Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Peace, Hope and Joy in the Storm


I love how God's timing is always perfect. I've been wanting to write about finding contentment in the middle of life's trials and in July I heard a sermon that touched on a lot of what had been floating around my brain. It's taking me this long to get the thoughts into some sort of coherency.

The goal isn't to rejoice because of our difficult circumstances. But rather, to rejoice in knowing God is doing something in the midst of our suffering.
So Many people I know  are in the middle of some really tough trials, myself included. It's so easy to get caught up in the enormity of it all. One of the big things I struggle with as a Christian is rejoicing in my trials. All I can ever see is  what's in front of me, whats going wrong, the anxiety, the stress, the darkness and not the light. I know God is working on by behalf, that there's so much I can't see but its too easy to get wrapped up in the day to day of it all. Whether it's unemployment, infertility, relationship problems, depression, parenting, work problems or what ever giant you face all you can see is that issue.  The giant just gets bigger and bigger, but God is bigger than that

The question is though how do you find the Joy of the Lord while in the eye of the storm? 

 It's been stirring in me for a while and I've had this blog half written for some time and I keep coming back to and praying about the topic wanting more answers.

The eye of the storm is actually calm. Outside that is where all the crazy winds and general chaos are. When you're in the middle of the storm, seek out God. 

Ask yourself:
What is my storm? 
Where am I in it?
Where is my safe place?
Am I willing to be honest with God so he can take me to the safe place?

What are the things you are seeking for comfort? Food? (that's my go to) alcohol? exercise? media? music? self help books? What are you allowing to speak into your life? If you're stuck are reading something that says "you can do this on your own, it just takes hard work!" or you saying I just need a drink to relax. Is that really helping? or is it just a quick fix?

What are we putting in place of letting God do something new through this trial? Before God can do a new thing, we have to learn to listen in a new way. If we're having other stuff say you can do it on our own, we will believe that. But why do we have to do it on our own? Why can't we let God work through this? He can see the big picture when all we can see is a very small piece.

I always ask myself why I always seem to believe that it will be easier on my own, when it never is!
Vulnerability is never easy. Saying hey God I'm struggling! is hard, but He is my father, I can tell him anything and he knows what I'm going through. 

Here's what I've been doing and its helped alot, am I still in a storm? yes! But I know God is my hope and my anchor 

Listen to good worship music, turn it up and praise the Lord! it's hard not to find joy when lifting your hands and truly seeking Him. My favorite right now is Lauren Daigle's "Trust in you" 
Favorite part:
"When You don't move the mountains I'm needing You to move
When You don't part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don't give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!"

Read the bible
 Reading it daily is something that I've always struggled with and I'm not there yet but definitely better. I've also been looking up verses specific to what I'm dealing with.A few that I keep going back to lately: 

Psalm 46
Proverbs 3:5-6
Philippians 4:6-7
Hebrews 6:19

The Hewbrews one I actually have written down on a little card on the inside cover of my planner and I look at it and am working on memorizing it. It's a good reminder and helps

 a little, a lot and often. Holding it in only makes it worse and compounds the issues in your head.

what storms He has gotten me through in the past. I wont be stuck in this forever, even if it feels like it at the moment. A few of mine include:
Marriage troubles
Joblessness (multiple times)

Ask for help.
 I am fortunate to have a great church community, an amazing pastor and several wise women I can go to. If you don't have that ask God for guidance to find the community you need. The key is don't isolate!

God is our refuge and strength,
    always ready to help in times of trouble. 

Psalm 46:1

God is your safe place, Seek him and not answers in the world and he will give you comfort and support.

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