What does that look like exactly and really how is that possible?

I will say, it does take practice to have complete and total faith through the storm. It is a process I believe that we mature and grow into – if we allow ourselves to be CHANGED!

I have been through a LOT of challenging things in my life and today, I look forward to the next challenge. Not that I look for the uncomfortable places in life, but because I know that through the uncomfortable circumstances that we travel, amazing things happen and amazing growth is experienced! I would not be the warrior I am today if I did not believe that!

I too used to say “WHY ME LORD, WHY ME?”, but today I say “SHOW ME LORD, GROW ME LORD!”

The saying ”God will not give us more than we can handle” is actually not in the bible directly, but I have been guilty of hanging on to those words and thinking to myself, “WOW, God sure must think I can handle a LOT”. Those words have helped me more than a time or two to grab those boot straps and put on my big girl panties!! But the truth is God loves us and will protect us.

“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Peter shares with us above that as Christians we should not be surprised when fiery trials come our way, but I love best how James puts it…

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” ‭‭James‬ ‭1:2–4‬ ‭NLT

I don’t know about you, but James words greatly empower me. The Bible is loaded with amazing guidance and I LOVE pouring myself into it. I used to greatly struggle to try to read and understand the Bible, but while I was sick I purchase the NLT Inspire Bible that just speaks to me! I encourage you to make it a practice to read the word – it is SO powerful and comforting!

Sure, we all want God’s will to line up with our ideals, BUT that is not always the case so rather than worrying about an outcome, I have just learned to trust that the outcome will eventually be bigger, better and more amazing than anything I could have possibly imagined!

In my opinion, worry is a waste of life, time and a good mind. Don’t get me wrong, I used to worry about EVERYTHING, but I have found such a peace with the close walk I have with Jesus and I have found a better use for my time.

“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:27‬ ‭NLT

Do you know what to do when you feel worry and stress setting in? My suggestion is that you pull closer to God – pause and take time to give your worries to him. I also dive into his word and if I struggle to absorb his word at that time, I turn to a devotional that I have used for years, Jesus Calling (they also have a child and teen version of this devotional) which is written so well and just seems to be pertinent ALL the time. Then you are no longer carrying those weights – he will carry them for you!

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The storms we go through in life have the ability to change us. We can grow positively or we can grow negatively, but that my friends are a choice.

The truth is, without change there is no growth. When we have the right attitude every experience-positive and negative- becomes an opportunity for progress.

“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
‭‭[2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:18‬ ‭NLT]‬‬ (http://bible.com/116/2co.3.18.nlt)

I’d like to encourage you to view your storms and valleys in a positive light. I know that sounds crazy, but I promise you, through the storm, good things will be gained, progress will be made and transformation will take place. In order to be the full persons/warriors that we need to be and become, we need to walk out our walk in faith. I look at the storms and valleys as my challenge in life to improvise, adapt, overcome and TRUST.

I know I have referenced James above, but he just puts it so well… Can you tell this is a favorite verse?

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” ‭‭James‬ ‭1:2–4‬ ‭NLT‬

There is also something I believe that many Christians overlook and that is the power we have been given in Christ Jesus. We have the power to send the enemy packing and not to listen to his lies which is 99.9% why our storms and valleys are so tough. We allow him to cause us to worry! I have learned to view it very differently, you see, I see him for what he is and I laugh at him! When you start to do that – it is quite amazing to see how sad and lame his attempts become. He knows that he can no longer get you, trust me, he will continue to try, but once you see the spiritual attacks for what they are, they no longer have any power over you! It is an AMAZING thing!

As a friend shared with me the other day and I believe this 100%, ”Life is 10% circumstance and 90% perspective”! Think about that a bit… (Thanks Brent!) Our perspective on life can be a Game Changer!

So, please remember that the negative things you experience in life are NOT from God, but from the enemy trying to trip you up.

“Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew‬ ‭28:18–20‬ ‭NLT

So stop worrying and stop trying to figure God out and just simply TRUST him!

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8–9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”  2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16–18‬ ‭NLT

As you go through varying storms and valleys in life, keep your feet firmly planted and keep your eyes focused upward!

Gandhi said, “You may never know what results come from your actions, but if you do nothing there will be no results.”

In other words, stay persistent and keep moving forward rather than staying stagnant in the storm. Put your faith in HIM, push forward, never ask why and NEVER GIVE UP!

Mark Twain said, ”Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

What are some ways you cope through your storms?