The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, says the Prophet Nahum. The one who praises the goodness of the Lord in the 107th Psalm tells us that the Lord commanded and raised the stormy wind, to chastise and to humble, that his people might see His wonderful works.
Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, when they were tossed by the angry waves and the Lord brought them out and led them to the desired haven. And when the storm had done its work, the Lord stilled it.
The Lord had His way in the storm.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble.
This is the old, solid way. This is the way the king of Judah and the people went, when the mighty army of Syria came against them. II Chron. 20.
King Jehoshaphat's prayer ended in this: "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are turned unto Thee."
They were sorely perplexed and stood there absolutely helpless. The whirlwind roared all about them, but in the very midst of it, it was quiet. Into this the distressed sought to come: And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their sons. But they stood declaring their own spiritual bankruptcy: "We do not know what to do."
What a simple faith: "Our eyes are turned unto Thee." A such complete trusting in the Lord of the helpless soul is pleasing to the Lord. Such child-like simplicity he can never disappoint.
The next morning the enemies' army lay there slain, having fought one against the other-none escaped. But not a single one of the men of Judah lost his life. Then the people won rich spoils, and assembled in the Valley of Praise to honor and sing praises to the Lord their deliverer.
The Lord had His way in the whirlwind.
The day of distress was turned into a day of great strengthening of faith. May you, distressed soul, take this lesson to heart: you who are tossed about in the storm, like a weather-beaten dove, and has found no help. With the Lord there is a quiet place of peace, when the stormy wind is raging.
Seek this quiet place!
For in the time of trouble He shall hide you in His pavilion (little cottage). In the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide you. Ps. 27:5. "How often His power has roses out of thorns brought."
More than 50 years ago a man came from his mission work in Portugal to visit his home country, America. On the way home a terrific storm arose, so the ship had to seek haven at the Azore Island out in the great Ocean-1,000 miles from Portugal and 2,000 miles from New York. The islanders are under Portuguese dominion.
They lay for anchor at the city Ponta de Gada on the island of St. Michael for several weeks.
While the great storm was raging, the warmhearted American Christian labored for his Master, and during these weeks he led six men to Christ. The very first people to be converted in that town.
When he left, he promised to send them a missionary from America. But this proved to be easier said than done: No mission society would promise support, and no one wanted to go.
But then one of his sisters stepped forward and volunteered to go; and off she went-on the way of faith. Two more came later. Hidden away, as it were, out in the great Atlantic Ocean, these three sisters, Louise, Mary and Ellen Wright did a wonderful work for the Lord from year to year, to the salvation of many souls.
When the storm drove their brother out of his course and stopped him on the way then it was the Lord Himself who took hold of the helm and led him to the place He had decided.
The Lord has His way in the storm.
Jesus had fed the 5,000. The people were enthusiastic: It should be great to have Him for their king. Read John 6. For the twelve it felt like a special distinction to be one of His men now. It had never been so popular with the discipleship before.
But just as the enthusiasm was at its very highest, Jesus constrained His disciples to enter theboat, and He sent the people home; He Himself went up into a mountain alone to pray.
A marvelous Master!
Yes, He constrained, and just about forced them to enter the boat. See Matt. 14 and Mark 6.
But this night His disciples met the storm: the boat labored hard against the waves. The wind was contrary. It got to be a toilsome boat-trip. But the Master did not let them out of sight; He saw they were in distress, and then He came to them.
Surely a marvelous Master: First He compels His disciples to go into a storm, then His eye watches them in their struggle against the stormy wind and waves, and when their distress is the greatest, then He comes Himself to them with His comfort and with His Joyful sense of safety.
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The day had been wonderful and rich in events. There the disciples went about distributing the five loaves and the two little fishes-and supply grew and grew between their fingers. An entire five thousand men were filled now; how many women and children in addition, we do not know, and still there were twelve baskets of leavings gathered up. Indeed, Jesus did not teach the people to be reckless in the handling of food.
It was a great day. The admiration for Jesus seemed to know no bounds. It was a day of incomparable sunshine for the twelve.
In the Christian life there are happy and prosperous periods. When Jesus gets much out of little, when His wonderful power is shining through, when the glory of being His disciple is felt to be a living reality, when the soul is joyful in the happy fellowship of Jesus.
Indeed, this joy is of fundamental character in a sound and true Christian life.
Even in the day of trial and in the dark night of the storm, this calm, deep joy in God is the sustaining power.
The joy in the Lord is your strength.
But in days of joy and exaltation it is not a long way to pride and swollen words in the heart of the disciples, due to the weakness of the flesh.
And then Jesus, in His deep concern for His own, will have to lead them out into a storm, where the boat must struggle hard against wind and waves.
For He desires to hold His own down as a poor and humble people.
"When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy trials to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress."
A marvelous night after a wonderful day!
That night Jesus appeared like an apparition to His disciples, when He came walking on the sea. They did not know Him, and they cried out in great fright. That night Peter had his faith tested by walking on the waters-and sank. But that night they saw the raging storm turned into a great calm -when Jesus entered the boat. During this sailing-trip the disciples of Jesus obtained a clearer vision of their Master than ever before: They fell
down before Him and confessed Him to be the son of God.
The storm ended well. It led the followers of Jesus into a deeper spiritual fellowship with the Lord.
Blessed be every storm which grants us a humble spirit and a clearer vision of what we possess in our Lord and Savior!
Jacob Tronhus was minister of the Fron parish, Gudbrandsdalen, Norway, from 1830 to 1850. At that time there happened to be a year with a very dry summer. The parish-helper, or deacon, Torger Graav and one of the pastor's neighbors went on a Saturday night to request of the preacher to pray for heaven's rain from the pulpit next day-upon the parched earth.
The pastor answered: "Yes I am willing to pray for rain, my dear Torger, but I hardly believe it will help so long as this north wind is blowing.''
We present-day Christians smile at these words. For we are wiser than this. We know, of course, that the Almighty God is able to turn the north wind-or to still it-when it pleases Him.
But still-do we really believe it?
Does not our faith stumble between this and that which comes upon us as a sweeping north wind?
If our condition had not been thus and thus, our prayers could be answered. If it were not for this and that thing in the way, the blessing would come from God!
This is the way we reason it out and calculate. We measure God up with the impossibilities within us and the many hindrances around us-till we are about to lose faith in a God who is able to do something for us.
"He that observers the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap," says the Wise Man. Eccl. 11:4. It leads to laziness and starvation instead of a rich and happy Christian life with boldness of faith and trust in the power of God.
We need a great God in these days, a God who gives advice and help in our perplexed and helpless condition. We have, indeed, a great God.
"I know that thou canst do everything, and no thought can be impossible for Thee to carry out'' (Norse translation), said the man who was tried in heavy afflictions. Job 42:2.
Let us pin our faith onto Him!
"Jesus knows all about our struggles,
He will guide till the day is done."
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