Jesus Will Be With Us in the Storms of Life, Even When We Doubt

“Lord, if it is really You, then tell me to meet You on the water,” Peter called to Jesus who walked on the water to be with His disciples.

“Come.”

Peter boldly stepped out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. But then he took his eyes off of Jesus. He focused on the boisterous waves swirling around him.

“Lord, save me!” he cried out as fear and desperation choked him and the sea threatened to swallow him.

Did Jesus let him drown? No, He Immediately reached down His hand and caught him.

I can almost imagine the sorrow in Jesus’ eyes as He said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

I don’t believe Jesus said it to condemn Peter but to plead with him to keep his eyes focused on Him, not on the storm. And He questioned him, so Peter would question and examine himself.

This story (Matthew 14:22-34) has often been used by God to strengthen me. I identify with Peter and his dancing back and forth between faith and fear. And yet, even though Jesus knew Peter would grievously deny Him in the future and even though Peter doubted His power to keep him on top of the water when he saw and felt the power of the storm, Jesus didn’t give up on him. Jesus will never, ever abandon us and let us drown, no matter how much we doubt Him. His faithfulness, love, and compassion are limitless.

It’s so easy to be swallowed up in the storms of life, isn’t it? As I look back on my life, there were many times when wave after wave crashed over me and the undercurrent of doubt and despair sucked me under. 

But God! I know now that He was keeping me from drowning even when I felt like not even He cared or understood me.

Relief from my troubles and despair didn’t always come immediately. Often it was just a quiet strength to help me keep putting one foot in front of the other. In hindsight I see more of the depth of His amazing love and faithfulness that upheld me. How He reached out and pulled me up, how He brought my limp body and spirit to the shore of His grace and breathed life into me, how He carried me when I had no strength to keep going. Again and again… And He still does…

May God strengthen and calm you with His love
and grace in the midst of life’s storms!

Are you in one of life’s storms right now?

What has been the greatest storm in your life?

What verses calm you in the midst of the storm?

Sometimes He Calms the Storm
by Scott Krippayne

“…Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child…”

Everyone Needs Compassion

compassion-butterfly

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12

Everyone needs compassion. Everyone longs for kindness and caring. For someone who is willing to help. They need someone who will see behind their masks or dismissing words. They need someone to validate that their pain is real and worthy of attention. They need someone to “be like Jesus” to them.

A couple of weeks ago I read a blog post that gave a beautiful example of compassion. Ceil Ryan describes how her friend felt her life was “out of control.” That her friend said, “I feel like I’m drowning… Well. I guess it could be worse.”

“It could be worse.” Instead of agreeing with her, Ceil validated her feelings and struggles as real and she looked past that statement and saw a hurting soul. She writes, “The pain, stress and worry she is feeling is real. She’s sharing so her struggle can be recognized. It calls out to me, begging to be carried, and to be respected as a burden too heavy to carry right now.”

Ceil’s willingness to look past dismissing words personally validated my hurts, too. I have read other posts or comments to mine that also validate my pain (and I thank God for you all), but too often I dismiss it and don’t allow it to instill more compassion towards myself. Sure, I’m learning to open up and write more about my struggles, but I often say to myself “It could be worse. Appreciate that and be thankful for what you have.” In this way I deny my struggles, whether with chronic illness, the lingering triggers of past abuse, emotional pain, loss, and other stress or worry in life. This inhibits me from grieving as I should. And I’m realizing it drives a wedge in my relationship with a loving and compassionate Savior. When I don’t want to admit I hurt to myself because “it could be worse” or “I need to count my blessings,” I continue to carry my own burdens, even though others are willing to bear the burden with me. And sometimes I don’t feel I deserve to be carried. And I get weighted down and don’t share my hurts with Jesus. I don’t feel the driving need to unburden my pain to Him or let Him carry it.

Even though Jesus knows every deep recess of our hearts, He still wants us to admit we hurt and to unload our pain and struggles to Him. To admit we are helpless without Him. With Him, not one thing we suffer is “too little” to be acknowledged and mentioned. His heart is full of compassion for us.

