Skip to main content
Rick Toh• Timely Word •

When the Storm Would Not Subside

By 6 June 2023No Comments

I went through a trial recently which put me on an emotional roller coaster ride. I experienced bouts of mental anguish and emotional despair as I tried to cope with the evolving situation and weighed the consequences before me.

I struggled to understand God’s will and cannot comprehend how this will ultimately turn out good for me. I frantically searched in my mind for God’s truths to find comfort and hope in them. (eg. Romans 8:28, Isaiah 55:8-9)

The Storm Rages On

Yet, the remembrance of these truths brought little consolation whatsoever. A hurricane of emotions raged on within me.

I felt regretful, bombarded by many self-blaming questions. I felt confused as I wondered why God allowed this to happen. I felt disappointed that God did not answer my prayers.

Why did He remain hidden though I pleaded with Him again and again to reveal His assuring presence to me? I felt anguish and despair.

Last but not least, I felt embarrassed. For I know that what I was going through paled in comparison to those who are suffering from a painful disease, who lost their loved ones and homes due to war or natural calamity, and of the persecuted church.

On one hand, I knew cognitively that these negative emotions did not in any way negate God’s truths. Even though my emotions were wild and chaotic, God’s truths remain steadfast and true. Yet I wondered why God’s truths did not seem to have any effect on calming my messy emotions.

I had always thought that the secret to standing firm was to put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). ie. a person would need to gird themself with all the pieces of the armour in order to be able to withstand the day of trial and testing.

But notice the order of things in Eph 6:13, “Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

‘Standing firm’ comes after the due diligence of putting on the whole armour of God.  ‘Standing firm’ is not the result of putting on the armour, but the accompanying action one needs to adopt after putting on the armour.

Thus having girded myself with the God’s truths, what’s next for me to do now is to stand firm in these truths while in the middle of the storm.

The Captain’s on the boat

As the trial prolonged, the waves of emotions continued to rise and fall within me. Sometimes I felt light hearted and could laugh; on other occasions, the crest of sorrow and unanswered questions towered over me, threatening to overwhelm.

Jesus must surely feel the rocking of the boat. Yet He chooses to remain fast asleep in the stern. (Mark 4:38)

For the time has not yet come. So like a seaman in full battle gear, I set my face like flint in the battle-sea, undaunted by the stormy assault of my enemy. I fix my gaze at the faithful compass and stand firm, as I wait for my Captain to arise and calm the stormy sea.

First posted in Dec 2021 on Ps Rick Toh’s blog