God is with you in the storm

Yesterday was a very busy day. I drove to four different towns to run errands to go to some appointments I had. It was a long day. I had breakfast but then I didn’t eat again until 6 pm. I got tired and I was frustrated because of some work I had to get done for Monday and I knew none of it would get done yesterday. I like driving so that part was not a problem until I had to drive to my last destination and I felt the weight of the day. I wondered why I had to be in the car so much in such bad weather. We had torrential rain and some flooding. Then I saw one of the most beautiful rainbows on my way to my last meeting. It was a vibrant and solid rainbow that no one could miss. I heard deep down inside that the Lord wanted time with me and all this driving allowed me to listen to Him. The rainbow got my attention and made me refocus on the Lord. He is that rainbow that has beautiful bright colors and who can be present despite the bad weather. After the storm comes the rainbow. The nice thing about that rainbow is that it stood there in all its beauty when the rain was still falling on the side. Yes, the Lord is there in the middle of the storm. It is a matter of shifting our focus. We need to take our eyes off the storm and keep them on the Lord. I want to remind you today that Jesus your Savior is with you in the middle of the storm. You may have heard that before but it’s a reminder that can brighten your day.

 

The rainstorm yesterday was so bad I could hardly see anything when I was driving. The storms of life can be so bad that we can hardly see straight. All we see is chaos, failure and destruction. Some storms are there to destroy us but the Lord is there to save us. He is not just holding an umbrella over us; He is the umbrella. He is our refuge and our shelter. I don’t want the storms of life to push me around and to make me feel like I am in an endless cycle of bad weather and bad luck. I got tired of the storms when I got to know the Lord better. I used to be the perfect victim until I found out that Jesus has the victory. Then it dawned on me that I didn’t have to go through the storms with my head down and my heart broken. Storms come every now and then and I thank God that they don’t last but I also thank the Lord that He outlasts all storms. He keeps on going and going. His love keeps on giving and giving. His arms keep on protecting and protecting. The Lord never gets tired of blessing us and helping us. If you are in a storm today, don’t get scared. Don’t get frightened. The thunder might be roaring like a beast ready to devour you but the Lord is like a roaring lion who is ready to rescue you.

 

This is what I suggest you do during those storms. If you can’t find your refuge, sing your way back to Him. God is right there with you but there is a storm getting in the way and that is probably why you can’t find Him. When I was driving yesterday, it got very dark even though it was late afternoon. The rain came down so hard that I thought I was going to get into an accident. I sang. I turned up my praise music and I sang to the Lord. I sang my way back to Him until I was calm and collected. Then I saw that rainbow again. I didn’t see it physically but I could see it inside of me. The Lord, my God was shining bright and smiling like a rainbow coming out of the clouds. He was above the clouds. He was untouched by the bad weather. He was in my heart where He always is and the praise opened my eyes to that reality that never changes.

 

The Lord is with you in the middle of the storm. He sees your tears and He feels your pain. Get into His circle of peace and joy and let Him restore your serenity and your joy. When the storm comes, Jesus is never far. The One who can quiet all storms is still strongly present and you can have peace in the middle of that storm when you hang on to Him. Praise, sing, pray. Find your way back to Him in the stormy weather. The rain will end and the rainbow will show up as beautiful as ever. Stay encouraged!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 43:2; Matthew 8:24-27; John 14:27

The power of living in Christ

I have thought about definitions of Christianity and what it means to be a Christian. To me” Christ” in the word Christian is the biggest part. The “-ian” part of the word reminds me of a nationality like Belgian, Hungarian or Ghanaian. A person who is Belgian is from Belgium or is affiliated with the country. By the same token, a Christian is a person who lives in Christ. Christ is his or her country, residence, main affiliation and place of belonging. I wrote about the message of love yesterday and being a Christian is definitely being a carrier of that message. I often wonder about how much of Christ I am sharing with people. How much pride do I have in the One I belong to? Am I wearing the flag of His love? Am I being a good ambassador for Him? Being a Christian has had so many definitions and variations and I know it confuses believers and non-believers. How do you define your Christianity?  I can’t picture life outside of Christ now but at the same time I realize that I step out of my residence too often. “I am human after all” has become an excuse I am not satisfied with anymore. My goal is to be the ambassador of the message of hope that the Lord wants me to be. I can’t craft my Christian identity based on what the world expects or what the world says. I have removed myself from the world’s interpretations of Christianity and I am on a quest to know Christ more for myself and to share Him with anyone I get in contact with. I am proud to be a Christian and I am humbled to even call Jesus my Savior. I am so not worthy and yet He died for me. I want to encourage you to define Christ in you and to shed His light around you. Some people will want to give their lives to Christ because of who they see in you. You never know who’s watching and you never know who is listening.

 

Christ in you, the hope of glory. With Christ in us we always have hope. Hope for the better. Hope for the light to shine. Hope to make it. Hope to have a better life. Hope to grow. Hope to love more. Hope to know more. Hope to rejoice more. Hope to live more. Christ is alive and well and He scared death out of us with His resurrection. I let Him scare away every dead cell, every dead thought, every day action that linger in me. He is the life that impacts my life. Spending time with Him is like getting a surge of hope and energy. He revives us. He encourages us. He motivates us. He activates peace, joy and love in us. As Christians, we have His life inside of us. I think we tend to forget that and we get carried away by a morbid life that is void of life. We live our lives as if we were still in the grave. We don’t celebrate. We don’t get excited. We don’t pray enough. We don’t connect with God enough. We just float on the river of a dead world that longs to know the resurrected life in Christ. Christ in me, the hope of glory. I have hope that I can see His glory. That hope gets me through the day. When His glory hits me, my spirit is lifted up and darkness fades away.  There is a permanent light in the Lord. A light that we are meant to distribute to the world one word of love at a time, one act of kindness at a time, one touch from Jesus at a time.

 

The Holy Spirit lives in us. He inhabits the believers. We can give Him as much space as we want. We can make Him the mayor of our territory or we can make Him an occasional guest. I opt for the mayor option. I want Him to govern my heart and rule over my mind. As a Christian I have all it takes to show God’s love and spread His Word. It truly is up to me to surrender to the Lord or to surrender to the world. There is a nation of ambassadors for Christ. That nation is rising and it is going  to take the world by force, using the power of love. Choose to join that nation. Remember that being a Christian is living in Christ. It’s dying to ourselves and living for Him. When you interact with someone, you can give him or her a touch from Heaven by being a representative of the Lord. You don’t have to perform miracles. You just have to listen, love and learn. Listen to the person, love the person and learn what you can do for the person. The Holy Spirit will guide you and give you what you need to share a piece of Heaven with earth. There is always hope in you because of Christ in you. Hope to revolutionize the world with love. Hope to show Jesus to someone who can’t see past tomorrow. Show the world that there is a future for everyone and Jesus holds their destinies. Keep living in Christ! It will change you and it will change your world!

Suggested reading: Luke 9:23; Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20