Genesis 9:12-15 Mark 4:35-41
In our area of the country this time of year often brings sudden storms. Heavy rains and strong winds suddenly appear and disappear almost as quickly. A few days ago I was caught in one of those just leaving my office and walking to my car. I was drenched by the time I walked the 30 yards or so to the car. And, once in the car, the wind became violent. So much so that I felt the car move and decided to wait before proceeding out of the parking lot. And, just as quickly as the storm came, it was gone.
"And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh." Genesis 9:12-15.
The Great Flood started with just a downpour. And soon even the tallest mountains were covered. Then one day, the rain stopped. The storms came to an end! The waters subsided and the ark came to rest on the top of a mountain. Noah opened the door and he and his family and all the animals came out to a new beginning. The end of the Flood marked a new beginning and a new covenant. God made a covenant with Noah and all of creation, to never again destroy the world with flood. The rainbow is a sign of that covenant!
“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown?' He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?' They were terrified and asked each other, 'Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!'” Mark 4:37-42
We all face storms from time to time. The rain falls, according to the Bible, on the righteous and the unrighteous. How do we react to those storms? Even the disciples, in the presence of Jesus, were in the midst of a storm. Because we trust Jesus and follow Him closely does not exempt us from the storms of life.
There are physical storms and there are spiritual storms. The disciples faced a physical storm but we may face a spiritual one. These spiritual storms threaten our peace, comfort, and joy. They cause fear, doubt, and hopelessness. Those storms manifest themselves in our marriages, our relationships, our finances, our health, business, school, ministry and occupation.
These storms can leave a life shattered and broken. You may feel that your sun will never shine again. All is lost, hopeless.
But it is not hopeless. Why? Because God is with you. It is a storm that leaves shattered lives and broken dreams along the way. Are you in a storm that has turned your dreams into nightmares? Does it feel like your sun will never shine again? I may not know what you're going through, but what I know is that God is with you. Hebrews 13:5 records that promise for us: “…. God has said, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” He won’t leave you nor forsake you at the time of your needs.
Some storms are over quickly while others seem as if they will never end. Storms destroy things. But, you can trust that God is with you.
After the rain, a rainbow appears in the sky. The first rainbow appeared after the Great Flood. It is a sign of a covenant between God and the world. This covenant was an unconditional one. Meaning it does not depend on mankind or the other creatures doing certain things for the agreement to be in place. It is an act of God's unconditional love for His creations. The rainbow is a reminder that storms are momentary, short lived and that there is indeed sunshine beyond the clouds of our storms. Knowing this, whatever we may be going through, we must remain strong. Don't give up, or give in to the evil one. The storms will cease! The sun will shine again after a dark cloud.
The rainbow covenant is just one of the many promises God makes in the Bible. Believers can take great confidence in knowing that God’s promises are steadfast and secure. So choose to continually place your trust in Him. He has a plan to give you peace, joy and hope. Today, look around for the rainbow and hold onto God’s promise in the Bible.
How do we hold onto those promises?
Keep your focus on Jesus Christ.
Read and meditate on the Word.
Pray without ceasing.
Praise and worship God.
Don't be afraid!
Put your trust in God.
Don't be discouraged.
Refuse to worry.
A great gospel song, written by Thomas Mosie Lister, is titled “Til the Storm Passes Over.” The chorus of that song says this:
Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.
That can be our prayer in these turbulent times, because it is a promise God has given us. Jesus is with us in the middle of the storm. He is saying to your heart today, “Take courage. Don’t be afraid." If you keep looking up, you’ll notice the rainbow. The darkness will go away and the sun will shine again.