I love summer thunderstorms. There’s something so awe-inducing about the colossal storm clouds, pierced with lightning and echoing with thunder that rattles my window.
There are about 16 million thunderstorms around the world annually, meaning that 2,000 thunderstorms are in progress at any moment. Thunderstorms are often around 15 miles long, and lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from the center of the storm. Scientists believe that one hundred lightning bolts strike the earth every second.
In spite of all our technological advances and meteorological knowledge, each of these awesome storms is completely out of our control. Thunderstorms still cancel games and delay construction work and close the neighborhood pool early.
Thankfully, the Bible says that God is in control of every storm and lightning bolt. “For I know that the Lord is great,” the psalmist wrote. “He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.”
No matter how big and electrically-charged these storms are, they are under God’s control. We don’t cower in fear at every boom of thunder or flash of lightning. No matter what chaos is swirling in the sky around us, we are safe.
The storms of life
The last few months have stretched my faith and exposed where I trusted more in the structure of our society than in God. Each new headline or breaking news bulletin is like a lightning bolt on the horizon — a storm of change. It’s not the first time I’ve had my faith shaken.
Like me, you have no doubt faced difficulties and struggles that keep you awake at night. Whatever the storm threatening you right now, here are some verses that remind us our God is still in control.
When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars. Psalm 75:3
If ever there were a theme verse for 2020, this would be it. A pandemic, worldwide restrictions and closures, stock market ups and downs, job losses, tensions and rioting — and we’re barely halfway through the year. But through all of our crises, God keeps the earth spinning on its axis.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:9-10
A stronghold. Somewhere to run for safety when the world is shifting around us. Our God is our stronghold and will never leave us.
The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. Psalm 145:14
He knows what we need. He knows when we are falling, and when we feel like we’re falling. He will hold us up through whatever loss or lack we face.
This I know, that God is for me. Psalm 56:9c
David wrote this psalm when he found himself in the Philistine camp while running for his life from Saul. Talk about surrounded by enemies. Could it get any worse? As David reminded himself to trust God, he staked his hope on this: No matter what danger threatened, God was for David. We can face anything with God on our side.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Psalm 68:19
How refreshing and freeing to know that God doesn’t limit how often He will help us. He doesn’t just carry us through our problem once, or even just once a week. David — like each of us — trusted that God would hold him up every. single. day.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Jesus doesn’t say we won’t have problems. But He does promise that He has already overcome any problems we will face.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. John 15:9
This one boggles my mind. We say that God is love and that He loves us, and both are true. But can we ever really understand that Jesus loves us as the Father loves Him? We will probably never grasp the intricacies of the Trinity and the theology of this verse, but one thing is clear: Jesus really, really loves us. More than we can truly understand, and infinitely more than we could ever love Him back.
“How unspeakably wonderful,” slave-trader-turned-abolitionist John Newton said, “to know that all our concerns are held in hands that bled for us.”
Every storm — every problem, every struggle, every trial, every danger — is under God’s control. Our God can do anything, and He has proven over and over that He loves us. No matter how many lightning bolts flash across our sky, Jesus will bring us through all difficulties and use them for our good.
We can trust that every storm we go through is bringing us closer to God. Perhaps Newton once again said it best:
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come,
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.
Copyright 2020 Lauren Dunn. All rights reserved.