The bible says that we will face storms in life and have situations that will be sad and hard to walk through. Some of the storms will be created by other people who will come against us and cause us pain and tears. Often they come from people who we love. Some of the storms we create for ourselves from the decisions that we choose to make.
John 16:33 New King James Version (NKJV)
33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The enemy often speaks into our thoughts to cause us to live in fear as to what could possibly happen to us if we choose to do something or don’t do something. FEAR is often known as False Evidence Appearing Real. Then when bad things actually do happen to us the enemy will try to speak into our thoughts to remind us of all the injustices that others have done to us so we will have unforgiveness and bitterness in our hearts, blaming us for our own bad decisions, and trying to condemn us over and over again.
That is why it is so very critical that we shut down all thoughts from the enemy in our minds. As soon as you start to hear a negative thought come in to your mind, stop it. Think upon something that is good or positive.
Philippians 4:6-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Meditate on These Things
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
When we let our mind be taken over by negative and fearful thoughts from the enemy we often see a self-fulfilling prophecy come to pass. Our fears become reality. When we stop the enemy from speaking into our minds and align our thoughts positively with the Lord – then the Lord is able to do things for us positively as well.
There was an interesting study done by Leahy, 2005, Study of Cornell University, in which scientists found that, firstly 85% of what we worry about never happens. Secondly with the 15% of the worries that did happen, 79% of the subjects discovered that either they could handle the difficulty better than expected, or that the difficulty taught them a lesson worth learning.
The conclusion is that 97% of our worries are baseless and result from an unfounded pessimistic perception (which is coming from the enemy).
Many times in my own life when the Lord took me through a storm that was caused by another person…it taught me something positive that gave me more insight into how the enemy would work. It gave me more discernment and wisdom so that I could help more people around the world to understand who to navigate through their own lives. The Lord would always increase His anointing upon my life and ministry and I would see even more people get healed from their past wounds and delivered and save their marriages from strife and divorce.
I began to learn that although the storms were never fun to endure…that God promised me that it would only last for a season in my life. Just like when God often shows us a rainbow after a storm – he promises us that the rain will not last forever. As long as we align our life with Christ’s then the Lord will take us through the storms of life and we come out the other side stronger than before. So if we can just ride out the storms and stay in peace as much as possible, then we can look forward to growing stronger spiritually so that we are more prepared for the next storm that will come our way that often is even bigger and more challenging.
Paul went through a lot of storms in his life yet always stayed positive and at peace.
2 Corinthians 11:16-33 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 I say again, let no one think me a fool. If otherwise, at least receive me as a fool, that I also may boast a little. 17 What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were, foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast. 19 For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise! 20 For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face. 21 To our shame I say that we were too weak for that! But in whatever anyone is bold—I speak foolishly—I am bold also.
Suffering for Christ
22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.
So to minimize the storms in your own life make sure that you live your life aligned as closely with the Lord’s as possible so your own decisions don’t increase the number of self-induced storms. Then you simply need to concern yourself with others who are hearing the enemy’s voice and trying to come against you. The Lord will allow you to go through storms but they are only to strengthen you spiritually, increase your discernment and prepare you for your calling in Christ in your life.
Most people who are going back to the gym now are not as strong as they were prior to when the COVID-19 began to force the closing down of the gyms. I personally am not as strong physically in my upper body because I did not have access to the full gym that I used to go to (I have memberships to both Planet Fitness and LA Fitness). So now I am rebuilding my muscles and slowly getting back to the full strength that I had a few months ago. You never get stronger by taking more weight off the bar. So count it all joy when you experience various trials and keep your peace on all the time.
James 1:2-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
Profiting from Trials
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
You can do it. Storms will come – but Christ overcame the world and so can we. Stay positive, cool, calm and at peace. Think back about all the previous storms that God brought you through. Your faith should be stronger now then what it was 5 years ago, especially 10 years ago as you continue to get stronger in Christ!