“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:15-18
Do you believe that the Lord hears our prayers and delivers us from our troubles?
Obeying God doesn’t mean exemption from trials, nor does it mean that obedience is easy. Often obedience is the hardest thing we do, but we do it because we’re committed to Him. Christ obeyed His Father all the way to the cross. It surely wasn’t easy.
We sometimes think that because we’re doing what God has told us to do, it shouldn’t be hard. We read an amazing description of what it was like for the disciples to battle a raging storm at sea in Matthew 14:22–33. They had been crossing the Sea of Galilee since evening. Darkness had fallen, and they were rowing against the wind.
Most boats had sails, but we are told that the disciples were rowing. A sail wouldn’t have helped in this storm anyway. Their boat was just too small, and the waves were too big. These disciples were pretty sure they wouldn’t make it to dawn. They believed this was their final chapter.
Why were they in a boat at night? Because earlier in the evening Jesus told them to get in the boat and cross the sea. About 3:00 a.m., they saw what they believed to be a ghost—and it was walking on the water toward them!
These men were already physically and mentally exhausted. Now they were terrified. But Jesus shouted His identity to them and calmed their fears—as well as the waves. The disciples could have said, “Lord, why are we in this storm? We’re only doing what You told us to do! We’re simply being obedient. So why has this been so difficult? So exhausting?”
Jesus replaced their fear and exhaustion with solid God confidence. And He’ll do that for you, too! When you find yourself fighting storms in the midst of obedience, look up. You’ll always see Jesus right in front of you.
Lord, help me to handle the highs and lows of life. Help me to stay close to You. Amen