In the span of 7 short days, two friends went through what felt like category 4 or 5 hurricanes.
Anita lost her husband, the father of her three small children. Meghan got the devastating news that her two-year-old had leukemia.
Having been through my own share of difficult seasons and living to tell about them, I want to assure you that surviving the storms of life is possible, and sometimes we can even thrive in those turbulent times.
The Storms of life meaning
Severe weather storms bring chaos and change to our lives. They destroy things that we hold near and dear: lives, homes, businesses, routines, to name a few.
And just like weather storms, life brings seasons of chaos and change, change that most of us don’t welcome.
The storms of life rearrange our predictable routines, making everything feel out of control.
Examples of a stormy season in life
As sure as hurricane season comes and goes, so will the storms of life. Tough times of all sizes will touch our lives
Anita and Meghan experienced some of the worst of life’s storms. More common are smaller storms, ones that feel like category 1-3 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.
- End of a relationship
- Loss of a job
- An unwanted letter from the IRS
- OR- You fill in the blank _______________________
You might be thinking, “Life is good. I haven’t had to face any terrible storm.”
The longer life is peaceful, the more complacent we become.
I was 40 before the storms of my life began. And let me tell you, it felt like the pounding waves of trouble were going to tear me apart like a small wooden boat on a raging sea.
Thank God that your life has been peaceful. But don’t count on it being that way forever.
What is the effect when the storms of life blow?
Regardless of the size or strength, the storms of life can
- wreak havoc with our emotions,
- strain relationships, and
- physically drain us.
It has taken time for me to learn how to ride the waves of change instead of resisting them.
When the storms of life are raging
I learned to dread hurricane season when I lived in Florida. As storms passed over us we could feel the walls of the house moving. We could hear power transformers exploding and trees falling to the ground.
Those were scary times and all we could do was hang on and hope our preparation had been adequate. I didn’t want to face storms again.
The reality was clear. We were not in control of what was going on around us.
The only thing we had control over was what we were thinking which impacted our emotions.
How do I survive life’s storm?
Surviving serious storms starts long before you are in the middle of them, before times of trouble and life’s challenges come our way.
Simply put, we must prepare.
In Florida, we had a prep list for hurricanes.
From a Biblical perspective, we need a good prep list for all kinds of difficulties. We need to make this a daily practice. It builds a solid foundation for anything we could face.
- Read the Bible which is God’s word– listening for what God wants you to hear
- Talk to God through prayer
- Memorize Bible Verses, especially God’s promises
- Build strong friendships with others who love Jesus
How do I find peace in the midst of the storm?
When Jesus and His disciples were in a boat in the middle of a raging sea, what did Jesus say?
“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39 ESV
Peace comes from a relationship with Jesus. He might not always calm the storm around us, but He is always willing to calm the emotional storm within us.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation (trouble, life-storms). But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (explanation added)
Ryan Stevenson wrote and recorded a song in 2016 after he lost his dad to cancer and his twins to miscarriage. He sang:
“In the eye of the storm, you remain in control. In the middle of the war, you guard my soul. You alone are the anchor when my sails are torn. Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm.”
How do you trust God in the midst of the storm?
When trouble strikes, the natural response is momentary fear.
This is where our preparation pays off. At those moments, the important thing to remember is the Scriptures that we have memorized. The word of God helps us trust in God.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4
“I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 b
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” Psalm 46:1-3
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
You see, the enemy will try to cause us to think the worst things. We must take our thoughts captive with the words of God.
This is also how you keep your faith in the midst of a storm.
Faith lies in a solid relationship with Jesus Christ and knowledge of the promises of God.
This is the solid rock upon which we can stand no matter how hard the storms of life blow.
Why does God allow hard times?
Almost everyone has asked, “Why God is this happening?” Few, if any of us, have not been touched in some way by tragedy, loss, or heartache.
We, as humans, are too quick to blame God for what goes on in this world. Maybe we need to ask a different question. Do we want to be puppets, controlled by every whim of a puppetmaster?
God allowed us to have free will and gave us a perfect world for us to live in. Mankind messed it all up and we have been dealing with it ever since.
So the question is not “if” we will experience storms in life, but “when”.
The good thing is that God has promised to make something good from the difficulties that life brings. But this promise is not for everyone. It is for those who love God.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV
A Prayer For Surviving The Storms Of Life
Dear Heavenly Father,
What is happening right now is ____________ (scary, painful, whatever you feel). It makes me feel so helpless.
How I wish that you would change everything and that I would have relief from what is happening. But instead, I am going to ask that your perfect plans will be accomplished.
Guard my soul and keep me close to you, Lord. Strengthen my faith because I feel weak. Thank you that you give peace and you calm the storms within me.
Lord, it gives me great comfort to know that you are with me and that you will carry me through all of this. Keep reminding me of the truth of your words in Scripture. Never let me forget your steadfast love for me.
In the name of the Lord, Amen.
You can download this prayer here.
In the Song, “I Will Fear No More“, one line stands out.
“Even though I’m in the storm, the storm is not in me” (written and recorded by the Afters in 2018)
Those are powerful, liberating words. The storms of life bring chaos, but Jesus said:
“Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest..” (Matthew 11:28)
Surviving the storms of life begins with a relationship with Jesus.
If you don’t know Jesus, you probably have questions. The people at Chat About Jesus have answers. You can text, call, or chat with them online any time of the day or night.
A gift for you
I would like to give you the scripture cards shown here. They will help remind you of the one who calms our personal storms. It is free. No email is required.
If you like to color, this coloring page is another good way to remember the peace Jesus brings into our lives when we give our personal storms to Him. It is a free PDF to download.
You might also like to read: