By Kristi Hall

Recently, I was asked to paint 1 Peter for the Women’s Bible Study at our church. I know… easy right? Not a chance. How do you do that?

I did the only thing I knew to do. I asked the Holy Spirit to guide me, teach me and I started reading I Peter over and over. Around the fifth time through, I read 1 Peter 1:6-7 from the NLT and it stopped me in my tracks.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

At first, I didn’t understand why this verse captivated my heart, I just knew that it did. What I also didn’t know was that I was getting ready to go through some trials, storms of my very own.

One of those happened to be with my ten year old boy. He began to experience a very unhealthy fear of storms, the crippling kind. He’s my third boy, tough on the outside; but with one mention of storms, rain, etc., he would crumble. I stepped into “mama mode” and tried to find a way to help him cope. I talked to him a lot about fear and faith and God’s power. He said he trusted God, but his fear overwhelmed him. Oh, the transparency of a child. I’ve felt the very same way. I’m sure you can relate.

One evening, in our quest to conquer, we set out as storm chasers… (yes, this was my idea to help him). We would go out and experience the storm. I wanted him to see that the storm wouldn’t hurt him, that his fear was bigger than the actual storm.

Again.. I can relate.

This particular evening around sunset, we were out watching the massive, dark storm roll in. It was fierce, dark and coming fast and furious. Wind tore through my hair as I reminded him about God’s power over the storm and His hand of protection over us. We were zoned in– watching it unfold. As it rolled in, suddenly, as if someone turned my head, I looked behind me. What I saw gave me chill bumps to the very core of my being. Behind us was the most glorious and beautiful sunset I think I’ve ever seen. I quickly directed my child to turn and switch his focus. I explained that we were so focused on “our circumstances” that we were missing what God was doing behind us, in the midst of us.

Isn’t that what we do? Our circumstances, our trials become so big and overwhelming that we allow them to completely captivate us.

Where’s our faith? Are we trusting God? His character? He’s always been so faithful.  I’m sure you can look back over your life and marvel at His faithfulness.

Sweet sister, THIS storm .. your storm may paralyze your very heart, but I’m challenging you to set your gaze on Him. He is so much bigger than your storm.

Our enemy wants us to walk in fear; his goal is to kill, steal, and destroy.  As they say… “Not today, Satan!  I’m choosing to rest, trust, and hold on to my Savior!

“For without faith it is impossible to please Him”. Hebrews 11:6  

Faith often looks like switching our gaze, choosing to stare at the Savior instead of our storm.

 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

 You CAN walk through your storm! You CAN choose joy! You CAN take every thought captive! He will be your strength! How do I know? Well, I’m trusting Him this very day.. I’m praising Him in my own storm!

And you know what the best part is? While you are walking in the storm. His eye is always upon you and He is working all things together for your good.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

There is wonderful beauty in the storm..

He speaks.

I couldn’t paint anything other than a sunset… HE IS FAITHFUL.

 

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