How do you respond to life’s trials? Do you feel sorry for yourself and get depressed? Do you cast blame and grow bitter and angry? Or do you turn to our Father and ask, “What is Your purpose in this?”
Our responses to difficulties are powerful lessons not written on a blackboard. Our students are watching and learning; where do they see your eyes fixed? On the circumstances? on your past failures in dealing with trials? or on Jesus? Turning to Him will open our eyes beyond any circumstance we encounter.
Storms can blow away distractions that keep our focus off God. They can break our pride and self-sufficiency that keep us from God. God does not send all storms, most are the result of sin. But our Father will make a way to turn destruction into good. (Romans 8:28). He will allow a storm—for the greater good—so you will turn back to your intimate relationship with Him.
When a storm rages in our lives we cry out to Him in the midst, “Thank you, Father, I know You have a reason for allowing this in my life. I know You will walk through this difficult time with me. I know You love me and I know you are in control.” You can pray this even if you caused the storm. He will provide for us and protect us with His divine loving power. He will use our brokenness to develop spiritual fruit in us if we allow Him.
How can we get to that place of faith where we automatically trust Him fully? Wayne Jacobson answers this very question in discussing the physical storm the disciples went though with Jesus in the article Are You Afraid?
How can we get to that place?
Wrong question, for in asking it we only prove our eyes are still on ourselves. Like the storm on Galilee, it matters little what we do, only what He will do. By keeping our eyes on Him we can be free of fear or anxiety no matter what we might encounter in this life.
And what He has done in us and what He will continue to do even in the midst of the most painful circumstances you face today, will absolutely astound you. —Wayne Jacobson
Joy and sorrow can be considered the parents of our spiritual growth. We can teach our children by example that God is with us every moment of every day and the fruit will be joy, peace, and happiness.
The Fruit Comes Afterward
“The Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and storm” (Nahum 1:3).
I recollect, when a lad… sitting on an elevation of that mountain, and watching a storm as it came up the valley. The heavens were filled with blackness, and the earth was shaken by the voice of thunder. It seemed as though that fair landscape was utterly changed, and its beauty gone never to return.
But the storm swept on, and passed out of the valley; and if I had sat in the same place on the following day, and said, “Where is that terrible storm, with all its terrible blackness?” the grass would have said, “Part of it is in me,” and the daisy would have said, “Part of it is in me,” and the fruits and flowers and everything that grows out of the ground would have said, “Part of the storm is incandescent in me.” from a devotion in Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman.
Have you asked to be made like your Lord? Have you longed for the fruit of the Spirit, and have you prayed for sweetness and gentleness and love? Then fear not the stormy tempest that is at this moment sweeping through your life. A blessing is in the storm, and there will be the rich fruitage in the “afterward.” –Henry Ward Beecher
The flowers live by the tears that fall From the sad face of the skies; And life would have no joys at all, Were there no watery eyes. Love thou thy sorrow: grief shall bring Its own excuse in after years; The rainbow!–see how fair a thing God hath built up from tears. –Henry S. Sutton