I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?
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Last week we extended our Love More February series into this first week of March to tackle this subject of navigating life’s storms. Last week, we talked about what God’s presence and power looks like in times of fear and doubt (see the post here).
Now, grab your Bible and let’s get back into Zephaniah!
Here is the passage we are going through:
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)
Before the Babylonians arrived…
God looked at His people, smiled and His children pleased Him. As the Babylonians drove men, women and children out of their homes… God looked at His people, smiled and His children pleased Him. Years later under the Babylonian rule – you got it – God looked at His people, smiled and His children pleased Him. As His people finally returned home and the storm had ended… God looked at His people, smiled and His children pleased Him. To “delight” is translated to “please.” Let that really sink in as it did with me. This changes everything.
As you gaze into the distance and see the dark skies of a cancer diagnosis… God sees you, smiles upon you and you please Him simply as you are.
As you lie drenched by your own tears wondering if you will ever be able to walk again… Our Abba sees you, smiles upon you and you please Him, especially on your knees.
As you watch your children walk away and make the same mistakes you learned from as a child…Our God sees you, smiles upon you and you please him brave momma.
My friend, even as you celebrate His miraculous deliverance in your life… He sees you, smiles upon you and you please Him simply because you are His child.
How can you see God through the pouring rain of a nation being torn apart, families demolished and homes destroyed forever? Where is God’s presence in this storm? He is present with His love. The love He offers seems so strange to me. During the moments I feel completely shattered by this world, defining myself as useless, forgotten and alone – His love holds me up in His righteousness as His child. So many times I tend to view my brokenness as His disapproval of me as a person.
I didn’t do enough for Him, so this is my consequence.
I should have listened to His warning, now He can never accept me.
I deserve all of the pain I am going through and I can’t see an end.
This is not the unconditional promises of love found in the God of the Bible. Yet, we allow these lies to keep us from experiencing the unconditional love He so badly wants us to experience. Though our Abba is present in the midst of our storm offering love only He can give, we are the ones too many times that refuse to accept His embrace. We get too wrapped-up with viewing our worth through our little storm, we fail to recognize He is still holding us. He is in the rain, bringing us closer to Him. He is feeling the same thunder that knocked us to the ground. He not only catches our tears, but He feels our pain. Like a child who learns to rest, finally, in the arms of a parent, we have that choice to rest in the promises He brings us today.
Day by day…
He promises to be present.
He promises to delight in His children.
He promises to love us unconditionally.
When we can truly believe, accept and live out these promises, we can finally fiund rest in our storms.
The Bible is filled with songs of victory and thankfulness to God from men like David and even Mary, the mother of Jesus. As I read through these songs, it’s hard not to hear a melody, sense the joy and rise with excitement. What if, during our highest, lowest and even in our everyday moments in life, we could hear Him singing – rejoicing over us? Would that change our focus? During your journey with Him, He does rejoice over you and His song for you is rooted deep in His love for you as His child. Perhaps even in the pouring rain, if we focus on our ever-present Abba, fall in love with Him continually and choose daily to walk in His promises – maybe, just maybe we can hear Him singing over us.
When we can rest long enough to hear the God of the universe singing over us, even the storm cannot chase Him away.
Have fun dancing in the rain today friends…with your Abba of course!
Dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!
Do you have a song in your life God has used to bring your comfort during a storm? Please share in the comments!
Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a wife to Steve and a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always - dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!