I've been thinking about life a lot lately, how there is an ebb and flow to it; and how there are challenges and rewards. I have often heard it said that a “…Christian is either going into a storm or heading out of a storm.” It made me think about how we behave when we are told that a storm is approaching.
I remember years ago, when I lived in Charlotte, North Carolina and Hurricane Hugo was approaching. Many people, including me, thought that Charlotte was too far inland to feel any of the effects of the hurricane. My Dad; however, decided to “button down the hatches.” He removed all the items that could have been swept away, and made other preparations. To my surprise, and the surprise of many others, Hurricane Hugo had an overwhelming effect on Charlotte. When the storm hit, we had no idea how long it would last, and it was simply not wise or possible to try to make secure items in the midst of the storm. The only thing to do was to hold on, and withstand the storm. Those that prepared were less impacted and had less damage than those that did not.
Knowing that Christians will be facing storms in their lives, we should take the time of calm to make preparation for the storm. How should Christians prepare? How can they best withstand the storm? The best preparation is the word of God, which is a Christian’s sword. Ephesians 6:17 tells us to “…take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” We should take the time of calm to rebuild and reinforce our foundation. We should study and mediate on the word of God, pray for others and ourselves, perform good works, and stay in fellowship with other Christians.
If Christians take the time of calm to prepare, when the storm hits, they will be able to withstand its assaults, to grow, and to have a deeper relationship with God as a result of the storm. James 1:2-4 says “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
If you are in a time of calm, use the time to rebuild and reinforce, in preparation for the upcoming storm. If you are in the storm, hold on and withstand it, and use the storm as an opportunity to grow your faith and trust in God.
Glory To God For All That He Has Done
Blessings To You - Janice
All Scriptures in King James Version
I have been thinking about the word “witness” for months and pondering the importance of a witness. I remember being young and wondering why my Grandmother would go to the hospital and sit for hours when the person was not even awake. I remember understanding that she was serving as a “witness.” When I am at various events, funerals, weddings, graduations, etc., I am there to celebrate with the individuals, but in another sense, I am serving as a “witness.” A witness to their happiness, their joy, or their sorrow.
So, what is a “witness?” Merriam-Webster defines the word “witness” as someone having personal knowledge of something, and who gives evidence or testifies. Often when you think of a witness, you think of a trial (either criminal or civil) and a person testifying to what they have seen, heard, or experienced. I recently had a car accident, and when I was providing the information to my insurance company, their first question to me was if there was a witness. Although I told the truth, the decision was not in my favor. What I understood quickly, was that if there had been a witness to validate my account, I would have likely prevailed. There was power in having a witness.
The word “witness” is used over 100 times in the Bible. John 1:7-9 discusses one of the roles of John the Baptist:
"The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
Although John the Baptist was not the Messiah, one of his roles was to serve as a “witness” that the true Light had come to the world.
In the same way that John the Baptist served as a “witness” for Christ, Christians are to serve in the same way. Although our witnessing is different, it can be every bit as powerful. We witness, by giving our own personal testimonies, but we also witness, by sharing how we witnessed God moving in other people’s lives.
I have been witness to several individuals who have experienced incredible trials in their lives, and have grown stronger in their faith and belief in God. During and after their trials, they sang the praises of God. I often share (witnessed) those faith stories to others, which have encouraged and strengthened both the listener and myself. Although the listener does not have first-hand knowledge, they are able to learn about the person’s life through my witness testimony.
The only way to serve as a witness, is to (1) be present and (2) be willing to share what you have seen, heard, and/or experienced. There are untold benefits to being a witness, and for heeding the words of a witness.
Please take a look at the Testimony and Lean on Me blogs, which complement this one.
Glory To God for All That He Has Done
Blessings To You - Janice
All scriptures are in King James Version
Associate Certified Coach, ICF