Are you in the midst of a STORM?

On a bright, sunny Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem, whole-heartedly welcomed by the people and hailed as a conquering king.

Within a few days, He had been betrayed by one of His closest friends (and abandoned by the rest), handed over to authorities that trampled his rights under the weight of false testimony, subjected to beatings and torture that you and I cannot even begin to imagine, and killed in one of the most excruciating ways known to man—crucifixion. The clouds rolled in quickly to replace those clear skies, and in the end the darkness was almost overwhelming.

And I think I’ve had some bad weeks.

It amazes me how swiftly blue skies can turn to gray. Conditions that appear conducive to smooth sailing can rapidly deteriorate into squalls that bring wind and waves that would threaten to capsize us. The beautiful blue-green color of the spray becomes an angry grayish-black. What began as a comfortable ride is transformed into a hold-on-with-all-your-strength struggle of endurance.

Some of you know what I’m talking about. You’ve been there. You’ve experienced it.

Some of you are in the midst of it right now.

In John 16:33, Jesus told His disciples, “in this world you will have trouble.” We can see that trouble all around us—financial strain, unemployment, relationship struggles, illness, death…the list goes on and on. But Jesus completes His statement in that verse by saying, “but take heart! I have overcome the world.”

God wants us to know that whatever trials we are facing, whatever trouble we are experiencing, He can get us through. For as quickly as the triumphal entry of Palm Sunday gave way to the seemingly-utter defeat of the cross on Good Friday, so too did that despair turn full-circle into Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday, His ultimate victory over sin and death. He is risen for me, and He is risen for you.

For those of you who don’t know what it is to put your trust in Jesus, Lisa and I would love to explore what the Bible says with you and share about how Jesus is working in our lives.

For those of you in the midst of the storm, we and friends at Walk Right In Ministries offer to be Walking Partners with you. We have experienced many of the hardships of life ourselves and have walked with a large number of people to support them and help them to see how God is working even in the trials of our lives.

Please don’t hesitate to share your story and/or prayer request with us. You can email us at prayer@walkrightin.org.

As the clouds gather and the darkness builds, don’t lose hope. Just as Jesus is there for you in the sunshine, He is there for you in the rain. “But take heart! I have overcome the world!”

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. JOHN 3:16

It’s “Marriage Prayer Friday!”

We pray weekly here for marriages to be refreshed, renewed, healed, restored and thriving. Being that today is also Good Friday, we are focusing on the crosses we bear in marriage.

A prayer for your own marriage—

HOLY GOD, I am gripped on this Good Friday by the profound reality of who You are and the deep things I can learn from what happened at the cross. When I slow down to reflect on the enormity of the burden you bore for me and the infinite love you extend to me, I am compelled to better reflect that kind of love to my spouse. Show me how to express love towards my husband/wife the way Christ did for the Church. Help me to more gracefully receive my spouses’ imperfect but heartfelt expressions of love toward me. As our family celebrates Easter this weekend, show me how I can lighten a burden for my husband/wife the way Simon shared the load of Christ’s cross when it got too heavy to carry alone. Thank You, Jesus, for the hope and power of Easter! Please bring that same holy intervention into the “crosses” my family is bearing today. Help me never to forget that there is power in the blood! AMEN

Something to pray for a friend’s marriage—

HOLY GOD, I am gripped on this Good Friday by the profound reality of who You are and the deep things I can learn from what happened at the cross. As I reflect on the enormity of the burden you bore and the infinite love you extend to me, I am compelled to share that with others I love. Specifically, I want to pray right now for the married couples I know. Many of them are struggling with burdens and are still learning how to love each other well. Show them how to express love towards each other the way You did for Your Church. Help them to more gracefully receive each other’s imperfect but heartfelt expressions of love. As my friends celebrate Easter this weekend, show them how they can lighten a burden for each other the way Simon shared the load of Christ’s cross when it got too heavy to carry alone. Thank You, Jesus, for the hope and power of Easter! Please bring that same holy intervention into the “crosses” my friends are bearing today. Help them never to forget that there is power in the blood! AMEN