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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 6:02 am | Fair 43º


Jim Langley: Confronting the Storms of Life

Compared to hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis, the storms we experience in our personal and business lives may seem inconsequential, but they can cause irreparable damage in our lives as well. We can rebuild or relocate from natural disasters, but the internal storms we face may be much more difficult to repair.

When I returned from Vietnam after serving 18 months in that infamous conflict, no one had any idea what effect the war had taken on those who patriotically served. Over the years I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on the impact that time had on me personally. After two failed marriages, you would think a guy would realize there was something causing such instability.

But let’s look at the storms of life on a more general level.

What types of storms might we possibly encounter during our existence? There will be financial storms such as the loss of a job, the loss of a business, out-of-control debt, bad investments and possibly bankruptcy.

There will be personal storms such as unfounded rumors and outright lies spread maliciously, loss of friendships, accusations, infidelity and perhaps divorce.

We also will face health storms too numerous to mention, but eventually we will all succumb to death unless the Lord returns before we take our final breath. So, we need to consider just how we will handle the many inevitable storms we will certainly face.

Paul understood the storms of life. In 2 Timothy 3:10-11, he shares with the younger Timothy, “You, however, know about all my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings — what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.”

In Hebrews 12:2, the writer instructs us “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

We can’t very well depend on a personal strategist to forewarn us of all the dangers that may well lie ahead. The storms we will face are only known by our Heavenly Father, and there’s no way we can know the timing of those storms of life.

The good news is we don’t have to go through those storms alone. In Hebrews 10:25, we are reminded “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

We are living in tenuous times and we’d be wise to not go it on our own.

Personally my Comforter, the Holy Spirit, is the One I truly want to lead me through the valley experiences I will certainly face.

In Psalm 23:4, King David proclaims “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

I find those words consoling as I await the future storms that I know will come. Yes, the ultimate storm will be death, which can come slowly accompanied by great pain the process.

In conclusion, Jesus prophesies in John 16:32-33, “But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things so you might have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Those of us who know Christ personally have assurance that we are not alone, since the Holy Spirit dwells in us and provides the peace that transcends all understanding. It’s not too late to come to Jesus! He awaits your plea for help.

Passages to Ponder

» Job 38:1-7

» Psalm 22:25-28

» Luke 8:22-25

» Philippians 4:6-7

» James 4:7-10

» 1 Peter 3:13-17

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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