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August 26 Devo (part 1)

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  • August 26 Devo (part 1)

    7 Promises of God for When the Storms of Life Hit

    It happened 10 years ago. Disaster struck. Hurricane Katrina made landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. In addition to bringing great devastation to the New Orleans area, this hurricane caused much damage along the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, as well as other parts of Louisiana.

    We will never forget. Many of us remember the bleak images, the lives lost, the aftermath of the storm that our nation faced. Droves of people sought refuge in nearby cities. Living in Houston, Texas, we had the opportunity to see first-hand some of the effects of this disaster and to lend support to so many who had been displaced from their homes and their lives. Thousands filled the city’s convention center and Houston Astrodome, seeking relief, looking for help. Row upon row of cots lined the buildings, the now temporary home of those who had lost literally everything.

    Big storms can roll in fast, suddenly turning blue sky days dark with worry. It can happen with one brief conversation, a diagnosis, an accident, or life-altering occurrence. And we're left, thoughts swirling, wondering how we didn't even see it coming.

    Hits us hard. Leaves us flat. We can't stop the storms from happening. But we can know where to run...for cover.
    • 1. Storms will come.

      “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2
      It doesn't say "if," but "when." They will happen. It’s inevitable and unavoidable. But God still reminds us in His Word that He will be with us in the midst of it all. Daniel still faced the lions. Joseph was still thrown in prison. Job still lost all he held dear. The disciples still faced persecution. Being a believer doesn’t mean we will be kept from every hard circumstance, but that He will be with us in it all.

      2. Heed the warnings.
      "Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” Matt. 24:42
      God reminds us in His Word to stay aware, to wake up to what surrounds us. Though it’s all too easy at times to ignore the warning, and continue on our own way. Thinking somehow we know better, or that we’ll be spared. Sometimes He provides us a way of escape from what’s ahead, we need His wisdom to know when to stay, or when to go.

      3. Be prepared.

      “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
      Life is often predictable. Often storms come on without much warning. The best way to stay spiritually prepared is to stay in close relationship with God. Walking wisely. Every day we need Him, the fresh filling of His Spirit, time in His presence in praying and reading His Word. The better prepared we are “inside,” the better equipped we are to stay strong in Him, no matter what comes our way. Be ruthless with sin issues, keeping our hearts right with God and with one another. Stay in close fellowship with other believers, connected to a church and worship where we are growing, serving, being encouraged to stay strong.

      4. Know where to find refuge.

      "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Ps. 46:2
      When facing a storm, we instinctively know to find a safe place, to be protected from the elements. In all that we face, no matter what may fill our days, we have a place to run to. God is our Refuge, our constant Help, our Safety. He is the only One who can walk on water. He is the only One who still reigns over all. He is the only One who can speak to the storm and the wind obeys His voice, “Peace, be still.”

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ to be continued