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Going through the Storm!
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"Weathering through!"

Now, this is one subject that is not easy for any of us! "Going through the storm!"
Whether its a tragedy, persecution, harship (whether financial, family, or otherwise), life change, ect. Its never easy! Lifes problems and circumstances just have a way of sometimes just ...."sucking" the life out of all of us!! Don't they? The frustration and feelings of hopelessness, of these "storms" can hold such a grip on us! They can be so discouraging!!
These things can also hinder our relationship with God! They can cause us to take our attention off Him and dwell on our problems and their circumstances!! They can also cause us to loose our focus on God's plan and will for our lives!!! The evil one has a "play ground" with this one! He wants nothing more than to keep our focus off of God, and His will, for our lives!!!!
Personally, I have had allot of experience with this one, time and time again! The "storms" of life! For many years, when the storms came, I would get so side tracked! I would loose my focus on the Lord! I would really despair at times. I struggled for years. But then the Lord sent a dear friend and brother in Christ to me. He spoke to me about this very subject! He reminded me that that no matter what I go through, "God is still God, and He is still in control". Now, I knew this to be true, but when you go through these things, it doesn't feel like it, does it? And though I knew what my friend said was right, I still struggled with it!
However, after time though, God really "got this through" to me! You see the storms of life can be so frightening, but also, as believers, we are God's children! And there are some things we need to understand in order to weather (i.e. "go through") the storm! To come out victorious!! Promises we need to remember!!!!
You see there are many examples of believers who have been through many tragedies, problems and circumstances in life. There are those that fall, while there are also many who come out victorious! The way God wants us to come out!!
You see its never easy to be able to go through these storms "unscaved" (unaffected). But there are some things we need to know! Things that are VERY important!! Things we HAVE to remember!!!
Remember who is in control, who we are and what we are to do about it!!!!
First we have to know, who is in control!
God is in control:
  "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
                                            (Genesis 1;1 NKJV)
Think about this! God created the heavens and the earth!! A God who did this can surely take care of us and our problems can He not? Of course! But its the circumstances and the evil ones part in these trying times that can cause us to take "our focus" off Him (i.e. doubt Him)!!
But the truth, is the truth! God is God:
  "For thus says the LORD,
      Who created the heavens,
      Who is God,
      Who formed the earth and made it,
      Who has established it,
      Who did not create it in vain,
      Who formed it to be inhabited:

      “ I am the LORD, and there is no other."
                                        (Isaiah 45:18 NKJV)
God is God, He is in control! Its not always easy to remember this, especially when we go through hardship! But if we stay in His word, and stand on His promises, remember all the things He's done, we will realize that God is still God!
He created the heavens, the earth, the trees, plants, animals and us! It's a small thing for God to intervene for us in our lives! Is it not? And He does!! Especially in the storms of life!! No matter if it is a physical storm, or a personal one:
  "Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble,
         And He brings them out of their distresses.
   He calms the storm,
         So that its waves are still."

                                        (Psalm 107:28-29 NKJV)
Too often we believe the "lies" of the world, (and) or the evil one. We doubt God's hand in our lives. But we must remember, even though this world has its troubles, it does not mean that God has ceased being who He is! On the contrary!! He is as much control now, as He ALWAYS has been in:
 "For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
                                                     (2 Peter 3:5-7 NKJV)
 "Remember the former things of old,
      For I am God, and there is no other;
      I am God, and there is none like Me
        Declaring the end from the beginning,
      And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
      Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
      And I will do all My pleasure,’

                                 (Isaiah 46:9-10 NKJV)
Now second, with this, we must also realize that as followers of Christ we are God's children!
This is who we are:
 "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
                                                      (1 John 3:1 NKJV)
We are His children! And what father would not care what happens to His beloved children? Well, we know that unfortunately in this world their are fathers that do not care as they should. But our heavenly Father is NOT like any earthly father! He loves us so deeply, and immeasurably, that He would go to the "ends of the earth", just to save one of us!! And He does jsut this. Through His Son Jesus! Does He not (John 3:16)?!! So if God would do this, then surely He wil not leave us "hanging" by a limb will He?!!!
And as His children we have nothing to fear:
  "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
                                                        (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)
"So we may boldly say:

      The LORD is my helper;
      I will not fear.
      What can man do to me?”
                           (Hebrews 13:6 NKJV)
Now, this does not mean that we are never afraid, but what it does mean is that we have God's power, love and a sound mind! We have His help! We have His peace!! We have His resources (His Holy Spirit), we are His children!!! We REALLY have nothing to fear! But the human nature, naturally tends to become afraid. But if we keep our eyes (our focus) on Him and remember His promises, we will know we have NOTHING to fear!
 And as His children, we are already victorious! We are "overcomers" of this world:
 "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."

