Let the Lord Calm Your Storms ~ Rev. Br. Joshua Hatten, OPr

The past week and a half, storms have entered my life from every direction.  Both real,  physical, actual storms and metaphorical, symbolic “storms.”  All presented problems, issues, and facts I would have loved to have taken cover from, pretended didn’t exist or all together run, run, run from.  I  had to be reminded, by God’s Word, and remind myself, DAILY, sometimes HOURLY, to GIVE THE STORMS to Christ.  Had I attempted, rather, WHEN I attempted, to handle these various entangled issues under my own power, of my own accord, I failed.  My thoughts failed me, my words failed me, and ANY faith IN MYSELF returned VOID.

In the Epistle for this Sunday, Ephesians 3:14-21, St. Paul tells us that we get our inner strength through the power of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of Christ our Lord in our hearts by faith.  When we are faced with the various trials, temptations, and terrors in our daily walks, we MUST focus on this.  We are NOT working under our own power, we are NOT successes through our own strength.  We are righteously victorious through Christ ALONE.  We also read in the Epistle that Christ, working
within us, will accomplish far more than we can begin to fathom.  I know  I am awfully good at thinking of the “WORST CASE SCENARIO”.  I come face to face with a problem and I can instantly think what the enemy has  worked so hard to get me to think… the worst results that can come of  any situation.  We must remember, just as the Lord God has a plan for our lives, so does Satan. And the enemy works second by second to get us  to fall in line with his plan.  And, far too often, we are quick to
believe those lies we are fed by Satan.

The Psalm this week gives us a true and better rule to remember, Psalm 145, verse 18, says “the LORD is  righteous in all his ways and loving in all his works.”  Don’t be fooled, we cannot get through a single day ALONE, on our own.  We are going to have help from the Lord, or ‘help’ from the enemy…  Which voice are we going to listen to?  The voice of triumph, victory, love and comfort?  Or, the voice of lies, damnation, and defeat?

In the Gospel appointed for today (John 6:1-21), we read of our Lord feeding the multitudes off of five loaves and 2 fish.  I often like to think, had I been there, I would have been the exemplary disciple… that I would have believed every word, every command, every request of Jesus without the first bit of proof offered.  Sometimes in reading the Gospels, I can almost sense the Lord thinking “WHY CAN’T THEY JUST LISTEN AND BELIEVE?!!?”  In today’s Gospel, the disciples begin their litany of excuses as to why they couldn’t possibly feed all of these people:  We couldn’t afford it,  where would we even get the food for this many…  Finally our Lord simply asks the disciples to get the folks to sit down.  No more, no less… just get them to sit down, and Jesus took care of the rest.  THIS IS A BIG LESSON that I NEEDED to hear  this week.  SIT DOWN and TRUST GOD.  Then, in the latter part of this Gospel lesson, we read about the Lord calming the storm when the disciples were on the boat in the water heading to Capernaum.  The wind picks up, the sea becomes rough and begins tossing them to and fro’.  Then they look out and there is Jesus walking on the water… it doesn’t  say he’s RUNNING on the water, or hurrying toward them on the water… just walking on the waters… these rough waters beating them about in the boat.  They, of course, were petrified… like I had been much of
this week over my various storms.  Then the Lord tells them “It is I, BE  NOT AFRAID.”  (Emphasis is always mine)  Then they took HIM in the boat  and immediately reached their destination.  WHAT A JEWEL this is in this LESSON OF LESSONS!  During every hardship I’ve faced and and have seen loved ones face this week, every time we relied on our own  power the “storms” simply raged harder…  EVERY TIME we gave those ‘storms’ to God, placed them in His hands and OUR TRUST TOTALLY IN HIM, we saw AWESOME and POWERFUL results, not in our timing or even in ways we anticipated or had hoped for… but the Lord manifested and showed his UNFAILING love for us in each and every situation, once and when we placed our trust and confidence in Him, not ourselves.

We cannot walk alone… we’re going to have company, so we have to choose THIS DAY, and  every day following with WHOM  WE SHALL  WALK!  And when we CHOOSE to walk with the Lord, allowing Him to guide us through every trial, every storm, every foe that comes against us, not wavering in our trust in Him and our love for Him, HE WILL SEE US THROUGH.  As Psalm 145:19 says “The Lord is near to those who call upon him, to all who call upon him FAITHFULLY.”

Go ahead, GIVE YOUR STORMS TO GOD.  HE WILL NEVER FAIL YOU.  AMEN?!   Amen!

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