Jun 10, 2022
How do we prepare for life's storms?
Pastor Andy Clapp joins us today to reveal ways we can prepare before crises strike. Andy Clapp is the Senior Pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church and an award-winning author of a novel entitled Midnight, Springtime for Your Spirit (a devotional co-authored with Michelle Medlock Adams) and his new devotional, In the Eye of the Storm.
We discuss similarities between the experiences we face during a severe weather threat and personal crises. Pastor Clapp notes how we can be tempted to procrastinate instead of preparing for potential problems. He recommends taking time to listen in prayer and apply deep scripture meditation to our lives as advance preparation.
When troubles hit us, anxiety and chaos complicate our efforts to make the best decisions. Trusting Christ ahead of a storm helps us avoid the mindset trap of "what am I going to do" when crisis strikes.
Andy recommends increased prayer time and wise Christian counsel as essentials to prepare our souls ahead of a crisis. We need to maintain consistent growth. He also advises us to pay attention to how we make decisions. Our immediate instinct to rely on our own efforts can make situations worse. If we make a habit of seeking God, then we are more likely to turn to him for strength and direction when we need it the most.
We discuss the issue of misplaced hope. Hoping in the Lord instead of outcomes helps anchor us when struggles hit us. Andy shares his own suffering when his family lost a 13-year-old boy. He relates the crushing sorrow of this unexpected grief while highlighting the ways God demonstrated his loving presence throughout the painful experience of loss.
Pastor Clapp emphasizes how God is always at work, even in the storms that bring us painful outcomes. He describes the ways Christ's presence blesses us when we mourn and suffer.
We discuss how the Lord weeps for us when we are hurting. Andy notes how Jesus understands our emotional pain and suffering.
Clapp encourages us to pray for wisdom and discernment often. Some storms can be avoided. He recommends examining our lives to discover weak spots where the enemy could target us. If we turn those vulnerable areas over to the Lord, he can strengthen us. Intentional prayer, meditating on scripture, and listening to life-giving podcasts and messages can help us prepare.
Andy urges us to examine all the areas where the enemy can tempt or influence our lives and block his means of attack. He concludes with the advice to remain centered in Christ.
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