One of my favorite accounts in the Bible is the story of Jesus calming a storm.  The disciples are in a boat with Jesus crossing a lake.  Out of nowhere, a storm develops, the disciples are terrified, and Jesus is peacefully resting.  The disciples then wake Jesus up, thinking that they are going to die, then Jesus got up and commanded the wind and waves to stop and be calm.  He then looked at His followers and asked “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:22-25).  In John 16:33, Jesus says “I told you these things so that you can have peace in me.  In this world you will have trouble, but be brave! I have defeated the world.”  When storms come into our lives we immediately expect God to calm the storm before we spend one minute in it.  God wants us to take courage and trust in Him.  Read the Bible until defeat turns to devotion.  Don’t look at the flames, Look at God who controls the flames.  In Proverbs 27:17, we read, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”  When a person accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives, then it is an honored privilege to be called a friend of God.  It is my prayer that God sharpens us daily so that we may have a stronger relationship with Him.  In Joshua 7:13, we read, “The Lord, the God of Israel, says some of you are keeping things he commanded you to destroy.  You will never defeat your enemies until you throw away those things.”  Today, our enemies consist of everything of worldly pleasure and possession and are keeping us back from living life to the fullest.  As Christians, we need to continually ask God to search our hearts and bring out anything that is keeping us down and holding us back from experiencing the true Joy that only He provides.   I would like to close this journal entry with a prayer from Peter Marshall:

Forgive us, Lord, for the things we have done that make us feel uncomfortable in Thy presence.  All the front that we polish so carefully for men to see does not deceive Thee.  For Thou knowest every thought that has left its shadow on our memory.  Thou hast marked every motive that curdled something sweet within us. We acknowledge with bitterness and true repentance that cross and selfish thoughts have entered our minds; we acknowledge that we have permitted our minds to wander through unclean and forbidden ways; we have toyed with that which we knew was not for us; we have desired that which we should not have.  We acknowledge that often we have deceived ourselves where our plain duty lay.  We confess before Thee that our ears are often deaf to the whisper of Thy call, our eyes often blind to the signs of Thy guidance.  Make us willing to be changed, even though it requires surgery of the soul and the therapy of discipline.  Make our hearts warm and soft, that we may receive now the blessing of Thy forgiveness, the benediction of Thy “Depart in peace…and sin no more.”  Amen.