Summary: A brief devotion used to open a meeting. Intended to encourage one another to remain strong during the storms of life.
Till the Storm Passes By
Intro: Have you ever noticed how that it can rain on one side of town and not on the other? Or maybe even on one side of the street and not the other? Even tornadoes have a relatively narrow path of destruction. I have seen places where homes on one side of the street were heavily damaged while on the other side they suffered only minor damage.
The word “storm” appears some 34 times in the bible. The first time is in Exodus 9. It is actually the seventh plague on Egypt. “So Moses lifted his staff toward the sky, and the sent thunder and hail, and lighting struck the earth. Never in all the history of Egypt had there been a storm like since become a nation.”
You would think that the great flood of Noah would have been the first storm but actually it is described as more of a rain event instead of a storm.
The great psalmist David knew what it was like to be in the storms of life. “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this violent storm is past.” Psalm 57:1
In 1939, Mosie Lister studied music at the Vaughan School of Music in Tennessee. He began his musical career as a singer before World War II. He then served four years in the Navy. He came back and continued singing in several other quartets. He became the original baritone for the "Statesmen. Quartet." In 1953, he formed the Mosie Lister Publishing Company, which later merged and became a major part of the sheet music of Lifeway Books stores today. He became a hymn writer. Perhaps his most famous song is “’Til The Storm Passes By.”
The prophet Isaiah knew a lot about storms. He mentions storms a full 10 different times through the writings of Isaiah.
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Amos all talk about the storms they had to endure. The whole book of Jonah is about a storm.
Isaiah 25:4 “You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall and like the heat of the desert.”
There is at least 4 times in the New Testament that Jesus and the disciples are mentioned as being in the midst of the storm.
Paul twice records such terrible storms raged and being unabated for many days, “blotting out the sun and the stars, until at last all hope was gone.”
We know “John Wesley’s famous storm experience" aboard the ship heading toward America. He observed the faith of the Moravians in the midst of such a life threatening storm that helped him begin to rethink his own trust and faith in God.
Where would be in our spiritual journey without storms? Let's pause and think about that.
You are either coming out of storm, in a storm, or heading a storm.
Let’s pause and think about this for a moment.
So how do we hold this truth in tension? Especially if you are a leader or pastor or ministry leader. How do you balance the storms in your own spiritual life and keep true to faith?
The way I do it is “I put on my robe.” Literally I put on the clergy robe and liturgical colors. It is a physical reminder that when I am in the robe I am a person of God and humbly speak the truth as a messenger of the heavenly Father. If you don’t wear an actually robe then be sure to put on the “spiritual robe.” Be clothed in the unconditional love of God and just love people. I get in the zone. I stand on the Word of God. As a pastor I develop a preaching plan at least 3 months in advance. I let the text preach itself. So I am able to take myself out of the message. Find what works best for you but remember to be clothed in the Lord.
Please close your eyes. ( I sang the verse and chorus of the song “Till the Storm Passes By.)
In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face
While the storm howls above me and there's no hiding place
Mid the crash of the thunder Precious Lord hear my cry
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
Till the storm passes over till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast and let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
And all God’s people said, “Amen.”