Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Worship in the Midst of Storms

Due to copyright issues, the program for today, "Noah's Ark," will only be heard on your local Christian radio station—(there is no transcript or online audio of today’s broadcast). But, we invite you to “unpack” this classic message from Nancy originally aired three years ago entitled, "Worship in the Midst of Storms" from the series "Storm Shelter, Finding Safety and Strength in God's Arms."

Leslie Basham: What is the perfect setting for worshiping God? Imagine standing in a beautiful field of flowers with the sun shining and a cool breeze blowing. Wouldn't you be inspired to worship God for the wonder of His creation? Now imagine a storm blowing in. Do you realize that your worship would be just as effective in all of the display of His great power? Today, we'll hear about what happens when we worship during the storms of life. Here's Nancy.

Nancy DeMoss: I talked to a woman recently who told me that she'd been through a major hurricane. She then described for me what it was like to be in the eye of that storm--how things had been so peaceful and calm, even though the front end of the storm had passed by. Now they were in the eye and the back end of the storm was still coming. But she described the sense of calm and rest while she was in eye of that storm. That's kind of what I picture when I see David in Psalm 57 describing the condition of his heart even while the storm is raging all around him.

David is going through an incredibly difficult storm. Look at verse 7 and see what the condition of his heart is, even while the storm is going on. Now, this is not at the end of the storm, he's still in the middle of the storm. He says in Psalm 57, verse 7, "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast." Isn't that a great way to live?

Even while the storm is raging around you to find in the refuge, in the wings, in the presence of God--the eye of the storm--a place where your heart can be quiet and calm and at rest, even while everything around you is in a state of uproar--maybe a situation in your home, a situation in your workplace or something that perhaps your church is going through that's a difficult storm.

That's not to say that you become oblivious to the storm around you but that even while you're walking through the storm, your heart can be quiet, steadfast and at rest. And remember where David is, he told us in verse 4, "I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts . . . ."

This is not an easy time in his life. But he's saying, "even with these lions, these troublesome people, these enemies who are nipping at my heels and threatening to undo me, while I'm in the middle of that lion's den, my heart is steadfast. My heart is calm and quiet." You see, real peace and joy does not mean the absence of problems.

It means the presence of the Lord Jesus in the midst of the pain, in the midst of the problems and in the middle of that storm. Now we've seen that David was honest about the storms that he was in.

He took refuge in God. He ran in to the name of the Lord and he cried out to God. But I want to look at a fourth thing that David did as we look at this passage, verses 7 through 10 tells us, "I will sing and make music."

Where is David? He's in a lion's den. I don't know about you, but in the middle of a lion's den I don't know that it would occur to me to sing. But David says, "I'm going to consciously make an effort to sing praise to the Lord. I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul!  Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn."

David says, "I'm going to have private worship services with the Lord. I'm going to waken the morning, as much as these storms are heavy on my heart and nothing has changed since last night."

You turned on the news last night or you turned it on this morning. It's the same news, the same problems and the same storms. There are some storms going on in our nation right now. Nothing's changed overnight.

But David says, "I'm going to wake up in the morning and in a fresh, new way know that God's mercies are fresh and new this morning. I'm going to greet the day with psalms and hymns of praise." Singing expresses faith and I think that's one of the reasons it's one of the most frequently repeated commands in all of God's Word. "Sing to the Lord, sing to the Lord." It's not just that we're to sing to the Lord when we're at church and everyone else is singing to the Lord, but when we're in the middle of that storm--David says, "Sing to the Lord."

I was out walking early one morning not too long ago and as the sun began to come up, I did what I do almost every time I see the sunrise. I began to sing, but this time it was not as easy as at some other times. I was in the middle of a storm, and my heart was prone to focus on the circumstances and on the storm.

But as the sun began to rise, I sang the hymn that I sing with the sunrise:

Great Is Thy faithfulness, O God My Father!

All I have needed Thy hand has provided,

Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me.*

And I sang not just the first stanza but also the second stanza and the third stanza, awaking the dawn singing to the Lord. You will find as I have so often that when, even in your storm, you sing to the Lord that there's a freedom and a release that comes, a lifting of the cloud because your eyes have been lifted up above the waves to the One who is the Lord over the waves.

Now David says, "I'm not just going to sing privately before dawn, but I'm going to sing publicly." Verse 9, "I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples." He's saying, "It is not just a private matter of praise; I'm going to make praise my public practice. I'm going to lift up the name of the Lord and sing."

Do you sing in your home? Do you sing quietly in your workplace? Are you known in your community and with your friends as a woman of praise? I've quoted before John Wesley, who says, "Our task is to give the world a right impression of God."

When we praise the Lord verbally, even when we're going through storms, we say to the world, "God is God Most High. He's the God over the storms. He's the God over the waves. This is not too great for Him."

"The storms have lifted up their voice . . ." we read in Psalm 93, ". . . but the Lord on high is mightier than the voice of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea." You know our storms can become an opportunity for us to tell the world, our little world, how good God is and how great He is, to praise Him for His love and His faithfulness that He sends as His provision for us in the storm, to thank Him publicly in front of other people for God's goodness.

Why is it when somebody asks us how we are doing, we're so prone to groan (at least I know I am) or to sigh and to be exasperated? I do it so often. Then I look back and I think, "What impression was I giving others about my God?" Oh, life is so hard, oh this is so difficult, I am so tired and the storm is so great. It is great, don't deny it.

But even as you're walking through that storm and others may see the storm around you, what an opportunity to magnify the name of the Lord and to say, "God is still good. God is still great; He is the ruler over the storm."

When we sing to the Lord, when we praise Him, when we express faith--we defeat the enemy. I believe that Satan hates it when we sing. I think that's one of the reasons he tries to keep us so depressed and so discouraged that we won't sing. That's when we have to run right into the face of our despair, our depression, our discouragement and say, "I will sing to the Lord. I may be crying so hard you can't understand the words, but I will sing and praise the Lord even while the storm is raging around me."

When we sing and when we praise, Satan is defeated. He's trying to use that storm to keep us discouraged, to keep us under the weather, to keep us from praising the Lord. And when we say, "I'm going to praise Him regardless, even before I can see the outcome, I'm going to praise Him"--then Satan's lost that battle.

I think many times he just moves on and says, "I think I'll find somebody else to attack with that storm today." I love that passage in Habakkuk, chapter 3 and the last verses of the Book of Habakkuk. The prophet talks about a time when all visible means of support are removed. It's a time of great national tragedy in which he's speaking, but it can be applied to our times of personal tragedy.

Habakkuk, chapter 3, verse 17 says, "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls . . . ."

What he is saying is, "No matter what's going on around me, no matter how little food there is in our pantry, no matter how little money there is in our bank account, no matter how difficult this marriage is, no matter how desperate this physician's report is or the result of this physical test, no matter what, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior." "The Sovereign LORD," he says, "is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights."

So David says, "My heart is steadfast." The storms, they can rock my circumstances, but they can't shake my heart because my heart is rooted and founded and grounded in God. And so knowing Him, I will sing, I will praise, I will give thanks. I will be joyful in God my Savior.

There's someone in this room who needs to sing. You're in a storm and you've been groaning, moaning, whining and complaining. Let me tell you, I know how to do that. But I'm also learning to sing, learning to verbalize praise, worship in the midst of the storm. Just say, "O God, You are more real, You are more present than anything that's going on around me. So Lord, would You open my lips and open my mouth and let me sing Your praise." And when we do, God is glorified.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss is a ministry outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Thomas Chisholm. "Great is Thy Faithfulness."

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

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About the Teacher

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.