Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional for Women

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Girlfriends in God - Apr. 7, 2009

April 7, 2009 
Storms and the Cross 
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth 
“Without faith no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he is real and that he rewards those who truly want to find him” (NCV).

Friend To Friend 
The Easter holidays mean different things to different people. To some, it is a day to gather with family and friends for a special meal. To others, it is a day of brightly colored baskets filled with colored eggs, candy and gifts.  For the fully devoted follower of Christ, it is a day of celebration, the very reality that sets Christianity apart from other religions.  We serve a living God – not a statue or a symbol or a mere man.  However, to those without hope, dwelling in darkness and fear, facing the fiercest storms of their life, Easter shouts the promise that there is hope – and hope has a name – Jesus. 

I grew up in a small Texas town where tornadoes were a common occurrence.  When the clouds turned a peculiar shade of green and gusts of wind bullied their way across our little town my family would gather around the radio, waiting for news from the local weather man - hoping and praying that it was just an ugly storm headed our way.  A few times, however, we were forced to climb down into the damp, musty storm shelter buried in our back yard.  I hated those storms and with great conviction vowed that when I grew up I would live in a place that had no storms! 

We then moved to South Florida, where I was introduced to hurricanes.  I saw first hand, the devastation these monstrous storms can bring.  Hurricanes sweep brutally over their prey with a vicious strength, leaving nothing but destruction and terror behind.  Homes are reduced to useless rubble, memories are washed away and lives are often lost.

I had always thought of hurricanes as something that mankind could certainly do without but have recently learned that they are necessary phenomena in order to maintain a certain balance in nature. Scientists tell us that hurricanes are extremely valuable because they break up a large percentage of the oppressive heat that builds up at the equator.  Hurricanes are also indirectly responsible for much of the rainfall in North and South America.  Because of these findings, meteorologists no longer feel the need to use cloud-seeding techniques to prevent hurricanes from being formed.  In fact, the world of science is convinced that hurricanes actually do more good than harm.

The storms of life are much the same. Trials, pain, difficult circumstances and hard times are here to stay. We cannot stop the occurrence of storms but we can change our response to those storms.  With every storm comes the opportunity to trust God and see faith grow.  Every storm holds the promise of hope.  Now, if you are like me, when the storm hits, my natural first response is a fervent plea for deliverance.  Every day, things happen that are beyond my understanding and out of my control. I often turn to God and ask, “Why?”  What I really want to know is why me, why this, why now? 

That is where faith comes in. Faith is a natural by-product of trust and follows the choice to believe God no matter what!  He wants us to trust Him wholly, even when we do not understand and cannot explain the stormy circumstances swirling around us. When absolutely nothing makes sense and everything seems completely wrong He asks us to trust Him.  Oh, it is easy to sing praises when the seas are calm and the boat is still, but the strength of our faith is justly measured in the midst of the raging storm.  A job is lost – a marriage is destroyed – a child has strayed – a dream has died. It is in those bleak, seemingly hopeless moments that the value and depth of our faith is computed. It is because of the cross and the price Jesus Christ paid there – for you and for me – that we can withstand any storm because of God.  Our hope is in Him.  Our gaze is on Him and our glance is on the circumstances.

A crisis always reveals what is really inside.  What life does to us depends on what life finds in us.  Anything – any trial or pain – that drives us to God can be counted as a blessing.  Faith sees the storm as a chance for God to work in a new way. Faith sees the darkness as an opportunity for His light to shine brighter. Faith sees pain as an opportunity for God to comfort and encourage His precious child. 

The next time the storm churns around you, step out of that rocking boat and walk by faith toward your waiting God. He is alive!

Let’s Pray 
Lord, I celebrate the fact that You are alive and well!  At times, my faith seems so small that Your presence and power seem far away. I confess that when a storm hits my first thought is to find a way out. Please help me to remember what You did on the cross and what You accomplished when You rose from the grave.  Please give me the faith to walk through my fear to You, trusting You alone. Help me to learn the lesson of the storm and live in the shadow of the cross. 

In Jesus’ name, 

Now It’s Your Turn 
Celebrate the life only Jesus can offer.

Choose to believe that God is in control of today. 

Determine to face your storms with faith. 

Thank God now for the trials that drive you to Him.

Read James 1:1-8.  How do these verses tell me to view trials?

Read Hebrews 11. List the rewards of faith.  How did faith influence the men and women listed in this passage?

More From The Girlfriends 
God loves to see His children step out in faith, in blind trust, knowing that if He doesn’t come through, they are sunk! Don’t miss the message of Easter. Remember and celebrate the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Dive into the Word of God and let its power saturate your life with hope and faith.  Need help?  Enroll in Mary’s weekly online bible study, Light for the Journey

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