“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” -Philippians 4:7

“I will praise You in this storm, and I will life my hands. For You are who You are no matter where I am. And every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hands. You never left my side and though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm”

The quote above is from a song by Casting Crowns. I’ve always enjoyed the song, but I feel like God is teaching me how to live it. It’s obvious that spiritual warfare is one of those things that comes with serving God. The enemy hates us because we love God. That part is simple to understand. But what is this whole thing about praising God in our heartache? I think that I’ve always known that we should thank God for our trials and that we should trust that God is using them for our good and His glory, and I think that in some aspects I’ve lived it. But today God painted a perfect picture for me of what it looks like to Praise Him in our storms.

There is a certain situation going on here in Kentucky that is grieving the hearts of many people here in the community. The past couple of days have been hard for me and I literally spent my whole night crying last night. I asked God for peace, but my heart still hurt real bad. This morning, as soon as I woke up I was reminded of the situation and my heart sank. But then I prayed “Lord, I believe that you are trying to give me peace, but I haven’t accepted it. Help me to receive Your peace that truly does go beyond my own human understanding”. God surely answered my prayer. Today I feel secure knowing that God is my defender, and that HE is in control. The waves that are crashing down on me? God controls them!

When I say that God painted me a perfect picture, I really do mean it. He literally gave me a picture. As I was sitting in my room praying, I was asking God to help me remain in His peace. Today felt good. It feels good to rest in Him. So I asked, “Lord, help me to continue to rest in you. Your Word promises that when the waters rise, You are with us. When we walk through the fire, You are with us. So instead of me freaking out and having meltdowns like I did yesterday, help me to relax. I want to be able to see the waves crashing all around me, but still have that peaceful heart that praises You”. While praying God gave me a vision of my best friend, Amber. I suddenly saw her in the middle of the sea hanging onto a buoy. I recognized this picture. 2 years ago, while on a mission trip to Belize, our team went snorkeling and somehow ended up in a huge wave storm. It was terrifying. Finally we were all back in our boat when someone realized that my best friend was missing. I was already in panic mode. I imagined her being stuck in the middle of the ocean trying  her hardest to stay afloat while kicking and screaming for help. But what we found was the complete opposite. Finally, someone had spotted her from afar and our boat pulled up next to her. When we found her, she was smiling and singing worship songs while clinging herself onto a buoy. In a huge wave storm, she had peace knowing that God would rescue her. So she sat there chilling on a buoy just waiting for the storm to pass. If she had done what I would have done (which is kicking and screaming) the outcome would probably had been different, and worse. I think the same applies to the storms of this life. When storms come and we kick and scream our way through them, we usually just cause more problems for ourselves and more messes for us to clean up when the storm is over. But when we rest in Christ and cling to Him (just like my best friend clung to that buoy), the storm will clear and we can get back to what truly matters- serving God.

I hope that this spoke to someone and that God is giving everyone of you the same peace that He has given me. Praise be to God!

All For Him,

Amanda West

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