One afternoon as I sat in a little mountain cabin, preparing for my annual seminar at The Cove, I became aware that it was growing dark outside. The wind picked up, bending the trees double as it roared along the ridge like a jet plane terribly off course. Tree branches snapped under the strain, sounding as though some phantom hunter with a shotgun was recklessly opening fire. When I looked out the window, I saw a grey curtain sweeping across the little valley, and I knew the rain was coming. Within moments, the cabin was under a deluge that could be likened to perpendicular white-water rapids.
As the storm unleashed in all of its fury outside the cabin, inside I was snuggled under a blanket, curled up in an easy chair beside a crackling fire, with a cup of hot coffee in my hand and an open Bible on my lap. And I thanked God for a safe, dry, comfortable refuge from the storm.
Then I thought of the storms that raged in my life. And I quietly bowed my head, and thanked God again for His refuge from the storms …
I. STORMS WITHOUT
- What storm is raging on the outside of you?
- Has war invaded your family? Have you been diagnosed with a dreaded disease? Are you facing death … or the death of a loved one?
A. God Is Our Hope in Death
- How does a child of God face death differently than a nonbeliever? Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13.
- From the following verses, give aspects of our refuge of hope in death: Job 19:25-27; Psalm 23:4, 6; John 14:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 53-57.
B. God Is Our Help in Danger
- In each of the following passages, give the word or phrase that describes our refuge from the storm of danger: Psalm 27:1-3, 5; 46:1-11; Romans 8:31-39. How does each phrase encourage you, and how could you use it to encourage someone else?
- Describe the danger to God’s people in 2 Kings 6:8-23. What phrase in this passage encourages you when you feel surrounded by the enemy? Relate it to Psalm 34:7 and 1 John 4:4.
- What promise does Isaiah 43:1-2 give us for when we are facing danger?
- Describe how God’s people experienced the refuge of His help in danger: Moses in Exodus 14:5-14, 21-31; David in 1 Samuel 17:34-37, 41-50; Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:1-4, 14-22; three Hebrew slaves in Daniel 3:1-27; Daniel in Daniel 6:1-28; and Peter in Acts 12:1-11.
- How have you experienced God’s help in danger?
C. God Is Our Healer in Disease
- What disease has afflicted you or your loved one?
- Would you pray over the promises in the following verses and ask God to give you one to personalize? Exodus 15:26; 23:25; Psalm 41:3; 103:1-4; Matthew 8:14-17.
- Is it possible that Jesus had passed by and had chosen not to heal the crippled man in Acts 3:1-10? Did Jesus heal everybody? Give a phrase from Mark 1:34; 3:10; and Luke 4:24-27 that indicates He did not.
- How does Jesus teach us in John 11:1-41 that if He does not heal us, it’s because He has a greater purpose? What is it?
- How did the Apostle Paul experience a “greater purpose” than physical healing? Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.
- If you need the refuge of His healing, how does John 14:13-14 and Matthew 26:39 help you to pray?
II. STORMS WITHIN
- Sometimes, the storms on the outside of us are nothing compared with the storms that rage within us. What storm has unleashed its fury within you?
A. God Is Our Provision in Want
- What physical, emotional and material needs do you have that are not being met?
- What encouragement do you receive from each of the following verses: Isaiah 43:18-21; 58:11; 61:1-3; Philippians 4:19.
- What “mount” is the place where all of our needs are met ultimately? See Genesis 22:14 and Luke 23:33.
B. God Is Our Peace in Worry
- What are you worried about?
- Does worrying help you, or the situation you’re worried about? See Matthew 6:27.
- When tempted to worry, what are you to do? Give one action item from each of the following verses: Matthew 6:25-26, 32-33; Mark 13:11; Philippians 4:6-7; Proverbs 3:5-6.
C. God Is Our Power in Weakness
- What weakness are you struggling to overcome?
- Why do you think God allows us to be weak? See 1 Corinthians 1:26-29; 2 Corinthians 4:7-10.
- Why doesn’t God accept weakness as an excuse for our lack of victory over temptation, as well as our lack of commitment to live for and serve Him? See Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 1:18-20.
- On the day when we gather around God’s throne and sing praises to the Lamb, what testimony of His power will be on your lips? Read Revelation 5:13.
Take a moment right now and thank God for being your refuge from the storms.
Adapted from an article published in Decision, July-August 2011.
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her latest book, The Daniel Key, is available from major booksellers.