Picture two people in prison. They've been beaten and are suffering for what they know to be true. What they know to be true has the power to change the entire world, and yet they are suffering for sharing this truth. This should naturally lead to bitterness, frustration, anger and/or despair. That is what I would expect. However, this isn't the response at all. The response is to sing. This is odd. The prisoners responded not by turning away from truth but by singing praises about this truth.
Picture a man who has everything—wealth, a wife, children, and health. He is living according to truth to the point of being referred to as “blameless.” Despite being blameless and living according to what is true, this man loses everything. This man is in agony, and yet he still believes in truth. Again, there is no turning away from truth seen in this story. Turning away would probably be easier, but the man clings to truth.
These stories are some of my favorites. I substituted talking directly about God with truth in those stories for a couple of reasons. First, God is truth so clinging to truth, in my mind, is clinging to God. Second, I want to emphasize when we are enduring the “storms of life,” it is oftentimes truth that we doubt. In a state of fear, frustration or bitterness, we believe lies and cannot truly see truth.
So what does clinging to God during times of darkness, anxiety, depression, or sub in any affliction that you may face actually look like? For me, the answer was simple but by no means easy. It looks like praising and blessing His name in those times of darkness. It’s being able to be like Job and proclaim that “the Lord gives and He takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord!” It means singing songs at the darkest point of the night in the midst of bondage and imprisonment. It’s praying harder. It’s singing louder. It’s saying “God my burdens are so heavy, but I know that what the enemy intends for evil, you will use for good.”
The thing is, storms will come. They will rage and they will cause destruction. They leave us wrecked. They leave us hurt and confused. I’ve been there so many times. In those moments, I have found that the only solution is to get on my knees and cry out to God. In those moments when I am sliced open, I am tempted to believe the lies of the enemy. “God isn't good. God isn't faithful. There is no hope. Life isn't worth living. God doesn't care so why should you?” When these lies fill your head, run to God. The storms of life attempt to detach us from truth and fall for lies of the enemy.
LISTEN TO ME. If a storm is raging around you, that is the WORST time to abandon ship. The enemy’s lies seek to convince you that the churning waters below are more appealing than the solid structure beneath you. This just isn't true. When you cling to truth, to God, that solid structure is your rock and your redeemer. It is light. It is hope, joy, and love It is victory and it is salvation.
You do not have to forsake truth for falsehood in times of hardship. Go to the Lord and bless His name. However, this takes preparation. Do not let trials be the first time you engage with God. Be so filled with His word that when the storms rage around you, His Word pours out of your mouth because of its abundance in your heart. Pray continuously. Seek God when you heart is filled with joy. Seek God when your heart is broken. Be in constant pursuit. If you do, the storms of life may bring you to your knees, but you will be communing the Lord of your life in those moments instead of the Lord of your trials.
Press in. Pursue Him. Pray. Believe. Cling to Truth. Our hope is in the one who conquered death and defeated sin. We now share in that victory.