Claiming God's Promises In The Midst Of The Storm
Claiming God's Promises
Whatever your situation is, whether you lost your job, lost a loved one, going through a painful divorce or diagnosed with a life threatening disease, do not loose faith! There is always light at the end of the tunnel, just as there is calm after the storm. The God who delivered the Israelites out of slavery is still the same God yesterday,today and forever! You can take comfort knowing that He will never forsake you or leave you! The bible is full of God's promises, those are His words. Because His words are true and gives life we can use His words to get out of a sticky situation. This lens is about learning how to claim God's promises in the midst of the storm. To pray God's words through a time of crises and coming out victorious! This lens is for all of you who are facing the storms of life.
The Day The Storm Broke
A Personal Testimony of God's Presence In The Midst Of The Storm
I could still remember the day I received an email from my sister telling me that my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, It was on a warm July afternoon, it was perfect outside; the sun was out and it was the perfect time for a stroll, but it wasn't a good time for me. I lived alone in another state that is quite far from where my family lives, so I don't get to visit them much. The news was heartbreaking for me and all I could ever think about at that moment was to see my grandpa.
I was raised by my grandparents since I was 3 years old. They took care of me because my parents married at a very young age and was unable to take care of me. To grandpa was like my real father, in fact I call him dad because he became the father that I so badly needed in my life. He was the one who was always there for me, he was my first playmate, my first friend, my first teacher and my confidant. In all my life I was used to having him around. But that day scared the living daylights out of me!
Looking back now, I could see God's hands guiding me all the way and He never abandoned me in the most painful and terrible time of my life. I was working in a BPO firm when this happened and it's not easy to file for a leave. Vacation leaves are only 12 days for the entire year. There are no emergency leaves or sick leaves, not even maternity leaves that were available for its employees. Asking for a leave was not easy at all, my supervisors gave me a hard time. I asked for a week off but there was no available slot ( leaves were scheduled ahead of time for the next month) so they told me initially that they could not accommodate my request. But I was really insistent, so they granted me a leave for one month but then I would not receive any salary for one month because we had a NO WORK NO PAY policy. I took their offer even though I know it would put me in a financial crises. It was just a few weeks back when I moved to my new place and used up my savings. My budget was pretty tight. Not to mention I had to spend extra for the boat tickets and bus tickets too.
As soon as my leave was approved I packed up some clothes and left for home. I stayed with my grandpa for a week and seeing him after a very long time filled me with joy, I knew I was home again. But it was difficult too because I know my grandpa won't be with me much longer. I had to stop myself from crying because it would not help. My grandpa hugged me for a very long time and he was crying tears of joy, he told me how much he missed me and how long he'd been waiting for me to come home. It was an emotional reunion for us. I think grandpa knew already that his time was almost up, but he refrained from directly telling me but his actions told me otherwise. When the week was over, reluctantly I left because I had to take care of some important things related to my job. So, I kissed grandpa goodbye but deep inside me I was asking God if that would be the last time I'd see him alive. I prayed and I asked God to give me more time with my grandpa and I asked him every night until He granted my request.
I just got back to work when I received a phone call from home, they were advised by the oncologist to submit grandpa for cobalt therapy for his laryngeal cancer. If successful this would decrease the size of the lump in his throat that is obstructing his airway and of course to kill the cancer cells. This was his last recourse because he would not be able to stand chemotherapy at his age. We thought that was all but one thing lead to another. Grandpa spent 2 months and 2 weeks in the hospital. His health declined over time. He had heart attack three times and it was accompanied by a seizure. Grandpa was moved to the ICU after the first heart attack and spent 4 and a half weeks in there. When he was moved back to a regular private room he suffered 2 more heart attacks and that left him fighting for his life.
It was so painful to see him that way. My aunt, my grandma, my brother and a relative were there. We took turns watching over grandpa and attending to his needs. I worked during the night for 12 hours and when I was off from work I'd go directly to the hospital to check on my grandpa. I was barely able to sleep, the most sleep I could get was 2 hours a day. I was always tired to the point of exhaustion but I had to get up and work so I could help with the small things we needed like groceries. I also have to drop by at the hospital everyday after work to check on grandpa because I was the only one knowledgeable with the medical stuff because I am a nurse and that my entire family depended on me so much.
There were times I'd break down and cry when I was alone. i had a lot going on in my life all at the same time. There were times I would not be able to show up at work because my grandpa needed me to be there and my family depended on me. My supervisor and my boss were calling me to report for work and was threatening me with termination. I was in a bad shape. I honestly did not know what to do. But one thing I did was hold on to God even when He was silent. Yes there were days when He was silent and it felt as if He was nowhere to be found. But of course He was there and He never left me.
