We can never be perfectly prepared for a storm that comes our way, but a sudden turbulence in life always does something very certain: they test the structure of what has been cultivated in our lives. If the structural security has been daily invested in, then the storm will do minimal, not ultimate damage.
The problem is, most people wait until everything starts crashing to make changes and put strong practices into play. Its usually too late at that point. I believe God would have us to rise up above that foolish pattern, so that we develop a spiritual strength that not only holds us through the storms, but overcomes them.
Here are some things I have learned through experience of how to be better equipped and prepared for storms.
1. Face your current storms square in the face.
If you are already avoiding some of the current storms in your life that you you should be facing, then forget it. The next one will wipe you out. We avoid so much that needs to be addressed in our lives right now, so when bigger things come, we become easily trampled. Jesus told us that in this life, we would have trouble, but for some reason, we love to avoid storms, conflict, resistance or anything that causes pain. So we become very ill equipped to face any storm that comes our way.
When we live a life that is properly dealing with our day to day struggles and not running from them, we are setup in a better position to handle future things. What we handle today better prepares us for the future. David told Goliath that“The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” David faced Goliath because he was faithful with the previous “smaller” battles.
“The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:37
2. Stay calm & hold your peace above all things.
When we lose our peace, everything begins to fall apart. Losing peace is like the enemy hitting a domino in our heart—the rest of our composition starts to fray, leading to despair, hopelessness and self-loathing. In that state, we are not able to hear from God or even sense what He wants to do.
In Mark 4, Jesus was able to stand up to the storm, rebuke it and release peace to it because he did not lose His own peace. The disciples, who were trained fisherman, lost their peace and panicked, losing the ability to know what to do. Walking through storms while keeping our peace builds a great strength that cannot be shaken by the enemy. When I have my peace, I have leverage over every device of the enemy. When that peace is stolen, I am a wreck, so it is so important to guard that peace, so that it can guide and guard our hearts.
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NKJV
3. Don’t make drastic panicky decisions.
Most people want to avoid pain as quickly as possible, so we make quick-fix, panicky decisions that can often make the storms worse. In action-suspense movies, the first person who panics and makes a quick reactionary decision is usually the one who gets taking out in the first few minutes.
Whenever a crisis occurs in a public gathering, you will often hear over the loud speakers, “Everyone please remain calm.” This is because if calmness can be maintained, then the best solutions can be found. If we panic and react to quickly, we make foolish decisions and chaos can ensue.
The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:14 NKJV
4. Check the Source of the Storm
Recently, we had a series of storms where meteorologist told everyone that the weather patterns were caused by a system called a Polar Vortex, a large scale cyclone near the north pole that affected the entire weather system in the US.
When Jesus saw the storm, he stood up and did something very interesting. He rebuked the storm. Why would He do this? Because He knew there was a spiritual resistance coming against them to prevent them from safely reaching the other side. The peace in his heart allowed Him to discern this was not just an every day storm, but a spiritual opposition that needed to be removed.
We cannot do this in guilt or self-condemnation, but we do need to assess, “Is there something in my thinking and living that is giving this storm access to my life? Am I living in continual fear? Is bitterness a regular part of my relationships that keeps giving this storm access to my life? Is there a toxic pattern I keep falling into?” This is important to ask so that we better protect ourselves from the opposition that seeks to take us out.
Then He arose and rebuked the wind… Mark 4:39 NKJV
5. Check the Structure and Assess the Damage
As the storm passes, it is important to soberly assess where we can grow and develop a greater wisdom for the future. One of the biggest mistakes we make is when a storm seems to pass, we go back to the same old ways. Yes, we panic at first, thinking, “Oh I’m gonna change now” only to go back to the “same ol same ol.” Take a hard look at things and ask, “What do we need to learn? What can be done differently in our life to grow up stronger and not be taken out by storms?”
Part of Nehemiah’s success was his honest evaluation of the damage, so that he could develop a plan for rebuilding.
And I went out by night through the Valley Gate to the Serpent Well and the Refuse Gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were burned with fire. Nehemiah 2:13 NKJV
6. Look Around to Help Others
It is important to know there are many around you that are going through some of the same battles you are facing. I know it never seems like that, but the Scriptures teach us that nothing comes against us that is not common to man, or that is happening all over the world. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Part of growing in storms is learning to help others during our own turbulence. I am not saying to ignore yourself while going through storms. I am saying help others as you yourself grow. Quite often, helping others is a key component to our own healing. We can only look ourselves so much anyway, so its important to get our eyes off of “me” and look at how we can be a resource to others.
When a storm hits, look around, because there are masses of people going through the same storms if not worse ones. They often suffer in silence, never telling anyone. So next time, before you just shrug someone off or get annoyed by a passerby, take to heart, they might be going through a tough storm themselves.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV
Questions: What adjustments need to be made in your life in regard to how you better prepare for and face the storms in your life? Who in your life is going through a person storm and needs encouragement? (feel free to share in the comments section below)
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