Calm in the Storm

On Sunday, my church family was presented with an assignment for the week, if we were so inclined to accept. As we study and review together who Jesus is, the challenge put forth is to spend the week reading through the book of Mark. This morning, through the reading of chapters 3-5, two passages presented parts of of the nature of who Jesus is, in mighty ways.

 

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. – (Mark 4:39) This first passage attests to both the power of Jesus, and how He is indeed worthy of our trust. Though the disciples were distressed and afraid in the sudden storm and panicked because Jesus was asleep, the moment they turned to Jesus, He stood, spoke, and all was still. The very same presence that silenced the storm, dwells within the hearts of all who believe. Wind and waves may toss us about, but Christ will keep us from going under. At times, He will calm the chaos around us, but more often, He will silence the storm within so that we are able to see the storm through His eyes, instead of our own.

 

The second passage that struck a chord with me this morning, is the interaction between Jesus and Jairus, the synagogue ruler, when men from his house brought news that his daughter had died. Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” – (Mark 5:36) Jesus is the God of comfort and compassion, and He does not want us to be afraid. I cannot imagine what must have gone through the mind of Jairus, as Jesus told him to “just believe.” Hope? Resolve? Curiosity? It was likely quite overwhelming and all a bit surreal. First, he knew his daughter was gravely ill. Then, Jairus was brought news that his daughter was dead. Now, standing before him, the Savior spoke hope that he could hold onto. Jesus is still the same today. When all seems hopeless, He is hope. Nothing is impossible for Him. He who set the stars in the sky and hand-crafted each human before their first cries were ever heard, can do immeasurably more than we can fathom.

 

He’s calm in the storm,Calm in the Storm

peace when there is none;

hope in the heartache,

our safe space to run.

He’ll speak to the wind,

and help us believe;

when fear overwhelms,

or our hearts are grieved.

Our Source of comfort,

when chaos, it reigns;

power to defeat,

death by Jesus’ Name.

Do not be afraid,

in Christ, just believe;

all that He offers,

is ours to receive.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus is powerful and worthy of all of our trust. Thank You too, Jesus, that You are comforting and compassionate. Thank You that You know us and love us, in spite of ourselves. Thank You that there is nothing that we face nor go through that You are not both present and able to walk us through. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of faith. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might lean into You all the more, rather than run or try to stand in our own strength in the storms. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they may see Your comfort, compassion and strength through us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your power to see us through the storms, and receive Your comfort when we are afraid. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

Steer Clear of Speculation’s Snare

And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.” – (Revelation 10:4, NIV)

 

I was about to write what the thunders said when a voice from heaven called to me, “Don’t do it. Their words are not to be revealed.” – (Revelation 10:4, TLB)

 

This passage is the latter part of what God revealed to John in Revelation. As he was being shown what would come to pass at the end, John was told not to record what he had seen. Daniel too, had been told to withhold some of what he had been shown, when God had given him visions. (Daniel 12:9) We need not know the time nor day, but rather Him who will be our hiding place, on that great and terrible day. “God has revealed all we need to know to live for him now. In our desire to be ready for the end, we must not place more emphasis on speculation about the last days than on living for God while we wait.” – (NIV footnotes for Revelation 10:4)

 

No one knows the time,IMG_0193

the day, nor the hour;

when Christ shall return,

in His great power.

We’re not to worry,

so much about when;

instead, be prepared,

live life free from sin.

Invest well our days,

in things of the Lord;

pursue holiness,

embrace hope’s reward.

Seek first our Savior,

and all soon shall be;

standing before Him,

no more mystery.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we know not when You will return, we need not worry, if we are in relationship with You. Thank You that You are our safe space, and our shelter in the storms. Thank You that no matter what comes, our ultimate victory is assured in You. Forgive us for our fearfulness, as the unknown is a frightening space to speculate about. Teach us to trust You completely, and to rest assured in the security and safety of Your peace and presence right now. May we love others as we are loved my You, and may many come to know the safety and hope that is held in relationship with You alone. Be glorified as we go forth in Your grace, fixing our focus on You for today. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

To Turn from Temptation

Temptation is a funny thing – the longer we learn to stand strong against it, the more subtle it becomes. All of us are and will continue to be tempted. It is a matter of how we choose to face that which lies before us, that will determine whether or not we will overcome that which is luring us away from God’s very best for us.

 

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” – (I Corinthians 10:13)

 

Despite society’s state of seeming moral decay, there are no temptations that are new to mankind. Everyone has to face some sort of dilemma and make a choice. Many who have gone before us, have faced and overcome the same sort of obstacles. God will grant us all that we need to resist every temptation under the sun. Wisdom is also granted by God, to recognize people, places and situations that tempt us to succumb to sin. We must steer clear of such spaces. Choose what is right. If we seek God, and His help, asking Him to guide us to friends whom will help us resist temptation, rather than fall into it, He will be faithful to answer. Lastly, run from settings where sin is inevitable. Why subject oneself to testing that is unnecessary and foolish?

 

Temptations come,To Turn from Temptation

to all mankind;

God is faithful,

to help toe the line.

We must seek Him,

for His help, ask;

to overcome,

never a small task.

Flee from wicked,

resist what’s known;

seek God and friends,

don’t just face alone.

Seek His wisdom,

ask for His grace;

stand firm in Christ,

there’s no safer space.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our faithful and present help, always. Thank You that we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear, and that You will always provide a way out for us. Forgive us for not heeding Your warnings, and for ignoring Your still small voice, when we have given in to temptations. Teach us to be tender to Your voice, and not only quick to hear, but immediate to obey. May we overcome temptations that are placed before us, and walk victorious in You. Let our love lead those who are looking, straight into Your loving arms. May many come to know You, personally, as their salvation and safety. Be glorified in our every word and deed, as we flee from temptation and stand strong in all that You are asking. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

The song Overcomer, by Mandisa, came to mind as I was finishing up.  Please click the title to enjoy!  🙂

 

 

A Friend

A Friend

My sister and very first friend…

Trustworthy and kind,

honest from the start;

willing to listen,

with all of her heart.

One who will stand up,

when things are not right;

she’ll know when to fold,

and when she’s to fight.

One who truly sees,

beyond my brave face;

extends hands and heart,

creating safe space.

Able to share laughs,

and stay close through tears;

willing to speak truth,

despite her own fears.

She loves at all times,

even when it’s hard;

’tis a blessed choice,

in highest regard.

For such friends to us,

make Christ seem so near;

may we too go forth,

ambassadors here.

“A friend loves at all times…” – (Proverbs 17:17a)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of friends that You have given to us. I am continually in awe of how much of You I see in those around me through their kindness and love. Thank You that You love us so much that You give us one another to demonstrate more of Yourself to each other. Forgive us for withholding what we were meant to share, or not honoring another as You would call us to do. Please show us how to see all people through Your eyes, so that we may extend the same love and grace that You give to us, and that we might honor and encourage each other in the purpose You have placed in us. May our love for others lead many to a lasting relationship with You, our Father and Friend. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.