Day Twenty-Six: Praise Challenge

Youpreserveme

“…and having done all…stand firm.” Ephesians 6:13

Faith is like the lantern which illuminates the space around us.  Faith has been given to us by God because He knows the journey will be long and dark.  He knows there will be fierce storms, and we will need something by which to remember that all is not lost.

It’s been said that sometimes God calms the storm, but sometimes He lets the storm rage and instead calms His child.  Maybe you’ve heard the strange truth that it is always calmest at the eye of the storm?  This is because there is literally a force at the eye of the storm which deflects the fiercest winds away from the center and propels them back out into the raging storm.  It is said that the skies are the clearest in the eye, as well. From the center, there is great visibility.

I wonder how often we dare to venture into the eye of the storms in our lives, rather than run from them?

Psalm 138:7 reassures us that, though we walk in the midst of trouble, God preserves our lives.  The literal meaning of this is to “go on in the center of trouble.”  In essence, it means to live in the eye of the storm, rather than to avoid it.  To do what you can, by faith, and then to stand.  To be still, and trust that God will do His part.

“In this world you will have trouble,” said Jesus (John 16:33).  But He followed that with an encouragement to take heart, because He has overcome all the trouble we will ever face.  And He warned us ahead of time, so that we would find our peace – not in the absence of trouble – but in Him.  He gave us the lantern of faith, and promised to be the eye in the middle of every storm we will face, that we may endure bravely.

To praise God in the middle of the storm is not to deny the reality of our circumstances. It is to entrust our circumstances to the Captain of the Sea and Skies, the One Whose Name the wind and waves are subject to.  The moment the storm ceases to be of any value in our lives, in our character, in our story, God will cause its turbulence to cease.  If there is a storm raging, you and I can be sure it is appointed to accomplish something of God’s design.

That may seem difficult to believe when you’re being lashed with fierce winds or slammed with relentless waves, but the lantern of faith points us to God when things don’t make sense, trusting He has the answers we don’t.

When the storm is the fiercest, let your little light shine!  Aim yourself at the center of the storm – get into God’s presence – and there you will discover again that “the center of trouble is the place where He preserves us, not the place where He fails us” (Streams in the Desert Devotional).

You and I can never know this if we are always attempting to deliver ourselves from our troubles.  Only the brave souls who wade out into the stormy waters of life gain the privilege of discovering the God Who walks on water, and thus enables us to do the same.

May God grant you the faith to praise Him in your troubles today, believing He is the calm at the center of it all.  And may your praise carry you straight into the peace that passes all understanding.


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