Where I was born and raised is hurricane zone and I am talking about St. Vincent and the Grenadines. And like anyone familiar with the Atlantic or Caribbean knows, it’s important to be prepared for a hurricane. Every month of June we stock up on supplies of batteries, water, canned goods, and other necessities. We clear the drains and gutters, check our roofs and secure our windows. We make sure to keep our tree limbs trimmed. We map out where we will go in the case of an evacuation. This is all a matter of preparation. The ministry of disaster preparedness publish a list of all the secured shelters should we have to evacuate. Natural disasters happen outside the designated hurricane season and so at all times we must be prepared since we do not know when something will happen.
For many who live near the coast though, near to a river or where there is major deforestation; we can get lax in our preparations. St. Vincent and the Grenadines with an active volcano and Grenada with a submerged volcano should always be ready to move, we let our guards down and fail to prepare in the event the alarm is sounded. Though the meteorologist warns us every year to be prepared, too often we prefer to wait until there actually is a storm churning out on the horizon.
That’s what happened many years ago when “Hugo” hit the islands. The stores were crowded with people buying food and water. It reminds me of the ten virgins, five were ready and the other five had no plan. So like in this modern time everyone looks to the Government to prepare and make plans for them. Oh, what a disaster we are walking into un-prepared. Many will scrambled to figure out where to go and what to take with them. The lines at the gas stations will be long. And after the storm, the realities of the need for storm readiness will hit hard.
The Storms of Life
It seems like common sense to prepare ahead of time for a hurricane, volcano eruption, or low trough/ flash floods. How about the storms of life? Should we prepare in advance for periods of trial and suffering? I believe that it is important to prepare our minds and hearts for the inevitable trials of life. Without a scriptural foundation in place for how to face such storms, we are at greater risk for being blown over by the fierce winds of suffering when they arrive. What does it mean to have a scriptural foundation? It means having a knowledge of suffering: knowing what we believe and why about God, his Sovereignty, and the hardships we experience in this world.
Developing a knowledge of Suffering:
So how do we develop a knowledge of suffering? What are some practical ways we can prepare for the storms of life? Here are four simple ways, like gathering hurricane supplies, that we can prepare for the storms of tomorrow.
Study the Word. We need to study what the Bible says about trials and suffering. Why do they exist? How should we respond? How does God use suffering in our lives? We also need to study what Scripture teaches about God, who He is, and His character. It makes a big difference whether we believe God is out to get us or whether we believe that He is Holy, Righteous, and good in all that He does.
Affirm God’s Sovereignty. What we believe about God’s Sovereignty plays a significant role in how we face suffering. Do we believe that He is in absolute control over everything that happens? Do we trust that He will use all things, even our suffering, for our good and His glory? How can we trust in and find hope in His Sovereignty? I am not speaking here of this earthly headship. I am referring to the One and only Sovereign King of kings and Lord of lords.
Memorize Scripture. We need to learn and memorize verses that point to the truth about suffering and the trials of life. We can memorize passages on God’s promises toward us, the hope we have in Christ, and how God uses suffering in our lives for our transformation and his glory. There are several important verses in Romans 8, such as Romans 8:18, 28–30, 35–39.
Pray. We need to develop an active prayer life. During the calm seasons of life, we need to grow in prayer and learn to turn to God for all things. The more we trust and rely on God in prayer, the more we will utilize prayer during the trials of life. In a crisis, we tend to do things by instinct. Prayer should be instinctual, like breathing. So many of us only pray in bad situation, when we are in difficulty, we lost our jobs, no food on the table, our children got in trouble, then we want to pray. Are you kidding me? What you think God is? Do you see Him as a yo yo that you can use when you want and turn Him around for your fleshly desires. I urge you to think again and turn your life around and trust god at His word.
I remember that Good Friday in 1979 when the volcano erupted in St. Vincent. I was home in Bequia and had no education what to do and what to expect. That time the airwaves was going non stop disseminating information. It was late because no one was expecting anything like that on that holy day. Facing the storms of life unprepared is frightening as well. It’s in the times of peace and calm that we need to develop a knowledge of suffering by sinking ourselves in Scripture and praying through hard times. And we need to pray for a faith that faces the devastation that storms of life leave behind, a faith that can say, “Blessed be the Name of the Lᴏʀᴅ!”
I want to encourage you to watch and pray for we do not know the minute or the hour when the Son of God will return. There are so many sings around us that are telling us something. What is that something? Pray to Almighty God and ask that He grant unto you the revelation of His word for this hour. Last Friday the people of Paris were not expecting the terrorists would attack. They were going about their normal business when that unguarded hour the enemy moved in and disrupted their lives. One day later writing the death toll continues to rise. Last week those who read the message from Prophetess Zelma Bowens and co-administrator of the Spiritual Baptist group on Facebook will recall she had a burden on her heart for the children and because of the children the parents were attached to that burden. She was heralding the call to pray. She knew something was going to happen an wanted all to be engaged in the call to pray. Remember the people of Paris in your prayer. While here in these United States of America be on guard. Watch and pray. I also ask that you pray for St. Vincent and the Grenadines a nation of 110,000 people as they prepare for general elections in a few weeks. Pray that peace will reign and that the people will elect a government through the democratic process.
Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head
Follow me on Twitter @ArchbishopGregg@MysticPatriarch
Facebook Page The Mystical Order of Spiritual Baptist Inc
Facebook Group The Mystical Order of Spiritual Baptist Inc