When we have compassion, we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and really feel for them. What an absolutely perfect example we have in Jesus. He put Himself in our shoes and suffered in our place. And He still does as He watches over each of us, carrying our sorrow and our pain. He sees into our very souls and shares in our tears. He never dismisses our pain. He never says His pain is so much greater than anything we suffer, so we have nothing to complain about. He never says anything we hurt about is “too little” for Him to care about. He hears our buried longings begging to be carried by Him.

Yes, it can always be worse, but this doesn’t mean our pain isn’t real. Wherever we are feeling pain, stress, or heartache, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially, etc., it’s worthy of attention. There are people who by God’s grace will show compassion, who are willing to help ease our burdens. Please don’t get discouraged if you cannot find them and if you are getting beaten down again and again. You are worthy of love and compassion. Remember, dear friends… There is one perfect Compassion-Giver Who cares so deeply, will never slight or belittle our concerns, and will never turn us away. He wants us to acknowledge we’re hurting and to freely bring all our burdens to Him. He not only loves to carry our burdens, but He even delights in doing so. And when we have no more strength to go on, He will gently lift us and carry us through.

“Because of Your great compassion
You did not abandon them in the wilderness.
By day the pillar of cloud did not fail
to guide them on their path,

nor the pillar of fire by night
to shine on the way they were to take.”

Nehemiah 9:19

“But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
Psalm 86:15

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them,
because they were harassed and helpless,
like sheep without a shepherd.”
Matthew 9:36

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.”
2 Corinthians 1:3

“Compassion Hymn”
by Keith and Kristyn Getty

“And with compassion for the hurting You reached out Your hand,
As the lame ran to meet You and the dead breathed again.
You saw behind the eyes of sorrow and shared in our tears;
Heard the sigh of the weary, let the children draw near.”

Thank You, Lord Jesus,
for your unfailing compassion.
Please make us more like You with hearts
full of compassion towards the hurting.

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus

Jesus

A Troubled Heart Cries

My body aches and is so weary, Lord

Coughing wracks my ribs

Waking me in the night

Brain fog muffles my thinking

I’m so tired of being tired, Lord

My heart is discouraged

Because of unanswered prayers

For those I hold dear

Unmet longings

Leave empty aches

And my heart is sad

Because of my doubting

Your mercy and faithfulness

I’m weary in body and soul

I want to go to You forever

But it isn’t yet Your time for me

My story is not yet finished

I want to trust You, Lord

I know I can pour out my heart to You always

But please help me to focus my eyes

On what You have suffered for me, Lord

Oh, so incomprehensibly more

Than anyone else has ever suffered

What humiliation and degradation

What rejection and abandonment

What pain as the whip lashed Your back

And the reed slammed the thorns into Your head

What agony as Your flesh stretched

From the nails of the cross

So alone and forsaken

Angry, accusing, mocking words

Pierced the heart of Your soul

Yet no matter how filled You were

With inexpressible anguish

And extreme fatigue

You suffered with joy

Of what You would gain for us

Your heart overflowing with love

For sinners like me

Thank You, Precious Jesus!

Godwhispers

Yes, My precious child

Pour out your troubled heart

But fix your eyes upon Me

For the joy set before Me

I endured the cross

Scorning its shame

Out of love for your soul

Consider Me who endured

Such opposition

From evil men

So that You will not

Grow weary

And lose heart

Do not be discouraged

Because of grief here on earth

Trials are meant to mold You

More into My image

So that you also can

Love others as I love you

Fix your eyes upon Me

My precious child

As I hold your hand

and lead you in this life

And when you are too weary to walk

I will carry you

Gently and lovingly

Be strong and courageous

Your story here is

Not yet finished

I am writing it

So be assured

All that’s broken

Will surely become beautiful

And will glorify Me

Your ever-faithful

Your deeply loving

Savior and Friend.

Can We Give Up All for Jesus?

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
the Author and Finisher 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.
Consider Him who endured
such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

~ Hebrews 12:2-3

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“Blessings” by Laura Story

May we fix our eyes on Jesus
and His suffering for us!
Oh, how He loves us!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

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