Feeling like Jupiter

The planet Jupiter’s iconic red spot is actually a storm of monumental proportions. This red spot has become a distinguishing characteristic for children trying to identify planets. Imagine three Earth’s put together….that’s how big this storm is. Furthermore, it’s been raging for hundreds of years with winds that reach 425 miles per hour!!

In 1969, Camille, a category 5 hurricane brought 190 mile per hour sustained winds when it made landfall in Mississippi. And who can forget 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast states with winds reaching 174 miles per hour.  Just days ago, Hurricane Florence hit our Southern East Coast with wind gusts up to 105 miles per hour.

These furious winds, combined with atmospheric pressure changes, force the ocean to rise beyond its borders creating what we call storm surge.  This results in devastating and destructive flooding. These catastrophic storms are deadly and costly, but thank God they do not last for hundreds of years like Jupiter’s red spot.

Over the years many scientists have pondered not only the size of the red spot, but they are curious as to why this storm hasn’t fizzled out after a few centuries. From start to finish, the average hurricanes here on Earth are measure by hours or days.

Hurricanes always form over the sea, and take days to develop, and grow in size and strength. The warm moisture from the ocean actually fuels the storm. So what eventually stops the hurricane? Without fail, the moment it makes landfall, the storm begins to degrade and lose momentum because it has lost its fuel. Secondly, the solid ground creates friction, further compromising the storm’s structure. Conditions become unfavorable for the storm. Simply put, it falls apart, and will soon come to an end.

Solid ground! That’s the answer! That’s the reason Jupiter’s storm has been raging for centuries. Jupiter: this giant ball of gas, has no solid ground and no defense against the raging storm.

Thank God that HE is our Solid Rock! He is our defense and safe place!

The Lord is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer. My God is my rock—I take refuge in Him!—He’s my shield, my salvation’s strength, my place of safety.” Psalm 18: 2 ceb

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” Psalm 40:2 nlt

He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for Him. God is a safe place to be.” Psalm 62:6-8 msg

Are you feeling a bit like Jupiter?  You may be weary from the storm, and your flesh and your heart may fail….. but God will be your Rock and He will give you strength….. always.  (Psalm 73:26 ampc)

Draw near to God (your solid ground), and He will draw near to you, and the pressures of your storm will dissipate. “He will heal your broken heart and He will bind your wounds!” (Psalm147:3)

I thank God that He is our firm foundation, and our solid ground! He makes our storms fall apart!

My Weapon! My Praise! My Prayer!

Prayer is my weapon
Prayer is my praise
Prayer is my connection to the God of my days

Crying out in grief; in sorrow; in utter desperation
My aching heart soothed in a wash of anticipation

As He bends down to listen
To every word spoken

Every sound, every thought, making its way
To my Father who knows I’m broken

Who collects my tears, knows my sorrows and removes my fears
He holds my hand every step of the way
Lifts my head, turns my sorrow to praise

He hears it all! My petitions made known!
Boldly brought before His throne

There I stand after having said all,
Voicing my worship to the God of my soul

Praising Him for Perfect Love covering imperfections
Seeing beyond faults
Transforming me to His reflection

He only, deserves my attention
My thoughts, my ways
Worshiping a God that defies comprehension

His thoughts, His ways much higher than mine
Yet on me His love does shine

Overcome and amazed, my heart in awe
Standing still in His Presence
Know that HE! IS! GOD!

A Warrior before me Who teaches me to fight
With weapons of warfare full of His might

Armed by His Word on the tip of my tongue,
I speak out truths that have already won
The battle. I will not be discouraged, I will not be afraid

Because I know that prayer is my weapon
Prayer is my praise
Prayer is my connection to the God of My days

by Tracey Ray

Psalms 3:3, Isaiah 41:13, Psalms 116:2, Psalm 56:8 , Psalms 34:4

What’s Holding You Down?

“Hallelujah You have won the victory
Hallelujah You have won it all for me
‘Cause death could not hold You down
You are the risen King
Seated in majesty
You are the risen King”
THE ANTHEM by Planetshakers

As we sang these promising words one Wednesday night, God reminded me that had He NOT “gotten up” there would be NO victory. Then He added, “It’s the same with you. If you don’t get back up-there will be NO victory!”

David got up from the grief over the death of his son, and became a victorious King.
(2 Samuel 12:15-20)
Hannah got up from her barrenness, and became the mother to many: one of whom was the most renowned prophet in all of scripture. (1 Samuel 1:1-18)
Peter got up from his shame of denying Jesus (Luke 22:54-62), and went about healing and doing other miracles under a mighty anointing (Acts 5:15-16).
Elijah got up from his suicidal depression.
(1 Kings 19:1-8)
Lazarus got up from the grave, and lived! (John 11:38-44)

What is holding you down today?

  • Guilt/Shame/Condemnation
  • Grief/loss/Betrayal
  • Depression/Past Hurts
  • Sickness/Disease/Physical limitations
  • Financial burdens
  • Addictions/Bad Habits/Sin
  • Insecurities/Anger/Bitterness

Holding on to any of these things will create a stronghold in your life: holding you down and keeping you back from the wonderful plans God has for you.  If you stay down, you will live a life weighted by the very burdens that Jesus’s death and resurrection set us free from.

Just like Jesus called Lazarus to get up and come out of the grave, He is calling you and me to get up and come out from under these things that can so easily overwhelm and torment us. He doesn’t want us imprisoned! He wants us free!

I’m here today to tell you…..Don’t quit. GET UP!! It’s the only way to victory! These “things” don’t have to define you, and they certainly don’t have become a fixture in your life that holds you down. Don’t let anything keep you from His purpose which is “to give life in all its fullness” (John 10:10tlb). He has won the victory! He defeated death to give us life! So live!! Get up and live!