I have the privilege and responsibility of pastoring an amazing creative team at my Church. I’m constantly blessed by their willingness to serve and to give of themselves, over and above what ever is asked of them.
In and amongst their service of Jesus, I’m often shocked by the various storms that life brings the way of the individuals in the team. In any given week, it’s almost guaranteed that someone will be facing a seemingly insurmountable struggle.
I’ve had the honour of walking with people as they seek to remain faithful through the storms of life. I’ve seen people do it well and I’ve witnessed some who unfortunately don’t. I’ve realised that the ones who endure, who have strength even at the worst of times, are those who have given of themselves in the good times.
Faith isn’t just for the hard times!
It seems to be human nature to cry out to God when we’ve lost control of life. Even non-Christians do that. The worst happens, and all of a sudden we’re praying and seeking help. God is faithful and He does hear those cries, but it seems the people who have prepared their lives, before the crisis, are the ones who also have peace in and through the crisis.
Faith remains even after the crisis.
God created his Church as a community. The place He has ordained for us to outwork our lives and our faith, is within the Church. In my experience, the people who come through the trials of life, full of faith and head held high, are those whose lives were insperable from the church, their community of faith, before the trouble hit.
To prepare for the storm that may hit your life, you need to be ministering, caring, giving to each other, not just leaving this to your Pastor. We all need to be doing this. We all need to live ready for whatever may come our way.
Here’s just four places to start actively preparing to endure the storms of life;
1. Personal Devotion.
It’s amazing what God will prepare us for if we’re diligent in our personal devotion. Read, study and meditate on the Bible everyday. Pray and spend time in adoration and worship of God everyday, without fail. These simple disciplines will begin to create a foundation that will help you endure any storm.
2. Commitment to regular Church attendance.
View your attendance at church not as a religious obligation, but as a time of input and output. In other words, receive from the preaching of God’s word, allow it to build you up and to grow your faith. Also, give of yourself before, during, and after the services. Be involved wholeheartedly. Encourage those around you. Be friendly, and proactively care for the needs of others. Save seats for your friends and look out for those who may be new. Be the community you long to see, experience, and expect from others.
3. Participate in a small/connect group.
Be a part of a connect group, but more that just turning up, participate. Be ready to give of your time, your thinking and your actions. Be persistently friendly and caring for those in your group. Let these people into your life, give of yourself and do all you can to be involved in their lives.
4. Find area of service.
Find a place within your local Church to serve. In giving of ourselves in service of others, you will be built up. It is in serving God’s community that we find connection, care, and enduring friendships. Serving will help you to live beyond yourself and to see that you’re not alone in the storms that you’re enduring.
There’s nothing new under the sun…
For anyone who’s been a member of a local Church, these things will not be new to you. They’re not new, but they are the foundational building blocks of a life securely built on Jesus and what He says He will build… His Church.
When we build our lives on the solid foundation of Jesus, His word, and His Church, it doesn’t matter what comes our way, we will be able to endure.
I encourage you to take some time to prayerfully consider which of these areas you may be neglecting. Then, make a commitment to move your life towards a more secure foundation, by adjusting your life in one, or more of these four areas.
As a result, I’m sure you’ll always be in the best position possible to endure any storm that comes your way. And, you’re sure to be a blessing to others as they endure the trials in their lives.
Over to you…
Please add your thoughts, comments and questions in the section below. Thanks.