You are either about to go into a storm; just coming out of a storm, or you’re right in the middle of a storm. In doing some research on storms I discovered that storms are created when a center of low pressure develops, with a system of high pressuring surrounding it. This combination of opposing forces can create winds and result in the formation of storm clouds” (scienceline.ucsb.edu). As Christian men, we live in the area of two opposing forces—God and Satan. Our God is high and our enemy, Satan, is low. In the unseen spirit world, these two opposing forces result in storms. God has not promised to keep us out of storms, He has, however, promised to see us through them. A storm can be trouble, difficulty, heartache, trial, or an issue that is causing you anxiety. There are spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, and mental storms.
Peter understood much about storms. Writing to persecuted believers, suffering believers, he gives us five principles in I Peter 5:6-11, on what to do when you find yourself in the midst of a storm:
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen. (I Peter 5:6-11).
- Confess This: The Storm May Be Bigger Than Me, But It Is NOT Bigger than GOD
You must not try to face the storm in your own strength. That’s why Peter said, “Humble yourselves.” Humility is the realization that the God Who allowed the storm, is the God Who will see you through it. If a storm has entered your life, it has come with great purpose. God uses storms to remind us that we so desperately need Him. Humility is the antidote for pride, arrogance, and haughtiness. Humility is not giving up; it is giving over to the “mighty hand of God.” Mighty means all-powerful and hand means help. God is the all-powerful I can! When you humble yourself, God exalts you. The word exalts means to raise above. God raises you above the storm in His timing. Your storm will not last forever.
- Make a Radical Decision to Trust God by Giving the Storm Back to Him
Peter says, “casting all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” This is a wonderful picture. The word “cast” means to throw off, to throw upon, to deposit. It is a deliberate decision to take your storm and deposit it with the Lord. “Here God, I give you this storm.” In fact, the idea of what Peter is saying is, you give God your past, present, and future storms. Notice the word “anxiety,” which means to worry. Whatever it is you are worried about, release it to God. The great Corrie Ten Boom said: “When I worry, I go to the mirror and say to myself, this tremendous thing which is worrying me is beyond a solution. It is especially too hard for Jesus Christ to handle.’ After I have said that I smile, and I am ashamed. Peter reminds us we can cast our worries upon the Lord, “Because He cares for you.” You are the object of God’s concern. It matters to God what you are facing. Give Him your storm right now. He knows exactly what to do.
- Storms Provide Opportunities for Satan to Work
Notice Peter said, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Peter understood this supernatural, deceptive enemy that every believer encounters. He warns us to be serious, but not to panic. Understand you are living in a battleground spiritually, not a playground. This is no game, no party, no joke. Constantly be under the control of the Holy Spirit so you will be ready when Satan works. You are to “be on the alert” and never let down your guard. Pay attention from every side. Satan looks for those unguarded moments to attack you. He will use distractions and discouragement in an attempt to steal your job. Adversary means an opponent, an enemy, someone who is against you. Devil means slanderer, one who lies to you and about you. Notice Satan “prowls.” That means he uses any opportunity, including when you are going through a storm, to attack your faith. Peter reminds us that Satan is “like a roaring lion.” A lion is strong, ferocious, and vicious. His roar puts fear into its victim. A lion is patient and will wait as long as he has to in order to find that perfect moment of attack. Satan seeks victims at all times. In your storm, be aware that Satan is looking for an opportunity to destroy your faith, your family and your testimony.
- Storms are Great Opportunities for God to Work
Storms give the best opportunities to see God work and for the world to see Him. In every storm, there are great opportunities. Peter said you must resist Satan firmly in your faith. That means to stand against Satan in the power of almighty God, not in your own strength. Stand on God’s Word which cannot fail. In your storm, focus on God’s promises found in the Bible. Peter acknowledges that believers will experience suffering, pain, and sorrow. In that storm, God is accomplishing something eternally significant in you as you surrender to Him and stand against Satan. He reminds us that storms are temporary. This too shall pass. Look for God to bring new insight into Him, new relationships, and a renewed faith that God is in control.
- Praise God in the Storm
In your storm, start to worship God. Worship and worry cannot live in the same heart. There is a line in the old hymn, O Joy That Will Not Let Me Go” that says, “O joy that sleekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee; I trace the rainbow through the rain and feel the promise is not vain. That morn shall tearless be.” You trace the rainbow through the rain. How? By praising God for Who He is and praising God for what He is going to do (I Peter 5:10). Peter reminds us that storms prioritize us allowing us to see what is really important. Storms provide for us, allowing God to demonstrate Himself in our situation. Storms prepare us, they help make us stronger and more useable for God. Storms even protect us, from getting arrogant and prideful. They remind us that we need Jesus.
Wingman, if you find yourself in the midst of a storm, I encourage you to review these five truths and rejoice that your God is bigger than your storm. Be assured no storm is God-proof!