Pastor’s Ponderings: A Stormy Month

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Pastors Ponderings | 0 comments

 Pastor Jim sent the following devotional on 2/28/15…


Greetings Friends:

PLEASE READ: Mark 4:35-41

On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”


SnowBench-100_1910The weather during the month of February for many on the receiving end of this email has produced many cold days and nights while giving us a fair share of wintry precipitation (For those of you in other lands who have enjoyed warmth and sunshine, God bless you!). For many of us the opening lines of a familiar song are resounding, “Well, the weather outside is frightful….” The weather is much like our lives. Some days are sunny and we feel good and then suddenly all can change and leave us feeling cold, gloomy, and wondering if this will ever pass.

The Scripture passage cited above reminds us that even when we go through storms of any kind in this life, our great God and Savior Jesus is “in the boat” with us and we can call out to Him at anytime.

One of the great hymns of the church was originally titled, “My God is the Rock of My Refuge.” I share the following story behind the hymn and the lyrics and pray we all will be encouraged.

Ira Sankey found the poem which makes up this hymn in a small newspaper in London (The Postman). He then wrote the melody and chorus that is simple to sing and easy to remember. The catchy tune and uplifting words work well to help many people through all kinds of storms of life, whether they are related to the weather, spiritual battles or just tough circumstances.

Rock-cliffs-404051__180It is reported that this poem was a favorite of fishermen who had to weather the frequent storms of the northern coast of England, and was often heard being sung by the fishermen as they came into the harbors during a storm. In 1885, Ira Sankey copyrighted the text with his music and chorus. It was titled “My God Is the Rock of My Refuge.” It was based on the following verse:

Psalm 94:22, “But the LORD is my defense; And my God is the rock of my refuge.

The hymn was first published in one of Ira Sankey’s song books: Sacred Songs and Solos and Gospel Hymns No. 5.

1. The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide.   A shelter in the time of storm;   Secure whatever ill betide, A shelter in the time of storm. ( refrain)

2. A shade by day, defense by night,   A shelter in the time of storm;    No fears alarm, no foes affright,  A shelter in the time of storm. ( refrain)

3. The raging storms may round us beat,  A shelter in the time of storm;  We’ll never leave our safe retreat,  A shelter in the time of storm. ( refrain)

4. O Rock divine, O Refuge dear,  A shelter in the time of storm;  Be Thou our helper ever near,   A shelter in the time of storm; ( refrain)

REFRAIN O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,   A weary land, a weary land;  O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,  A shelter in the time of storm.

Friends, what a comfort, what an encouragement to know that our Blessed Lord is in the midst of the storm with us.

He will not forsake us (Hebrews 13:5c)…

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,   “Never will I leave you;  never will I forsake you.”  NIV

He will be with us always (Matthew 28:20b)…

… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  NIV

Our great God is with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9)…

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.      NIV

Over and over, the Bible tells us that God is with us in the middle of the storm.  Here are just a few of them:  (all quotes from The Living Bible)

The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.
Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them. You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land. 8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.

Storms will come and storms will go. But the faithfulness and goodness of our God is unchanging! The Lord is your rock, my rock, and in Him we hide! Praise God!


Pastor Jim



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