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Get up and keep going

February 24th, 2009 Posted in encouragement, Pastor's corner, sermons

In an earlier entry, I told the story of Jesus and His disciples and the storm they encountered.

Listen, storms will come in life. It’s not a matter of if but when. Quite frankly, you are either pulling out of one or eventually headed toward another.

Now I hope that does not cause you to be disillusioned, because as I said in my earlier entry, “Better to be in a storm with Jesus then anywhere else without Him.”

One of the readers of this blog commented on that post and wrote:

Dear Pastor Greg,

A series of misfortunes have chased me down over the last week or so. I got so down. The one thing that keeps me going is knowing that I’m called for a purpose in Christ. When I decided to log in after not reading your blog in a while, I read your words: “It’s better to be in a storm with Jesus than anywhere else without Him . . . ” I nearly fell off my chair.

Thank you.

Shalom.

Lori

 Yes, Lori, you do have a purpose in Christ. And God is working in your life.

That is one of the reasons the storms and trials come.
To make us stronger spiritually.
Because in a storm, a trial, or a hardship, you will learn things you could really learn nowhere else.

It has been said, “Fruit does not grow on mountaintops, but in valleys.”

Paul and his storm

Toward the end of the Book of Acts, Paul was making his final journey to Rome because he had appealed to Caesar.
As they journeyed, a horrific storm overtook them and everyone despaired for their lives.

Dr. Luke describes it this way: “When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved” (Acts 27:20 NIV).

The Lord came  to Paul

But the Lord sent His angel to speak to Paul, giving the apostle the ability to encourage the others on board:

But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said.” (Acts 27:22-25 NLT)

There will be smooth sailing

That is not to say we will not have beautiful moments, and even seasons of relative calmness. Not all the winds that blow in life are devastating. In one instance, the log of the journey before the big storm hit says, “The south wind blew softly” (v.13 NKJV).

Thank God for those times when the “south wind blows softly.” Those times when you can feel the warmth of the sun on your shoulders and all is well.

But it is important to remember that there is always a storm ‘a comin!

People think that when you are in the will of God, you will always have “smooth sailing.” That is certainly not true of Paul. He seemed to face every kind of adversity imaginable. He had enemies who tried to undermine and even destroy him out of jealousy.

God never abandons us

He had numerable setbacks in life that included beatings and physical harm. He also had a personal physical disability he prayed to be healed of that never left.

Still, he was able to say, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT).

In my next blog entry, I will point out a few takeaway truths for each of us as we face our storms in life so we can “get up again and keep going!”

Pray for the family of Ralph Arthur 

I mentioned in my last blog entry that Ralph Arthur, one of our pastors at Harvest Christian Fellowship, went to be with the Lord this last Saturday.

Please be praying for his family, especially his dear wife Cheri.
His memorial service will be at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside this coming Thursday. For more information on that, click here.

6 Responses to “Get up and keep going”

  1. Maria says:

    I am requesting your prayers. My storm is that because my job was relocated, I had to give notice. I have prayed for a job that will give me the kind of passion I had in working with the elderly and their families. God is good and God will provide. I just need to stay humble, pray, read His Word, and go to church. I pray that I once again will be able to support your ministries. I don’t have the money to send like I used to, but appreciate receiving your mail and offers. Keep up God’s work. Say “hello” to Stella and Lucy for me.

    Proud grandma
    Maria DeLourde Dallin

  2. Miranda Family says:

    Love this, Pastor Greg! It really ministered to me as I’ve been in a “storm” these last few weeks and haven’t logged on here as much as I’d like too. I’m glad I did today!

    God is good and faithful ~ Always!

    Blessings ~ Becky

  3. Lily says:

    Hi, I just heard about the loss of your son. I am so sorry. I have a 33-year-old son with mental illness. Can you pray for my son? His name is Danny. I will pray for your family. Your faith through your loss has touched me and gave me hope. May God keep blessing you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, I agree with this.

    A most interesting thing: I feel I’m in the middle of a trial, and yet today, there were a few moments outside when I was aware of the warmth of the sun on my face, and the gentle weather. Your “thank God for those times when the ‘south wind blows softly’” reminded me of this.

    I think, even in the trials, if we look around and are aware, there is still beauty.

  5. Sandy says:

    When I am facing hardships and trials, that is the most important time for me to go to Bible studies and have fellowship with others!

    God has always spoken to me, when I am having a hard time, through the Bible, fellow brothers and sisters, and most definitely through Bible studies and daily devotionals.

    When I don’t feel like getting dressed and going to Bible study, that is when it is most important for me to go.

    God’s Word is so amazing. He meets me where I am at every time!

    I am looking forward to tomorrow’s blog.

    Hee Haw from Texas!
    Sandy

  6. Mariana says:

    Hi Pastor Greg,

    Thanks for sharing this post. 2 Corinthians was so much of a blessing when I read it at the hospital to my Mom after her surgery. It spoke to me, once again, about our trials as believers, but it also reminded me of the care the Lord has for us, His children.

    A promise I prayed to claim for my Mom for her surgery was: “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name” (Psalm 91:14)

    It’s not easy being a Christian, especially when we want to commit our lives to the Lord even more. He even told us we will have tribulation, but also for us to be of good cheer (put on a happy face) because He has defeated the world (John 16:33) And after all, if He is with us, who against us, right? (Romans 8:31) And well, it’s not easy, but all of our trials and battles have a purpose, so our faith can be exercised and strenghtened (Romans 5:2-4; James 1:2-4)

    I’ll remember Ralph Arthur’s family during this difficult time. Thanks for letting us know so we can support you in prayer. And I’m very sorry for the temporary separation from this staff member from your church and congregation. It’s just temporary and it hurts, but this too shall pass, and you will see him again in heaven, and we will meet him there :) It’s not a “goodbye,” but a “see you later.”

    Hugs to you and your congregation during this difficult time. May our Lord sustain you and give you His peace.

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