Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:7
The first point to acknowledge is that there is or there is going to be a storm. This must be in the life of each and every one of us. We must be ready and prepared for it, if not, we would be taken unawares. Do you acknowledge the fact that you need strength to carry out both your spiritual and physical exercises and activities? Where are you going to get it from if not from God? The strength that comes from God is the only true strength. Every other strength is fake. So, when it comes to you, note that it is not yours. So, don’t boast rather, tap into it and continue to stand strong throughout the storms of life. Thus, you need to trust in God before this will come to you. You need to be confident in God. You need to put your faith and hope in God. For, God is the source of all true strength that you need. During a storm, a lot of people lose their lives. During a storm, a lot of people lose their valuable items and properties. During a storm, some friends betray and abandon each other. The times of storms are perilous times. What does it mean to be a Christian during a storm? Right now, millions of Christians face persecution because of their faith in Christ. Christians in Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq and all warring nations of the world, now are suffering for their faith. But we are, however, sure that, “when the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” Prov. 10:25. Robert Schuller is right when he titled one of his publications: Tough Times Never Last, Tough People do. Whatever affliction you suffer now will only last awhile if only you are fervent. As St. Peter would make us see, their purpose (of these trials) is to prove that your faith is genuine. (cf. 1 Pt. 1:7) For even gold, which can be destroyed is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honour on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed. So, do not think that the fact that you are a Christian, you will not go through storms. In fact, that is all the more reason storms will abound so that your faith may be tested like gold. And when that is done, you will receive the confirmation of the Spirit and enjoy the glory of God at the same time.
No storm comes without a powerful wind, blowing a lot of things away and sweeping people off their feet. During storm, a lot of people lose their standing. Your storm could be sickness, trouble, pain, lack of finance, job, suitors, persecution in the work place, no promotion, etc. The assurance of God is that the storms will be over. So shall it be in your life in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. So, for you to remain standing during a storm, you need to be faithful to God. We must therefore rely on the grace of God with the assurance of His protection in Is. 43:2 when He says, “When you pass through waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through
the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” One thing that is unique about the standing posture is that it says, “I’m going nowhere, and fast.” Hence, standing signifies readiness. One who is ready to stand cannot be easily moved. God will strengthen your inner man through the disposition of your will. God is ever ready for those who are ready for Him to transform and use them. Such are the men and women who stand before, during and after storms. For, God is their strength, therefore, they will not be moved. (cf. Ps. 46:2; 62:6; 46:5) So, in the case of Peter sinking was because of doubt. Thus, the lesson for us to learn from there is that, we need not doubt. If not, we will not be able to remain standing during the storm. I do not know what the storm in your life might be. But, one thing that I am sure of is that, focus, determination and perseverance are necessary to survive any storm in your life. Also, you need to be guided by the Lord during a storm. So, keep your eyes always on the Lord. With Him at your right hand, you will not be shaken. (Ps. 16:8). What comes at the end of the storm? We must have learnt timeless lessons and have more to teach others for the very fact of overcoming the storms of life through real life examples of persecuted Christians. The saints passed through the same or likely storms of life and remained standing. Our assurance in every storm that we go through should always be in the Blood of Jesus. For we can only overcome by the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony. (Rev. 12:11) We must always know that “we are more than conquerors” for, Christ’s victory is ours. (Romans 8:37)
Job 19:1.23-27b; Ps 23:1-3,4.5.6. (R.1or4); Rom 5: 5-11; Accl Mt 11:25; Mt 5:1-12a
THE COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED (ALL SOULS)
- Begin with a worship song invoking strength.
- Appreciate God for opening your eyes to this today.
- Pray for the grace to be faithful and always be on the side of God and to always stand strong.
- For the many times you have fallen in storms as a result of fear of persecution, ask God for pardon and forgiveness.
- Pray for Christians who have fallen away from the faith and for all persecuted Christians especially in the areas mentioned above that God will strengthen them and keep them safe against every storm of life.
Exercise: Invoke the Blood of the Lamb concerning any storm in your life and speak out the word of your testimony.
Memory Verse: Psalms 31:24