When Storms Come, Hold On To Hope

We saw the storm coming. While it was still days away, the predictions chilled our spines and jolted our complacency. “It’s a monster!” “Disaster is not only at our doorstep, it’s coming in!”

Now it arrives and will it be as vast and terrible as advertised? It promises to pounce, then sit and sit upon vast swaths of our coastland – drenching, driving, and destroying so much of what we love.

Many on the East Coast are fleeing the flooding. And as images of destruction begin to roll across our screens, we are all tempted to worry, wonder and fret. What can be done? Where is God in the midst of this disaster? Where is he in the midst of the storm that threatens your own life?

May I remind us of one strong anchor that is hooked to at least four unbreakable lifelines? You see, God is a God of promises. From the first chapter of the Bible, Scripture makes a case for the dependability of God. Nine times the text reiterates “God said.” And without exception when God spoke, something happened. By divine fiat there were light, land, beaches, and creatures. We are left with one conclusion: God’s word is sure and his promises can be trusted. What he says happens.

After 40 years in ministry I’ve seen a lot of storms. And I’ve learned that in turbulent times like this, there is nothing more secure than the anchor of God’s promises. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19).

Could you use some hope in the aftermath of this storm, and in other choppy seas you may be facing? Perhaps the wind of change and challenge is blowing in your faith, your family, or finances. Anchor deep into the unshakable promises of God.

And hold on tight to these four lifelines – they can withstand the waves of worry and difficulty in your life.

Hang tight, God gets you! He’s been there. He’s been here – and he understands your pain. The stunning idea is simply this: God, for a time, became one of us. Does this promise matter? If you ever wonder if God listens, he does.  If you ever wonder if the Uncreated Creator can, in a million years, comprehend the challenges you are facing, then ponder long and hard the promise that Jesus is “able to understand our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15).

Overcome Despair with Prayer. When life overwhelms, pray to the one who is in charge, and know that he is praying for you. Will God do what you ask? Perhaps. Or perhaps he will do more than you imagine. Stand firmly on the promise that “when a believing person prays, great things happen” (James 5:16). And ponder this truth: Jesus, right now, at this moment, in the midst of whatever trouble you are facing, is speaking on your behalf. He is calling out to the Heavenly Father. He is advocating for a special blessing to be sent your way. You do not fight the wind and waves alone. Every day he speaks up for you. “He always lives to intercede for [us]” (Romans 8:34).

Pull together when life comes apart. In times of extreme challenge we can divide or we can unite. One of the beautiful things that can emerge from times of trouble is extravagant compassion and care for our neighbors – crossing lines and building bridges. Our pain bears fruit if it reminds us that everyone has value, and we were created by God, in God’s image, for God’s glory (Genesis 1:26).

Evil exists, but it does not win! Yes, we’d rather have a storm-free life, but we can count on the devil stirring up trouble and fear. Take heart, God has overcome! Satan’s days are numbered. So in those moments when all that is good appears to lose, you do not need to worry. Remind the evil one,  “The God who brings peace will soon defeat Satan and give you power over him” (Romans 16:20).

Hold fast to these lifelines and ask yourself this key question: Is what I’m anchored to stronger than what I’ll go through? Sometimes it may be a calamity that thousands are facing together, or it may be a personal battle that no one else even knows you are dealing with. But God knows. He knows and he cares. And he wants to buoy you in the day-to-day difficulties and guide you home to safe harbor. When the storm hits, anchor to no one but God.

Storms will come, my friend. But when they do, filter them through the promises of God. And since his promises are unbreakable, your hope will be unshakable.

© Max Lucado, September 2018