Looking back , it makes me smile to realize that God did grant my request. He allowed my grandpa to spend his last days with me. I have no regrets even though I went through an awful lot at that time. Grandpa gave me his last blessings before he passed away. Receiving dad's last blessing was very important to me more than anything that he would ever leave me to inherit. You might laugh at this but I kept pressing God to give my dad one brief moment of clarity and strength so he could bless me, God made it happen.There were only 2 people who received grandpa's last blessings it was my aunt and she is the eldest among his children, and of course me, his eldest grandchild. I knew grandpa's last blessing was part of my birthright, it was my inheritance and I pressed on to get my blessing ( much like Jacob lol). One of those things that surprised me was when we were running out of cash, we would receive an unexpected sms from other family members telling us to check on the atm because they sent money! Or we would find cash hidden somewhere in our bags. The greatest miracle I have seen was every time grandpa was at the brink of death, he would come through, all because we prayed and we kept on pressing on for a miracle. If grandpa died there it would have been very hard for us to take his body home and it would be very expensive too, so we asked God to extend his life and allow us to go home. We were able to take grandpa home alive, another unexpected thing happened. A long time family friend showed up unexpectedly, we have not seen him in over 20 years! He just knocked on grandpa's hospital room one day and he was the one who helped us bring daddy home. He arranged all the transportation needs, from the ambulance to the ship. It is just truly amazing how God would use other people to help us in our time of need! Finally, we were able to settle all of the hospital bills! All $50,000 worth of hospital bills! We left the hospital without any unpaid bill and because God's favor was with us he even touched all of grandpa's doctors to decrease the amount of their professional fee! Now, that was amazing!
Grandpa died the day after we arrived home, he peacefully passed away in the hospital on a beautiful October day. God was there with us when grandpa passed away, His love and His presence was very tangible. His love healed us from our loss and as a family we were able to cope and move on. Does God exist? Yes He does! Does God still speak today? Oh yes He does! Does He care for you? Yes He does! Did He abandon you? No He never did!
Lessons In The Storm
Allow me to share with you what I have learned in the midst of the storm. I am not an expert but I think we do not need experts we need a personal revelation from God so we can share these lessons we learn along the way.
1. Pray. I have learned that prayer is power and prayerlessness is powerlessness. Prayer is communicating with God, it is a time of drawing near to Him. Prayer is dependence on God that only He has the answer and only He can solve every mess in my life. I have learned that in prayer I have to discipline my ears to hear from God, it's not just about me talking but allowing Him to talk to me. I had to learn to be silent and wait upon the Lord. It takes time to discipline yourself to hear from God especially if you're used to talking all the time. I have learned that when I expect to hear from God, He talks to me. Gee, sometimes it's just one liners but it nails everything. I've had so many wonderful moments in prayer, it's a time of refreshing for me especially when I had a bad day. So many times when I am praying He gives me specific instructions on what to do with my present situation. And there are times when He is silent and I have to learn how to wait on Him.
2. Get Right With God. When I am going through a tough time I am prone to sudden outbursts and that is one thing that is wrong with me. Sometimes I do get impatient and do things my way. At the end of the day God reminds me of those things, not to terrorize me but to correct me. God is a God of order and He wants order in our lives. So I have to get right with him by confessing my sin and repenting of those sins. Repentance does not mean we will never sin again, because that is not true, repenting means being genuinely sorry for committing those sins, it means a change of mind or walking away and to do what it takes to never commit the same mistake again. By confessing our sins and repenting is a sign of humility, and nothing pleases God more than a heart that is bowed down.
It is important to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth, to reveal the things in our hearts that displeases God. Often the mess in our lives are consequences of these sins or the consequences of disobedience. We have to Ask God for his grace to help us walk in truth. We have to partner with God to bring order in our lives if we want to live a life of victory.
3. Surrender. Many of us think that surrender is a sign of weakness. Well, that's what we have been taught since we were kids. But surrendering to God means to yield ownership, to relinquish control over what we consider ours: our property, our time, our "rights. We acknowledge that all that we have is from God. Anything that is surrendered to God walks in victory! So if there are areas in your life you can't surrender then you are always defeated in that area. God will not step in when you are still in control, He will let you fight on your own until you have no more strength to fight, until you yield to Him.
During that time I had trouble surrendering my grandpa to God. If I had my way I would want my grandpa to live forever, but we all know no one lives forever. My heart was heavy and I was angry. But one night I just cried out to God, I told Him about how I felt and I confessed that I had trouble letting go. I allowed Him to fix my life by surrendering my grandpa to Him. I'm glad I did it because if I had not surrendered my grandfather to Him I would still be mourning over his death. This happened a week before grandpa died and on the day he died my heart was light and I was able to move on without ever going through depression. I walked in victory because I surrendered the one person i love and God honored that, He healed my wounds and now all I remember are the good times with my grandpa and how good the Lord had been to us.
4. Obey. An elderly woman once told me that obedience is better than sacrifice. I did not make sense right away. I had to go through a situation before I learned the lesson. Sometimes God allows us to go through something before revealing to us the meaning of His words, or before allowing us to learn the lesson. We learn the lesson as we go through the test. Obedience is connected to getting our prayers answered. If we obey what God instructed us to do, don't you think our prayers won't get answered? Of course it will!
We will never know when we will step into the moment God has been preparing for us. He is preparing us daily for something great,. He wants us prepared for that moment, of course if we want for that moment to come we have to partner with God and we have to obey his rules. Take Queen Esther, if she had not obeyed the advice of the eunuch do you think she would have been crowned queen? The eunuch prepared Esther daily , He was preparing her for something great and because Esther obeyed when that moment finally came, she was chosen by the king himself to be his queen. In my walk there are times I wish I listened and heed the counsel of my elders, it would have been easier than solving the mess that I was in.
5. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. The bible says to give thanks with a grateful heart and to give thanks to the Holy One. God loves it when we thank Him not because He is a narcissist and wants all our praises but because it is good for us. When we thank Him we do not steal the glory that belongs to Him, therefore it helps us remain humble because we do not idolize ourselves. When someone is grateful it makes us want to bless him more. I think this is the same with God. Don't you want to give more to someone who acknowledges your gift?
6. Praise your way out of the storm. Praise is a powerful weapon and the devil is afraid of it. It sends him and his cohorts running in different directions! When we praise we magnify the presence and power of God and the devil is disgusted with this. When we shout the name of Jesus in praise and worship the enemy trembles because He knows the power of that name! Praise elevates us into the presence and power of God. We forget about our cares and worries when we praise, we tap into the power of an all powerful God, the power to defeat the enemy of our souls, the power to overcome our situation and the power to resist temptation and all the attacks of the enemy. That is why the devil would rather distract us with the many things in life, like money, fame and all sorts of worldly cares to make us forget to spend time in prayer and praise because he knows we are so powerful when we are down on our knees praising God.Praise releases the sound of heaven on earth, this sound conquers all other sounds that are not from God.
During the times when grandpa was at the brink of death and that happened three times. When we praised God and we focused on His power to bring life, grandpa would come out of that situation. This was a great proof for me that there is power in praise and the power is in our mouth.
7. Claim God's promises, declare His Words. This is also called Prophetic declaration or praying the word of God. When you are praying the word of God you are agreeing with Him, you agree with his plans and purpose for your life. You are prophesying what God will do with your life in the present and in the future. The most powerful and effective prayers are found in the bible. When the enemy tells you that you are nothing but a big failure confront him with the word of God. Remember that the word is the sword of the Spirit, Declare God's word for your life, claim His promise!
8. Soak in the Word. Study the word of God, meditate on it, hide it in your heart. You do not know when you might need it. It's better to be ready. Allow the word of God to pull down the strongholds in your life and one is the stronghold of the mind. Ask God to heal your thought process, ask Him to transform your mind and hold it captive with the mind of Christ by washing it with His words.
9. Choose the right books to read, choose the right music to listen to. These things would affect your thinking and your emotions. Songs and written words are highly suggestive. I remember I used to listen to the songs of Alanis Morissette, I used to like them so much but it affected me in a very bad way, every time I sang her songs I felt angry and I would start to curse, when I came to the Lord, He specifically instruct me to do away with those kind of stuff and choose carefully what I would sing and what I would read.
10. Fellowship with fellow Christians. Forming a healthy relationship with other Christians I say is a must. We cannot stand alone, we need others to help us in our walk with God. We need others to pray for us and with us. We need spiritual leaders to guide us. I suggest that you become a member of a cell group, Ask God to lead you to a cell group where you will grow.
God's Promises For You
God's Promise to Heal
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.- 1 Peter 2:24(NIV)
"If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you." Exodus 15:26
Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. Psalms 103:2-6
Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise. Jeremiah 17:14
'Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. Jeremiah 33:6
Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth. Hosea 6:1-3
And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:2-3
And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Matthew 10:1
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces. Isaiah 25:8
God's Promises During Financial Crises
On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. 1 Corinthians 16:2
Go to the ant, sluggard; consider her ways and be wise; who, having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provides her food in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenty; but the thoughts of everyone who is hasty only to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
For the LORD your God will bless you as He has promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you. Deuteronomy 15:6
The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. Deuteronomy 28:12
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat ' or 'What will we drink ' or 'What will we wear for clothing ' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Matthew 6:31-32
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything; you may have an abundance for every good deed; 2 Corinthians 9:8
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Luke 12:7
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Malachi 3:10
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life,"whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6 :25-34
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Casting the whole of your care on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.1 Peter 5:7
God's Promises In Times Of Loss And Grief
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
For he has not despised or disdainedthe suffering of the afflicted one;he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. Psalm 22:24
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:4-5
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. Psalm 37:39
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. Psalm 46:1-2
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:18-31
For this is what the LORD says:
"I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
you will nurse and be carried on her arm
and dandled on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."
When you see this, your heart will rejoice
and you will flourish like grass;
the hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants,
but his fury will be shown to his foes.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:25-30
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: " For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.Revelation 21:4
Ready To Turn Around?
The Sinner's Prayer
I come to you in prayer asking for help
for the forgiveness of my sins.
I confess with my mouth and believe in my heart
that Jesus is your son, and that he died on the cross
at Calvary.that I might be forgiven and have eternal life in the Kingdom.
Father, I believe that Jesus rose from the dead
and I ask you right now to come into my life and be my personal Lord and Savior.
I repent of my sins and will worship you all the days of my life.
I confess with my mouth that I am born again and cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Music For The Soul
Just wanna share with you the songs that helped me through the storm reminding me of God's love for me. Hope this would lift your spirits and remind you that He will never let go of you.
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