Monday, August 6, 2012

Sheltered by Faith

By Brenda Black

Some in our little country congregation have traveled near and far and returned safely home to the rural community where I live. Some endured sudden storms this past week that left damaged property, but no injuries. Some have braved medical tests and learned good news and some are thankful for just one more day. In all of these circumstances, God moved.

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7)
Deliverance comes in a host of forms, from traveling mercies to supernatural healing. The Lord covers, sustains, removes, rejuvenates. He leads, protects, grants wisdom or endurance. And sometimes bad things happen, people get sick or possessions get ruined. Still, God Almighty partners with us when we place our trust in Him, no matter the situation. Godly fear is the beginning of wisdom; wisdom is steeped in learning to lean.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The harder the winds of this world blow in our face, the more we have to live by faith! The disciples had to learn that same lesson with an up-close encounter with nature when they were overcome by a raging storm. “A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger...He [Jesus] got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided and all was calm. 'Where is your faith?' he asked his disciples.'” (Luke 8:23b-25)

The story concludes that “In fear and amazement they asked one another, 'Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.'” (Lk 8:25)

In order to truly follow a God who is all powerful, we have to first fear Him reverently. Honestly, I am repulsed by the lack of God-awe these days. We regard Him as a sugar daddy prayer buddy. We worship Him only if we win the lottery. We blaspheme His holy name and defend ungodly behavior. This mixed up world takes punches at the King of Kings and Lord of Lords without apology and packages it in blog rants and comedic monologues on late-night t.v. We shamelessly promote sin and categorize righteousness as bigotry. The foolishness of men is evidenced in a thousand ways through our arrogance, self-righteousness, indifference and independence! Such denial of God's magnanimous sovereignty is stupid at best; eternally damning at worst. The prolific disregard for our Creator causes me to wonder just how much longer will He tarry. A day of reckoning is coming.

Before the disciples were fully convinced of Jesus' amazing wind and water taming, at least they already called Him Master. “The disciples went and woke him, saying, 'Master, Master, we're going to drown!'” (Lk 8:24)

Until we see God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit with faith-filled, humble eyes, we are sunk! But, in reliance on God and a belief in the power of the Resurrected Christ, we muster the courage to face whatever blasts into our life or is torn from it. Only Jesus truly calms our storms. So trust and do not fear. God is near when we need Him most, if we would just believe.

The divide between those who call Him Lord and those who ignore His mighty power grows wider every day. So, I'm compelled to ask: When the storms blow your direction, are you going to go through them without protection? Or will you be covered in calm, with Christ as your shelter?

copyright 2012 The Word's Out - Brenda Black

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