Monday, May 19, 2008

storm It was the middle of the night. There were high winds, crashing waves, low visibility, and only a small boat on the Sea of Galilee. For the disciples, the situation had reached crisis proportions, and Jesus was not with them. He was on the mountainside praying, and they were alone.

Hidden by the storm, perhaps they thought Jesus had forgotten them. However, He knew exactly where the disciples were and what they were experiencing. Though we can’t see Jesus physically, He is omniscient—He can identify where we are at every moment. No darkness can hide us; no trial can obscure His vision. We are always seen, known, and understood!
Leaving that place of prayer, Jesus sought out the disciples. He will do the same for us as well. However, the disciples did not recognize Him because He went to them by walking on the water. Jesus often does not come the way we might expect. Our preconceived ideas of how He works can cause us to wonder where He is and fail to recognize His nearness.

Experiencing Jesus’ presence in hard times can teach us precious truths. During an earlier rough sea adventure, the disciples observed both Jesus’ trust in God and His authority over nature. (Matthew 8:23-26) In the latest storm, they watched the Lord walk on water—and they saw one of their own do it too. Through the storms, they learned who Jesus was, what He could do, and what their own potential was.
When turmoil hits, let’s ask for spiritual eyes to discern the Lord’s presence.. Then, we must listen for His voice and obey. (John 10:27)

Through Troubled Waters

Psalm 32:1-8
In a terrible storm, the familiar disappears because swirling rain blocks our vision. Difficulties bring about the same effect in our minds. They create strong emotions that cloud our ability to think. God has given us some promises to help us find our way through trials.

First, the Lord has committed Himself to instructing us. When we wait on Him, He will give us insight into our situation—since He sees all things, He knows what steps we are to take. We may be surprised at the instruction, though, for His ways are not like our human ones. (Isaiah 55:8-9) For example, when people hurt us badly, God’s Spirit will remind us that vengeance is the Lord’s; our part is to live at peace with them. (Romans 12:17-19)
Second, God has promised to teach us how to apply the truth He has given us. As we meditate on Scripture, His Spirit will show us the relevance of God’s Word to our problem. Let’s imagine we are faced with someone making unreasonable financial demands of us. How are we to respond? God may tell us to meet the request or even to give extra in order to bless that person. (Matthew 5:40-41)
Third, the Lord provides guidance as He keeps watch over us. When company is present, a parent may quietly guide a child’s behavior through various “looks” in order to encourage, instruct, or warn. In a similar way, the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual promptings to guide our actions and decisions.
What troubled waters are you trying to navigate? These promises are stepping stones to finding your way through those harsh circumstances.

Learning in Troubled Waters

Peter Psalm 34:1-19
God promises that when we face challenging times, He will keep His divine eye upon us. He wants to teach and guide us through the difficulty, but we must position ourselves to respond to His signals. That is, we need to:
Have a real longing to follow God’s way and His way only. The Scriptures compare this kind of yearning to “a deer panting for water”(Psalm 42:1),which should describe us each time we choose to wait for God’s direction rather than act on our own.

Be willing to be taught by God. He will transform trials into times of learning for those who look to Him for guidance. Such was the case with Hannah as she pleaded for a child (1 Samuel 1:1-2:10). It was also true for Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus died. (John 11:17-27) We need willing spirits if we are to learn what God wants to teach us in the “classroom” of His choice. Most of us would design a comfortable, pleasurable setting in which to gain understanding. But God knows the best way to instill wisdom and may choose pain and trouble as the place of instruction.

Yield to His will. Before we know God’s solution, He asks us to commit ourselves to His way. The Lord calls us to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and to acknowledge our helplessness without Him. (John 15:5) To declare His way is always best.
Troubles are an unwelcome fact of life, but they can have value. Often what we wanted to avoid turns out to be the very thing we needed. God asks that we have a tender heart, a teachable spirit, and a yielded will. Does this describe you?

1 comment(s):

vitalyshalom said...

This faith-base devotional was sent to me by Vishal Patel. He gave me a chance to read them and i encourage everyone to read and think over it. Then, no doubt, you won't be discoraged!