Comforting scriptures in times of storms of life
Everyone will suffer from the storms of life. It’s inevitable. Something, somewhere, someday will go wrong. When it does, we feel like we are left floundering in the waves. We may feel adrift, even abandoned. Despite those sometimes hopeless feelings, we don’t have to weather those storms alone. Friends, family and even acquaintances are often ready to help when they can. Sometimes, though, we need a little more encouragement than the platitudes of well-meaning loved ones. We need reassurance that is tried and true, repeatedly tested and never found wanting. We know that other people have survived the same storm that is battering us; we want the advice they were given. We want what helped them hunker down and hold out until this storm of life blows over. But all is not lost for those of us who are children of the most High God. We have the scriptures that will be our comport in times of storms. When we open our Bibles we find that there are Scriptures filled with advice and reassurance to help believers survive the storms in our lives. With so many quotes at our fingertips it can be difficult to know where to start looking for comfort. There are literally hundreds to choose from, but here are seven of powerful scriptures that help us weather the storms of life.
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”
Isaiah 54:10 reminds us that no matter how bad things seem to be, the Lord is with us. From our first day to our last day, we are never alone. Even when the world seems to be falling apart around us, God loves us. The rest of Isaiah 54 goes on to describe the joys and victories that the Lord can, and will achieve. Isaiah calls for celebration of all Israel and insists that the world will improve in seemingly impossible ways, a good message for Christians today. In a time when the news would rather focus on scandal, division and strife than hope and unity, Isaiah 54:10 is a welcome reminder that we are not alone in this world. God watches over us as we struggle and as we succeed. He is with us when we stumble and loves us even when we fail. No matter what is happening in the world, He is there beside us.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah”
The storms of life can challenge even the strongest of faiths. When hardships pile up, natural disasters tear through an already suffering area or senseless death plagues a city, it can be difficult to see an all-loving and all-merciful God at work. We begin to question if God is has abandoned us. Ironically, it is in those times of distress and tragedy that we need our faith the most. Psalm 46:1–3 tells us that God is always present in times of trouble, always willing to help. We need to draw strength from His presence and use our faith to keep moving forward and help others do the same. Psalm 46:1 can also be translated to say that God is a “well proved help in trouble.” Not only is He present, but generations have sought, and received, His help in times of hardship. It can be difficult to have faith when the storms of life batter us and those we love, but it is in those times that we need God the most. Don’t let the struggles of this world chase you away from Him. Take refuge in faith instead.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
Life gets hard. Everyone knows it. We get laid off work or a family member gets sick. Many difficulties arise from sources beyond our control, but sometimes life gets hard because we choose to make it hard. We all run into times in our life where we have to make a difficult choice, where we have to take a leap of faith. We may know that it’s time to quit our job but are daunted by the idea of finding a new one. We may be preparing to move across the country and are afraid of uprooting ourselves or leaving behind those we love. It is in times like this that Isaiah 43:2 can help us take a deep breath and make a leap of faith. Isaiah 43:2 tells us that God will be with us even when we choose to take a more difficult path. Our troubles will not overwhelm us or consume us, and He will be with us every step of the way.
“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
One of the hardest things to do when the storms of life trouble us is to keep going. We want to give up in the face of adversity or wait for God to save us. Joshua 1:9 tells us, though, that God wants us to keep moving forward. He calls on us to be brave and face our fears or challenges. He will be with us to support us in our fight, whatever it may be. This advice from Joshua 1 comes during the time the Israelites are preparing to take back their homeland. They face difficult odds and have recently lost their leader, Moses. Joshua must lead a tired and divided people against dangerous enemies, yet the Lord tells him not to be dismayed for God is with him. Joshua trusted the Lord and moved forward despite the dangers; how can we do anything less in our lives today?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
Peace is never something that is easy for us to find during the storms of life, but John 14:27 reminds us that Jesus is always with us. He gave us peace that we may not be troubled, even during difficult times. When we find ourselves trapped in the storms of life, it is important to take a moment to find inner peace. Panicking or getting angry is unlikely to do anything to help us. A calm mind, though, will help us find solutions and see a way through the storm. Even if we may not be able to stop the cause of the problems, we can control how we react to it. There is nothing we can do about an earthquake striking our city or a river flooding our town. What we can do is control our reaction. We can work with our neighbors to salvage what has not been damaged. We can offer support to those who lost loved ones or take comfort from others if we ourselves are grieving. John 14:27 reminds us that God does not give to us as this world does. He gives to us because He loves us, imperfect though we are.
“do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 tells us that not only is God with us, He will help us. He will stand beside us in times of trouble and lead us through the storm. With Him, we will have the strength to weather the storms of life. Isaiah 41 is another chapter where God reminds His people that He will not forsake them. He will provide for those who trust in Him and lead His faithful to victory over their enemies. That promise has not been voided by the passage of time. Our struggle and our enemies may have changed. Many of us battle a loss of work instead of an angry warlord, but some difficulties remain constant. We still suffer from disease, disasters and death. God led His people past those challenges in centuries gone by, and He will continue to do so today. Do not fear the storms of life for God is with us. He will lead us through them however difficult it may be to believe when the storm howls around us.
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 reminds us that even the storms of life happen for a reason. In even the most challenging of times, there is a lesson we are meant to learn or a way that we are meant to grow. God does not test us or put us through times of trial without a reason. He actively works to help us, even if we cannot see it at the time. Other ancient authorities make this point in Romans 8:28 clearer. Other translations of the verse read “God makes all things work together for good” or “In all things God works for good.” God is always working towards good and sometimes trials are required. We may need some tough love or have to suffer through a difficult lesson. God is working towards good, though, regardless of whether or not we can recognize it in the moment. Think about it. All of us have had troubles that seemed senseless at the time, only for us to look back and realize that we became stronger for it. God works towards the good of His people, we just don’t always remember that when we are learning an unpleasant lesson.
Comforting thought for the week
Everyone will struggle with the storms of life at some point. They may be of our own making or pressed upon us by an external source. Regardless of where they originate, the Bible offers us reassurance and encouragement to keep moving forward. The Scriptures remind us that we are never alone in our times of trial and that God will see us through our suffering. He works for good and loves us always, even if we may struggle to understand the lesson He is teaching us in the moment.