Devotional

When Storm Clouds Gather

By Kathryn Hughes

Being prepared for a storm can make the difference in surviving it. This includes non-weather related tempests that occur such as health storms, sinking financial losses, relationship squalls, and being spiritually adrift.

In stormy weather, authorities warn us to be alert, to have a safe place to evacuate, to let people know where we are, and to have an emergency box with things such as food, water, protective clothing, and flashlights. Hurricane preparation includes boarding up windows and bringing loose items indoors. In wildfire prone areas like California, clearing a fire safe zone is necessary. Many of these instructions can also be applied in dealing with the whirling winds of the storms of life.

Over the next few months I’ll share how we can get through life’s downpours with help from our Lord God.

Be Alert

 Be of sober [spirit,] be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in [your] faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. (I Peter 5:8,9 NASB)

Storms can come suddenly. Like a tsunami, life as we know it can be suddenly changed by a pandemic, a surprising disease diagnosis, or a relationship that ends. Other times we may have a warning. When a company files for bankruptcy and eventually terminates employment, it comes like an approaching hurricane.  The upcoming storm is known, but still brings damage. It helps us weather the storms when we are alert to what is going on, and we stay focused on Christ in the midst of a trial.

The Apostle Peter warned us to stay alert. Being aware helps us to see the devil’s traps. The devil would like nothing better than for us to get depressed and to turn away from our faith in God. If he can submerge us under a flood of despair and anger, it’s harder to stay focused on the blessings we have.

Resist him, firm in your faith. How can we do that? Regularly read God’s Word and commit Scripture to memory. Pray without ceasing. Ask God for help preparing for the storm.

Let’s gather our “emergency boxes” for life’s gales.

  • Write out Scripture and place it where it will be of encouragement. Let’s honestly evaluate areas of weakness that the enemy is prone to attack, and find verses that encourage us to be strong in that area. Use the verses to counter the enemy’s attacks like Jesus did when Satan attacked Him.
  • Tell trusted friends our prayer requests.
  •   Do whatever is helpful and needed to get through the situation. For example, go to appointments as needed. Keep connected with others, even if it is by phone.
  • Need a job? Get the resume ready. Network with others.
  • Gather information needed for that move, life style change, training, or other issues.

We are not alone in life’s storms. God Himself said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,

 I’m grateful that when problems toss me around in a storm, that I don’t have to go through it alone. Thank You for Your promise to never leave me. Please help me to follow You and trust You when I can’t see where I’m going. Please help me to resist the devil and the temptation to fear. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Devotional

Coming Soon!

When Storm Clouds Gather

This has certainly been an unusual and difficult year. I found myself struggling with the social unrest, and with all of the changes caused by COVOID-19 restrictions. Like many of you, I felt like my life at work and at home was swirling about in a storm. I found I need to cast my anchor in faith in my Sovereign God. Out of that was born my upcoming series, When Storm Clouds Gather.

When Storm Clouds Gather is a devotional series aimed at helping us survive the storms of life. On a biweekly basis there will either be a devotional or a short thought or Scripture. The first devotional, Be Alert, will post this Thursday, August 6th. I hope it will help you as it has helped me.

Please leave your comments. How has God helped you? Is there a verse that is meaningful to you? I’d love to hear from you!