Freak out… or have faith? Those seem to be the only two options for Christians when it comes to facing trials in our life, but what does that look like practically?
In today’s video blog I address six ways we can react to unexpected trials that come into our life. These principles are based on Mark 4:35-41 and Matthew 14:22-36.
Watch today’s vlog:
I want to give you some encouragement as I’m trying to process this emergency that I find myself in—just like everybody else’s in the world. I call it an emergency because that’s the phrase that the Governor of Colorado used yesterday in his State address. He talked about an emergency that’s happening related to health issues but also an emergency in our economy. He was quick to point out that we’ve never seen these two types of emergencies happen at the same time in our lifetime.
Not only are these emergencies having to do with our finances and our health. I believe there is a state of emergency in our souls as well. There’s something that’s being tested by God and He’s working out something in all of us.
I could say that He’s working on us collectively in all of us to make us more like His Son—to make his church more purified and more beautiful for greater ministry in the days ahead. But I also mean believe that He is working on us each individually.
He’s working something out in all of us, in each and every one of us, and we must respond biblically.
How do we react to this the storm that is upon us?
Last week I spent some time with our staff looking at the passage in Mark chapter, chapter four and also Matthew chapter 14 that talks about the storms that came upon the disciples of the sea of Galilee. In both of these instances, the storm seemingly came out of nowhere. They were unexpected trials.
- In Matthew chapter 14 Jesus went to pray, leaving the disciples behind. When the storm came, it pushed them out away from the shore and Jesus wasn’t with them.
- In Mark chapter 4, Jesus was asleep on the cushion.
You could say in both of these stories, where is God and what’s he doing? Or God, are you really going to allow these circumstances to go on.
Certainly that’s how the disciples had to feel and most certainly that’s how we feel in the middle of a life trial, like the one we’re in right now. But I think there are ways that we can respond biblically. We have to be careful that we don’t respond out of the flesh. We must be careful that we don’t lash out with anger saying to God, why are you not stopping this God? Are you asleep? Would you just wake up and do something?
Let me give you six things that I think we can be doing that will help us respond appropriately when storms come upon us. If you go look at Mark chapter 4 and Matthew chapter 14 you’ll see these two accounts of the storms. The points I’m about to give you come out of those passages and my application of how we should respond to storms.
- We must accept the Strom as real. When a storm approaches us or we find ourselves in the middle of the storm, we must accept it as a fact. We have to realize that the storm is real. It’s real. We can’t stuff it away. We can’t try to ignore it. It’s wrong for us as Christians or optimistic people to say that the storm is not real or it’s not really here. The truth is the storm is here.
- We must trust Christ completely. In the Matthew 14 passage, Jesus was nowhere to be found, and in Mark 4, He was asleep on his cushion. Yet, the disciples had to trust him completely. In the middle of our storm, we must trust Christ completely. We must know that God has a purpose in all things. Romans 8:28—29 point out that he’s working all things together for His glory, for those who were predestined called to be like his son before the beginning of the earth. God knew the time period we live in. He knew we’d go through the coven 19 crisis. He knew we would face the struggles we’re facing, so we must trust that God is completely in control over everything, including the virus and the economic emergency that we find ourselves in.
- We must let Christ move us. Let him be the one in control of our movements and the storm’s movements. In Mark chapter 4 He’s the one who stood up and said, “quiet be still,” and the disciples certainly must’ve thought he was talking to them at that moment. yet, He was talking to more than them. Even the winds and the waves obeyed Him. We must realize that he’s the one who is moving us. That means for that we grow in our faith and our obedience in the middle of the storm. We allow Him to move us in the middle of these trying circumstances.
- We must get to know God better. If we’re going to be moved by Christ, we must know God better. We must know Christ the best we can by spending time in His Word. Now, more than any other time in your life, you should be spending time in the Word of God. We must be people who are faithful to study God’s Word so that we may know the God behind His Word, and as a result trust Christ more completely.
- We must refuse to panic. In both of the passages that I mentioned above, the disciples started freaking out, trying to take control in their own way. We have to refuse to panic. We have to trust that God has a purpose. He’s working all things together for the good of those who love him because he wants to make us more like his son. Our attitude: Okay, God, do what you need to do in my life. Make me more like your Son, please, whatever it takes.
- We must xpect Christ to do great things. Christ did great things in both of the stories in the Gospels: in Mark chapter four he called the storm in Matthew chapter 11 he walked on water.
God does great and mighty things in the midst of our unexpected storms (1 Peter 1:6-9), so let’s trust that He’s going to do something amazing through this crisis. It doesn’t make sense to me. These are circumstances I wouldn’t have chosen, nor would you have chosen, but he’s working all things out for the good of those who love him to make us more like His Son.