Weathering the Storms

Christ Community Church

Connections Devotional

“Connecting the riches of Christ with the realities of life.”

2 Corinthians 2:8-11:

8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

In his book “Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God” Mark Batterson tells about  something Mother Teresa wrote in her diary.  She writes: “I am told God lives in me–and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.

It’s easy to think that Mother Teresa would be the last person on earth who would struggle spiritually with faith and trust in God.  I’m sure we would all be surprised to hear of her struggles in this area of her life. 

Even more so we are surprised by the struggles of Paul.  He states in the passage that they “felt the sentence of death.”  This does not sound like an apostle who was used to heal the sick, cast out demons, and showed things, by God, that he was not permitted to speak about (2 Cor. 12:4).

Yet, in both Paul’s life, and Mother Teresa’s life, we see hardship, struggle, pain, and difficulty.  It’s true of our own lives as well.  We spend most of our waking hours trying to avoid pain, hardship, or just simply the times of feeling that God is far away from us.  It’s hard living as a Christian in a world that seems void of God’s presence so much of the time.  Yet, He calls us to trust him, even when we can’t see him, or understand his ways.   Batterson says that “Faith isn’t flying above the storm; it’s weathering the storm.  It’s trusting God’s heart when we can’t see his hand.  It’s understanding that sometimes the obstacle is the way!”

A number of years ago I pastored a church that turned out to be very difficult.  I ended up leaving, very wounded, and hurt.  That time was the most difficult time I’ve ever had as a pastor.  But I learned something a year or so later while reflecting on that time.  That experience, a so-called failure, made me a better pastor than any success I will ever have.  I learned a lot from that difficult time.  Unfortunately, it’s just the way it is.  We learn the most from the difficult times.

C.S Lewis said “God whispers to us in our pleasures…but shouts to us in our pain.”  We don’t like it that way, but it’s just the way it is.  The pain that God allows into our lives is always redemptive.  That is, it serves a purpose.  But we must learn to trust God in that part of it.

So whether you’re simply not feeling very close to God right now, or going through a painful time in your life.  Remember, what Paul said about such pain; “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”  Trust God in the midst of whatever is going on.  Don’t avoid it, go through it.

 
I hope your time in prayer and Scripture reading is blessing you!  Remember this is not a “check off” item.  Relax and enjoy!

The 5x5x5 is meant to help you intentionally connect with God.

Remember, I want to hear how God is blessing this time.  So as much as you feel comfortable please share what the Lord is doing in you and through you as you intentionally seek him.

Blessings,

Pastor Jeff

5 min a day in prayer
5 min a day in the Word
5 days a week


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