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Girlfriends in God - Jan. 29, 2008

  • 2008 Jan 29
  • COMMENTS

 

January 29, 2008

Standing Firm in the Storms of Life

Part 1

Mary Southerland

 

 

Today’s truth

We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, our sincere love, and the power of the Holy Spirit. (2 Corinthians 6:6 NLT)

Friend to Friend

Just as storms in life are a certainty, so is the provision of God for every storm we will ever face. Life can be messy and bad things will happen, because every crisis and every storm is an opportunity to trust God. He calls us to a heavenly perspective when facing challenging times. He calls us to see them as He sees them - opportunities for His power and purpose to be illustrated in human terms. How can we face the storms of life?

 

First truth: Live a pure life.

“We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience.” 2 Corinthians 6:6 (NLT)

 

The apostle Paul was certainly no stranger to storms and in his writings to the church at Corinth, Paul lists several actions we can take to survive those storms. Notice that purity is listed first! Paul is sending a clear and certain message. Integrity and power for daily life are the result of a heart committed to purity. A clean heart unleashes the authority of God in us and through us. Impurity always corrodes stability while purity generates a supernatural strength. It is that power and stability that keeps us from falling.

 

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”(NASB)

 

The Psalmist links a pure heart with a steadfast spirit. “Steadfast” literally means “fixed or unchanging” and defines the kind of strength that can only be found in a right relationship with God. Stability is essential when the blustery winds of life storms are raging. Some trials come because of our sin while others come to uncover that cherished sin we try so hard to bury. But make no mistake - the purpose of the storm is always to purify – then empower! If we refuse to deal with the sin in our lives, God will urge us toward obedience by allowing the storms to come.

 

Second truth: Seek understanding.

“We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience.” 2 Corinthians 6:6 (NLT)

 

Understanding is only as good as its place of origin. Human understanding is limited and tainted. Godly understanding is infinite and unspoiled. Our greatest lessons are learned in the greatest storms. I know you have heard that statement many times – but are those words a living reality in your life.

 

A teacher was asked a question by one of his students who had come across Deuteronomy 6:6, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.” The student asked, “Why does it say to put God’s commandments upon our hearts instead of in our hearts?” The wise teacher responded, “It is not within man’s power to deposit truth directly into his heart. All we can do is place truth on the surface of the heart so that when the heart breaks, it will fall in!”

 

Every circumstance that results in brokenness is designed to produce more truth, greater self-control and fresh understanding. We can face every storm with confidence, knowing that God will redeem it for understanding and truth!

 

Third truth: Learn to be patient.

“We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience.” 2 Corinthians 6:6 (NLT)

 

I must confess that I am not the epitome of patience! In fact, I hate to wait – on anyone or anything – which may very well explain the presence of certain storms and trials in my life. James had the same problem but a much better attitude!

 

James 1:2-8 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV)

 

I tend to consider it pure joy when I can escape trials of many kinds, but James tells us that trials can and should be faced with patience and an attitude of joy. Not joy for the trials but joy in the trials! Don’t miss this vital truth. Joy is deeply-rooted confidence that God is in control. Joy is a chosen attitude! Joy understands that trials are not punishment.

 

Take a $5.00 bar of steel. If you cut that bar into ordinary horseshoes, it is worth about $10.00. That same $5.00 bar of steel cut into needles is worth $350. But cut into delicate springs for watches, that same $5.00 bar of steel is worth $250,000.

 

Trials are a test, a measurement of growth. Patience gives God permission to work and expects to be tested. We go to great lengths to avoid trials and shelter ourselves from the storms of life. As a result, we are spiritually immature. God will not build our character without our cooperation. He will not work in us without our permission! We must surrender! We must invite Him to work and then by faith, patiently embrace that work in our lives. Warren Wiersbe writes, “When God permits his children to go through the furnace, He keeps his eye on the clock and his hand on the thermostat!” Doubt puts our circumstance between us and God while faith puts God between us and our circumstances. Patience comes when we give up the responsibility for the outcome to God!

 

Don’t miss Part 2 tomorrow!

 

Let’s pray

Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness in my life. I know my heart is not pure but ask that Your Word and power will cleanse my heart of all sin. Give me eyes to see the truth in each storm and the joy that can only come from walking with You through the storm. Let me learn the lessons You have for me so I can share Your love and kindness with others.

In Jesus’ name

Amen

 

Now it’s Your Turn

Read Hebrews 12:12 “So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs.” (The Message)

 

What does it mean in your life to “take a new grip” and “stand firm” even on shaky legs!

 

Do you really believe we can experience joy – even in the midst of the fiercest storm? Explain.

 

Looking back at the storms in your life, how would you rate your response to those storms? What changes do you need to make in order to experience victory?

 

More from the Girls

Your trials are many and you have been battered by some brutal storms. I know! But more importantly, God knows. In Him, you are a storm survivor! And when you are face to face with a storm, you are standing on the edge of a miracle. Don’t tell God how big your storm is. Tell your storm how big your God is! Stand firm!

 

Got storms? Visit my website at www.marysoutherland.com to enroll in my free weekly online bible study, Light for the Journey. Be sure to check out my book, “Escaping the Stress Trap” for more ways to face those storms.

 

 

Seeking God?

Click here to find out more about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

Girlfriends in God

P.O. Box 725

Matthews, NC 28106

info@girlfriendsingod.com
www.girlfriendsingod.com

 

 

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