The waves toss wildly. The winds tear at our clothes and bring tears to our eyes. The fury of the storm causes us despair. The low, dark clouds oppress with their heavy burden. The screeching and banging deafens our ears. O Soul, prove your faith by trusting in the Lord in the midst of the tempest. Trials will end and suffering will cease, but God’s love is everlasting. His calm is in the eye of the storm.

In his devotional for Jan. 2, Ed Mathews reminds us of how things work in God’s kingdom:

An uncommon control. Delays, setbacks, and detours are routine in the affairs of the kingdom. Yet His cause will succeed, His Church will endure, Matthew 16:18. God knows our struggles. He cares for our situation. His plan will not fail, Joshua 21:45; 23:14; Nehemiah 9:7,8. There will always be troubling developments. Our faith will be tested. Our souls will be tried. But God is “faithful,” I Corinthians 1:9. He did not leave His Son in the grave. Neither will He abandon His people, Psalms 16:7-11.

Let’s ask God to help us be faithful in the midst of testing and troubles.

Focus question: What false hopes or unrealistic expectations cause me to be discouraged? What biblical truths will carry us through these?