I came upon this teaching from Dr. Charles Stanley and felt it was most definitely worth sharing. He is Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia and has been their senior pastor for 51 years. He also has written many devotionals containing timeless teachings on both the challenges and the joys of being a disciple of Jesus.
- The first thing we do when an unexpected storm shows up on our horizon is to make sure there is nothing in our life which is hindering our relationship with God. It is important that we keep the lines of our communication with God open so that we can cast our burdens upon Him knowing that He hears us. We also need to admit to Him any unconfessed sin which could interfere with both His hearing us and our hearing Him. Take a cue from David and pour out to Him whatever is on your heart. There is no more wonderful feeling that knowing that you are keeping nothing from Him and have a free and open relationship.
Psalm 18:29 – “For by You I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall.”
Matthew 19:26 – “And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Isaiah 43:1-2 – “But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.”
2. When an unexpected crisis hits, keep your judgment balanced. Do not panic or attempt to seek temporary solutions. Take a deep breath and remember you are not alone! Stay grounded in God’s Word where you will find the peace, wisdom and assurance you need. Talk about your situation with Him and seek His discernment about what you should do.
Isaiah 26:3 – ““The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.”
Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Psalm 62:8 – “Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.”
3. We need to recognize that our hope is in Christ. We are to rest in Him, knowing that no matter what is going on in our lives, it is not a surprise to Him. Jesus had many challenges in His life here on earth. Yet through it all, He kept in constant contact with His heavenly Father and often withdrew to a private place to seek the wisdom and strength that He needed to endure. And although we usually do not see it at the time, God has a purpose for everything He puts in our path.
Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Psalm 91:2-4 – “I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”
4. Make being more like Jesus your goal. Set your heart on acting as He did. I recall the saying that went around a while back: “What Would Jesus Do?” I recall times when a situation has hit me out of the blue and my response is to panic and to ask God why in the world, He allowed this timebomb to explode into my life? I have learned over the years, mostly through hindsight!!!!!! – that without these trials and testings, I would not NOW have the relationship that I have with God. I have learned that He is faithful and that I can trust Him with whatever He puts into my path.
Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
2 Thessalonians 3:5 – “May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.”