Praising God Through The Storms

We are back with our third blog post in our Mental Battleground series. This week, we are discussing the power of worshipping through our storms.

“When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” Mathew 8:23-25

I have read this scripture many times. I have to say, as I reread it, I am convinced that this is usually my first response when a storm hits.

There have been many times when both small and tsunami-like storms have hit in life, and I am wondering why Jesus is sleeping in the boat, or so it feels to me. I look to the Lord and ask Him to save me because I feel like I am drowning or dying in some way.

As I sit there in that fear and panic, I begin to wonder if God really cares and if he is even here. I wonder if I will just be left to drown or die. I think to myself, “Is this really it, after all of this?”

My mind goes into fix-it-myself mode, and I attempt to figure some way out of it in my own wisdom and understanding, which, as we all know, never works very well.

“He *said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8:26-28

I hear God speaking to my heart, “Why are you afraid, you girl of little faith?”. “Why do you question my heart for you?”

This is where I have to go back to step one again, remembering His faithfulness. Somehow, between that step and here, I have forgotten who He is to me, who I am to Him, and His faithfulness to me. I begin to doubt His love for me and question whether He really is doing what is best for me in this moment.

My trust is shaken so quickly sometimes. The fear of being hurt leads to an instant self-protective mode, and the walls go up.

Let’s be honest, though; sometimes God’s version of what is best does NOT align with ours!

God gently reminds me that His best is for me to be more like Jesus and not just all comfy and cozy in this life. That is a truth that goes against our flesh pretty hard.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NASB)

If I am honest, I have a love/hate relationship with this scripture. The truth is God’s ways don’t always line up for me. There are moments when I can’t even make sense of anything. Some seasons feel like prison sentences in one way or another or like I am in constant battle mode, weary and longing for some reprieve.

The other question I hear God asking me is, “Will you still worship me in this storm before you know how it all works out and before the calm and stillness comes?”

The Christianese answer is, “Of Course, Lord!”

My answer isn’t so elegant, and it doesn’t come instantly. I sometimes have to wrestle through some things before I say “yes.” Sometimes, tears are flowing as I sing to Him, and I fight to raise my hands in surrender.

To worship in the storm is hard. To worship anyway, despite the thoughts going through our minds and our emotions in disarray, is battle itself.

We do a disservice as believers to make these things sound so easy sometimes. People need to know we understand it is hard and that just because we follow Jesus, everything is easy. Sometimes, we don’t present an accurate picture when we make everything look easy and picture-perfect to those around us.

We shouldn’t have to be ashamed of the struggle.

I often wonder if we stay so long in the battles and struggles because we don’t feel free to be real in our process. We feel ashamed, so we hide and keep walking, trying to put on a smile or paint a pretty picture so those around us feel okay, too, and no one is uncomfortable.

My worship in the storm can look messy and not put together. Sometimes, I am like that kid where the parent is telling them to do something, and they don’t move. I can struggle even to open my mouth to praise Him because of where I am in that moment.

I have had to ask God to help me to worship because I couldn’t do it in my flesh, or the cloud of depression has been so heavy.

He is faithful to help me. He helps me do it when I am angry or afraid. He helps me push through and worship despite it.

A song has been helpful along the way in some seasons. I will share it at the bottom of this blog post. It is called, I Will Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns. The words are so honest and transparent, and they have helped me share my heart with God in a real way.

We can give God our hearts, in their true state, without shame. We can be honest with God as we praise Him, acknowledging who He is and who He is in our lives. That is surrender in one of the sweetest forms.

In some of my most challenging seasons of battling mentally and emotionally, it is the daily act of worship, just saying to God, “I believe you are who you say you are, and I know you are here, but I am struggling with seeing it. I am having difficulty understanding how this is your best for me right now.”

I had to fill my mind and heart with just one scripture and songs that helped me worship in those moments I couldn’t speak. I had to ask the Holy Spirit to pray for me because I couldn’t do it for myself.

However we do it, we need to keep worshipping Him through the storms of life. If we stop worshipping Him, the enemy will try to sneak in and plant lies and doubts to turn us away from God. When we worship, we remind our hearts that God is who He says He is, He loves us, and He has a good plan for us, and He is going to use all of what we are going through and battling with for our good. He will build His character in us, and we will look more like Jesus after this if we keep worshipping Him through it.

It’s not easy, but it is necessary. I often think of the battles in the bible that were won as the people worshipped. Keep worshipping, keep fighting the battles with God, and remember you are not alone. If you need prayer or are struggling to worship in the storm you are in, please share or reach out, and we will pray for you!