“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.” Ge 28:15 NIV

To prepare for life’s storms you must: (1) Practice self-control. Storms are much harder on the undisciplined and self-indulgent. The illusion that life should be an easy, painless, air-cushioned ride, makes you vulnerable to discouragement, disillusionment and defeat in hard times. The truth is, tough times don’t last but tough people do! And tough people practice self-denial and self-control. It’s their spiritual muscle for handling life’s hardships. The Bible says, “The fruit of the Spirit is…self-control” (Gal 5:22-23 NIV). God’s Spirit will make you tough enough to control your greatest weakness—yourself—the thing that ultimately defeats you in the tough times. Paul lived by this principle. “I discipline my body and keep it under control” (1Co 9:27 ESV). Great athletes know that it’s their conditioning, not the conditions, that determine their victory. (2) Depend on God, not people. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Ps 118:8 NKJV). Yes, others can help you at times, like a cast helps a broken leg. But once that leg is ready to bear its weight, you must discard the cast or your leg won’t regain full strength. People can go so far; only God will go all the way with you. Paul writes: “No one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…The Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” (2Ti 4:16-18 NKJV).