“Four words that will help you weather thIs storm and all storms.”

The summer of 2012 was a season of firestorms across the western United States. Over nine billion acres were lost at a cost of more than one billion dollars. To humans, wildfires are often scary and dangerous.

However, if you are a lodgepole pinecone, you eagerly await the scorching heat of those flames. Lodgepole cones are tightly sealed. A layer of resin and woody tissue keeps their scales locked tight. They will not open unless exposed to a very high temperature that only a destructive forest fire provides.

Lodgepole pines are famous for colonizing post-fire landscapes. They love the carbon-rich soil that the fire leaves behind. Seedlings pop up almost immediately and bring hope for a new dense stand of trees.

Here are four words that will help you weather your personal storms, and they certainly apply to the storm our nation now faces. They steer, steady, satisfy and sustain.

First, we steer our life amid the storm with our tongue. One of the most critical disciplines of your spiritual life is your capacity to guard what you say. Your words should release faith and hope. Direct them to where they are needed most. James 3:1-12 speaks about how the tongue, it’s small but mighty. If untamed it can set the whole forest on fire.

Second, steady. We stabilize our mind, will, and emotions by the words we speak. You can speak words of life or death, a choice you make every day. Most Christians offer praise to God every day for His goodness. However, Hebrews 13:15 talks about the “sacrifice of praise.” What words do you use when the storms come?

Praising God during difficult times is not so easy. It takes an act of our will and personal sacrifice to believe during the storm, especially when life is not going as we think it should. When we choose to praise God despite the storm, He is honored, and our faith grows stronger (Job 13:15).

Third, your soul is satisfied when you feed on the Word of God. Feeding is far more than simply reading. Feeding is studying, meditating and applying the life principles of God’s Word. It’s like the difference between reading the menu and eating the food.

Fourth, sustain. You can only come through the storm and win the “good fight of faith” when your faith is expressed in answers and not problems. When the object of your faith is the Creator of heaven and earth, and not the circumstances surrounding the storm.

Never forget. Truth always overrides the facts. John 8:32 says, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth (not the facts) shall make you free (free from the storm).” Many times the “facts” of your storm will keep you locked in doubt, fear and unbelief.

Peace and joy come to those who lean into the storm with deep confidence and faith in the One who not only allows the storm to come, but they also know He makes their heartbeat and their lungs breathe. Just as the struggle is great for the caterpillar, so it is with those facing life’s opportunities, struggles and storms.

The Creator of heaven and earth, the one who turns the struggle of the caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly will use your storms to create a more beautiful you. Just as the lodgepole pinecone needs the intense heat to release its seeds for new life, there are some things God has buried deep inside you that are only released under extreme pressure and heat.