Refresh Friday

Do you sometimes think that if you just “do all the right things” and obey all of God’s commands to the best of your Spirit-driven ability, everything will be stable and calm in your life? Christ’s disciples experienced storms in spite of following His commands and so will we.

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. [Mark 4:35-37 ESV]

In this passage of scripture, the disciples were obeying His command, yet they encountered the fiercest of storms…. In their distress, they cried out for Christ’s assistance.

38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”  [Mark 4:38-39 ESV]

Christ may delay coming to us during our times of distress, but it is simply so our faith may be tested and strengthened. Gently rebuking His disciples, Christ asked,

40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” [Mark 4:40 ESV]

In effect, He was saying, “Why didn’t you face the storm victoriously and shout to the raging winds and rolling waves, ‘You cannot harm us, for Christ, the mighty Savior, is on board?”

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Of course is it much easier to trust God when the sun is shining than to trust Him when the storm is raging around us. Yet we will never know our level of genuine faith until it is tested in a fierce storm….

If you are ever to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power (Eph. 6:10), your strength will be born during a storm.

— L.B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert

Refresh Friday

Why is it that God leads us in this way, allowing such strong and constant pressure on us? One of His purposes is to show us His all-sufficient strength and grace more effectively than if we were free from difficulties and trials. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. [2 Cor. 4:7 NIV]

Ancient greek jugs

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Another purpose is to bring us a greater awareness of our dependence upon Him. God is constantly trying to teach us how dependent we are on Him — that we are held completely by His hand and reliant on his care alone.

                                                         Days of Heaven and Earth, A.B. Simpson (1843-1919)

Are you feeling weak and helpless? It’s possibly the best place to be. I pray for you today that you will lean into Him more during this time and know abundantly more of His strength in your life. He knows exactly what you need. He is there with you.

Run, Walk, Stop – The Life of a Believer

I’ve been a runner on and off throughout my life. Mostly due to the heavy fatigue from window cleaning, the last three years it has been “off.”

So when I wanted to restart, I knew it was going to be slow. Much slower than I wanted. The Runner’s World plan I found said to start by walking for a month, then start a run-walk combination until eventually you were running more than walking. Sounds simple, right?

Those of you who are runners know that when you haven’t run in a while, restarting can be tough. You can be running fine one minute and have shin splints or muscle aches the next. That means you have to be ready to adjust. You have a few choices:

  • Slow your running pace.
  • Walk.
  • Stop and stretch until you can go again.

It’s so similar really to our life with the Lord! Continue reading