A Prayer for Confident Hope in the Storms of Life
By Jessica Van Roekel
“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.” - Hebrews 10:35, ESV.
Some movies have me sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time. I enjoy the typical movie arc of story setting, rising action, climax, and resolution. Hallmark movies are known for their typical storyline, and we can be guaranteed a happy ending. If only our lives were that simple. We can feel frozen in place, afraid of the future, and terrified of the present. There are days when it seems we’re in a storm at sea without any way to navigate our way out of it. Riding it out is the only way through. The Apostle Paul survived storms and shipwrecks and did not lose his way even though it took three ships to get him from Caesarea to Rome. In those days sailors used the stars for guidance, but on this journey by ship, a fierce storm blew up. The strong gale force winds forced them to use strong ropes to tie the ship together. Dark clouds covered the sun, moon, and stars for fourteen days. They threw away their cargo, which is like going to the bank to withdraw a large sum of money, ripping it up, and throwing it into the wind. The sailors did everything they could think of to survive but lost hope.
Storms of life often cause our hearts to quake with fear and disappointment. At times we see them on the horizon and other times they hit suddenly. These storms may be social, financial, physical, emotional, or spiritual. They place great pressure on us, and we often question our faith. But faith in God is the only thing that helps a believer during great troubles. The Apostle Paul is a great example for us. He faced imprisonment, shipwrecks, death threats, poverty, and great emotional distress. Yet, he had immense faith and knew with confidence God would provide rescue. God is with us. He doesn’t leave us to flounder. He makes a way possible when we face impossible situations. At times, he calms the storms, and other times, he calms us.
There was a time when I plunged into a deep season of sadness where life brought no joy, and everything seemed dark. I struggled with disappointment over the way God answered a prayer. My expectations of his promises didn’t match what I experienced. I expected God to line up with my wishes and when he didn’t, I tumbled into a thorn bush of anger, cynicism, and doubt. The storm raged inward while I struggled in the darkness. The storyline of my life did not match the typical happy ending of my favorite movies. In this storm, I did the only thing I could think of—I read God’s word, but when I closed my Bible, I forgot what I read. So, I wrote Scripture verses on cards and tacked them up around my home. I knew the only way to navigate this internal storm was to fix my eyes on the Word of God because I couldn’t trust my feelings to guide me. My feelings were like the storm raging across the sea of the ship Paul found himself on.
Like Paul in Acts 27:25, we can say, “Keep up your courage. . .for I have faith in God.” Our confident hope is found in a faith planted deep in knowing God. To know him is to trust his promises stand even when our expectations fail. We can hold onto confident hope in the storms of life when we plant our confidence in who he is. He is our Bread of Life, Living Water, and the Great I Am. He is our anchor in the storm, our waymaker, and our shepherd. We can stand the storms of life if we do not throw away our confidence in him.
Thank you for being with me. You are great and mighty, full of compassion. You see me in my hurt. I’m sorry for doubting your goodness to me in the middle of my storm. Please forgive me for turning away from hope in you because I can’t see you. Today, I choose to hold onto confident hope in you because you promise to never leave me or forsake me. I’m going to believe and live like it’s true. I trust you to guide me through this storm and fill me with hope. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Andrew McArthur
Jessica Van Roekel loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She longs for you to know that rejection doesn’t have to define or determine your future when placed in God’s healing hands. Find out more reframingrejectionbook.
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Originally published Thursday, 20 April 2023.