
Nothing will so change your heart as praising him in the storm and thinking about everything you have in Jesus. The positives of what you have in him far outweigh the negatives of anything that could possibly come upon you.
Our circumstances will always be changing, but He doesn't change. If we keep holding onto him and worshipping him, everyday, we will find that our lives are grounded on the solid rock, Christ Jesus. No storms can move us or steal our joy, peace or strength.
And then when he draws close ... there's nothing like it.
Let me just take you to Philippians 4 to conclude
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I know you probably don't feel like it right now if you're struggling, but can I say to you, 'praise Him right now'? Fight your feelings, battle through. Rejoice in Him. Don't worry. Take it all to Him in prayer. Make sure that your prayer is full of gratitude for all that you have in Him. Believe Him for His peace. AND THE PEACE OF GOD WILL COME!