Last night we had a lovely thunderstorm here in Perth and I would say that thunder and lightning are both very scarce here and much calmer, compared to that of my hometown. I grew up near Johannesburg in South-Africa. Benoni is a town on the East-Rand (eastern side) of the Gauteng Province (state) which is part of the Highveld (region), where summer rainstorms accompanied by repetitive thunder and gunshot loud crashing lightning strikes, followed by hard down pourings of much rain is a very regular and beautiful occurrence.
I love thunderstorms and since my childhood I have loved listening to those wondrous sounds from the safety of a couch or bed in our home. I especially enjoyed the rumbling of clouds as the storm approached from the distance or while the storm raged, awaiting the lightning strikes and the counting to work out the distance from me. Often some crashes were suddenly and unexpectadly on top of me which would rattle windows, making my body jolt in fright and even trip the power to bring darkness.
While I was enjoying that this thunder storm was reminding me of those amazing sounds from my childhood, my own children awoke and I had to get out of my comfortable bed to calm their frightened hearts. I spoke calmly to them, telling them that they didn't have to be afraid. I continued to explain that they didn't have to be afraid as they were safe in their beds inside our home and that in times like this they can call on Jesus and He will put their hearts to rest.
Afterwards, when they were rest assured, I was reminded of the words Jesus spoke to His disciples in the boat after he calmed the storm.
Mark 4:35-41 (NLT)
Jesus Calms the Storm
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown? ”When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
Think about it? These disciples had Jesus in the boat with them, yet when they were finding themselves in a storm shaken about by winds and waves, they were afraid and thought that Jesus did not care for them. No wonder Jesus asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” He has shown them love and support while being with them for a long time, had performed many miracles in front of their very eyes, yet in this moment they doubted Him.
Two days ago my husband was made redundant a year after he started the job. We have gone through storms in the past and by now we know that we can put our faith in God who will make a way. He gives us rest.
It is best to take our focus and attention away from the storm and place our hope onto Jesus. In the storms of life our minds, will and emotions are tossed around by waves and winds of uncertainty blow doubt our way, but we have to hold onto hope. We should never stop hoping, hope keeps us anchored in times of trouble.
When our hope is anchored in Jesus we are kept safe.
Imagine a storm raging around you, no matter the noise as the wind howl around the walls of your house, the rain battering down loudly on the roof and the thunder rattling and shaking your windows. Perhaps a loud lightning strike frightens you out of rest and darkness from a power outage overwhelm you... you can be still, you are safe inside.
Matthew 7:24-25 NLT
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock."
You might feel overwhelmed by your situation, but God isn't, even though you feel scared, you are safe in Him.
If your hope is anchored in Jesus, you will never be moved. You can take great comfort in that everlasting truth. - Christine Caine
Jesus is the anchor for our souls. Only in Jesus do we find true hope.
Hebrews 6:18-20 (NIV)
God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
This verse remind us to keep our minds set on eternity, we have hope because of the reconciliation with God that Jesus achieved for us when He died on the cross and then rose from the dead, defeating both sin and death. I have highlighted this verse in my bible and visualise Jesus as the Anchor holding the boat of my life secure.
I wrote down these words from a sermon called 'Caged birds and Trapped fish' preached by Brian Houston that encouraged me greatly:
Hope springs eternal! Even in death there is hope for us. God appoints time and He can build up your foundation. Have faith and hope! No end is final, no failure is fatal, no one is unreachable, no mistake is unredeemable! - Brian Houston
The storms of life will come, but we can rest in knowing that Jesus is with us. When we are anchored in Jesus, we can be still and know that He is God and He is in charge.
There is no one like Him, keep the faith and trust Him!
As you meditate on this devotional, take the time to listen to Prince of Peace by Hillsong UNITED, here is the link to the lyric video: