Matters of Faith: God’s Power Over the Storms

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Job‬ ‭37:6-13‬ ‭(CEV)

“Snow and heavy rainstorms make us stop and think about God’s power, and they force animals to seek shelter. The windstorms of winter strike, and the breath of God freezes streams and rivers. Rain clouds filled with lightning appear at God’s command, traveling across the sky to release their cargo— sometimes as punishment for sin, sometimes as kindness.”

The only thing that I could think to write about this week is the weather. We have experienced a stretch of cold weather that has reached as far south as Florida and as far north as Canada. Unusually frigid and inclement weather has gripped the eastern coast. Here in the Bronx, we weren’t spared the snow, the winds, or the freezing streams and rivers. All of it, according to Job, makes us stop and think about God’s power and his awesomeness.

Job’s writing tells us that the Lord is responsible for all of our weather, the storms and the wind, the sunshine and the rain…, sometimes as punishment and sometimes as a blessing. I’m sure there are some who would dispute or even argue with Job’s assessment. They might argue that some are not deserving of the punishment, and others not worthy of the blessings that a broad storm like the one we’re experiencing brings.

But the word of God pushes back on that way of thinking and declares “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew‬ ‭5:45‬ ‭NKJV‬‬). That verse is both literal and metaphorical. In the literal sense, we have to dress in layers when the temperature gets low, wear water-resistant clothing in the snow and the rain, use sun screen and light clothing when the temperature is hot. Metaphorically, we have to prepare ourselves for the storms of life by saving and investing our money for emergencies and opportunities, make plans for a comfortable retirement by setting up IRA’s, 401(k) and 403 (b) plans, invest and establish pensions plans, have health insurance coverage to pay hospital and medical bills should they arise, and we purchase automobile, home and apartment insurance in case of an accident, fire, robbery, or other catatrophic things.

Just as important (I would argue more so), is the preparation we make spiritually. By reading and studying the Word of God, praying and fasting, we gain a better understanding and an assurance that the storms of life might slow us down, make us take detours, even make us come to a compete stop, but they cannot and will not stop the blessings that come if we don’t quit. We should learn when the winds of life blow as a punishment, and give praise and thanks when they come as a blessing. Just as the seasons change from winter to spring, summer to fall, and fall to winter, the storms of life are likewise seasonal. As Robert Shula use to say, “tough times never last, but tough people do.”

The Lord has given us the ability to decide how we’re going to respond to the storms of nature, and His grace and benevolence gives us the ability to choose for ourselves how we deal with the storms of life. Paul has the formula for our spiritual well-being in the midst of a storm (Eph. 6:10-18 NKJV);

“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”

As you prepare yourself for the cold and storms of the winter, be sure to prepare yourself for the storms of life. Remember that God has power over the storms!

Rev. J. Loren Russell

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. or by phone at 626-226-1448. Be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook, Twitter @jlorenr, and email us at matteroffaith.mof@gmail.com.  

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