In every season no matter what part of the world we live in, storms are a reality. For some it may be hail storms, hurricanes or wild fires. For others it can be tornadoes, earthquakes or blizzards. The bottom line is that when these storms come, not only are they catastrophic, but they mark our lives forever. Sometimes its aftermath leaves with it a sense of hopelessness and almost an impossibility of recovery; while other storms cause some minor damage and the recovery doesn’t feel as hopeless.
What’s most astonishing to me about the storms of today is that Meteorologist can predict or at least give us warning as to when these storms will arrive. If you watch the weather channel, you can see how Meteorologist are closely watching these storms, studying them, predicting the different paths that they might take or the damage that they might cause. Nonetheless, it’s a storm and regardless of what we “might know” about them, one could never be ready for the damage that it might cause to our homes, our neighborhoods, our cities, our countries and more so to our mental state.
But, can I be real with you? I don’t know about you, but when I can be notified, hour by hour, minute by minute, down to the second of the path of a storm, although it’s scary, it brings some kind of comfort to know that “I know” what’s to come and I can prepare for it as best I can (control issues maybe?). Can I get a “me too”?
Don’t you wish life storms were that way? That we had some kind of life equipment like Meteorologist have to predict the type of storm that will head our way. Cancer, loss of a child and/or loved one, a life taken unexpectedly, divorce, prodigal son/daughter, unmet dreams/expectations, disappointments. What if that life equipment could tell you the storms longevity or maybe even how much damage it would cause. At least that would somehow help to prepare and maybe it wouldn’t feel so detrimental upon its arrival and departure? Right!?!
As I entertain this theory in my head, I’m reminded of one common thing that I’ve heard people say after any storm. I can’t quote the exact words but it’s something along the lines of, “In spite of all the warnings and predictions we receive, one could never really prepare for its arrival nor for its aftermath.
While I wish (and maybe you do too) I had a life Doppler, radar or satellite that gathers “life storm data” to let me know of what’s to come in my own life, I’m quickly comforted by Jesus’ words to his disciples before he would be betrayed and put to death (talk about a life storm right there).
Jesus said to them and says to us in John 16:33,
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (emphasis mine)
You see Jesus gave us a prediction to life’s storms a long time ago. He never said we would not have trouble. On the contrary, He encourages us to “take heart” in trouble.
Take heart? What does that even mean? Other translations will say, “take courage”. Again, what does that even mean? I wanted to know. I needed to know. How does one take heart/courage?
Ask and you shall receive. This is what I found.
The Greek definition of “take heart/courage” is tharseó (thar-seh’-o)- refers to God bolstering the believer, empowering them with a bold inner-attitude (to be “of good courage”). For the believer, tharséō (“showing boldness”) is the result of the Lord infusing His strength by His in working of faith. Showing this unflinching, bold courage means living out the inner confidence (inner bolstering) that is Spirit-produced.
Simply put. “Taking heart/courage” is not something I magically feel to do. Its not a goose bumps feeling that arises. It’s a complete empowerment and dependence on God’s Holy Spirit. Something that is only achieved through relationship with Jesus Christ. When I have this relationship with Him, I can take heart/courage and know that He does not delight in seeing me suffer. I’m reminded that just as he was with his disciples in their storm, He is also with you and me in ours.
How do I know this? Not only because I read it in his word, but because I’ve experienced it. When I look back at the storms in my own life, I can truly say God has walked me through some of the hardest storms, continues to do so in the present and will continue to do so in the coming.
I’m reminded daily and today want to remind you of this truth. He who holds the universe, who holds all of creation together, will hold you and me. Why? Because….
“…in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17 (emphasis mine)
Say it with me…#Godsgotme