                                                  (1 John 4:4 NKJV)

And as His children He will take care of us! Much like a father who loves his child deeply!! What father enjoys their children being harmed or messed with? Surely not a loving father!!! How much more does God not like His children being hurt (Luke 18:7-8)!

But fear is a "tactic" the evil one likes to use on us (for more info click on this link: Satan-"father of all lies")! He wants to isolate us from God and cause us to doubt our faith! How does he do this? By whispering negative things in our ears, and using our fear against us! Before too long, we have taken our focus off God. You see we have to understand that words have a strong influence.
They are powerful:
 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
      And those who love it will eat its fruit.'
                                    (Proverbs 18:21 NKJV)
Whether they are from the evil one, ourselves, or others. What we "take in" (i.e. listen to), can have an affect on us!! Just as listening to God's word helps to "build" our faith:
 "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
                                                  (Romans 10:17 NKJV)
And God's word is the most powerful, of any words we can hear (His word always stands, without question):
  "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
                                               (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV)
Whether to encourage, or discourage! Words have a profound effect on us!! Do they not?!!!
Now the third thing we need to know is what we are do do about it!
We need to remember who is our help:

God is our refuge and strength,
         A very present help in trouble.
  "Therefore we will not fear,
         Even though the earth be removed,
         And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
   Though its waters roar and be troubled,
         Though the mountains shake with its swelling.  Selah"  
                                     (Psalm 46:1-3 NKJV)
  "Fear not, for I am with you;
      Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
      I will strengthen you,
      Yes, I will help you,
      I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

                                           (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)
And He will deliver us out of ALL our "storms":
  "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears,
         And delivers them out of all their troubles.
                                          (Psalm 34:17 NKJV)
  "Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
         But the LORD delivers him out of them all.

                                          (Psalm 34:19 NKJV)
Now with this, MOST IMPORTANT, we must also realize that we have to TRUST (i.e put our faith in) Him:
  "Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
      And lean not on your own understanding
       In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      And He shall direct your paths."
                                     (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)
  "As for God, His way is perfect;
         The word of the LORD is proven;
         He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
                                          (Psalm 18:30 NKJV)
This isnt always easy for us. Especially with the circumstances of life! But God is bigger than this life! He is more real than the earth we stand on! His promises are NEVER changing. But its up to us to know His word and trust (put our faith) in Him.
Without putting our trust (faith) in Him, we cannot expect anything:
 "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
                                                (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)
Now with this, we MUST also pray:
 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
                                                  (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV)
 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? "Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"
                                                  (Matthew 7:7-11 NKJV)
Prayer is very important in "weathering" the storms! How can we go through them without asking God to help us? This one's a "no-brainer" is it not?!!!
You see we often look through "world" glasses (so to speak), when we need to be looking through "heavenly" ones! 
The worldy ones will only leave us feeling helpless and discouraged in the end! But the heavenly ones will help us "see" in the right direction and come out victorious!!
Now this takes staying in fellowship! Fellowship with our Father is VERY important! Afterall if we do not walk with Him, how can we be in fellowship with Him?
Consider this:
  "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?"
                                         (Amos 3:3 NKJV)
You see, we serve and ALL knowing, loving, AWESOME God! Who knows no beginning, nor no end. Whatever the trials of life may bring, God will help us and protect us!! But, its up to us, to look to Him! He will NEVER turn His back on those who trust in Him!
And when the storms come, its important to remember that no matter what happens the Lord will bring us through it for the better:
  "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
                                                       (Romans 8:28 NKJV)
So next time, when the trials of life come, remember who is in control, who you are, and what you are to do about it!
And heres some food for thought:
  "Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
         I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
                                                  (Psalm 50:15 NKJV)

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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