Dear God’s Beloved One,
There is a thunderstorm occurring outside. I want to leave my home but I realize that I cannot leave but will have to wait until the storm is over. What do you do when you find yourself in a storm waiting for it to end? What can you do when you have been hurt so badly that all you can think about is how bad you hurt? You just want the storm to be over so that you can move on. I have been there…in fact I am there right now!
I want to point you to James, brother of Jesus. He says something that I never quite understood until recently. In the first chapter of the book of James, he opens by saying, ” Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”(TNIV) Rejoice? How could he say to rejoice when you need money but you don’t know where it is coming from? Rejoice? Really?! When I just lost my job and I need to feed my family. Rejoice? When I have lost all hope that things will get better and my desire to live.
Yes! You are to rejoice. I want to give you a few things to remember when you are in that storm, some things that have helped me:
1. God controls everything, even Satan.
Do you remember the beginning of the book of Job? Satan had to be granted access to Job. Even in that, God our Father placed limits on what he could and couldn’t do. For us, this means that God knows all about what’s going on in our life. He has control over it .Satan can’t do anything to you that was not passed by God first. So what does this say about God? Does this mean He is unsympathetic, that He gets a kick out of watching us suffer? Of Course not! God does not like to see us suffer. We often look at this fact and say ” How can a God so good allow these things to happen . My favorite verse ever is Romans 8:28 which says ,” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God , to them who are called according to his purpose.”(KJV). God is piecing all those things together to work for your good.
2. If He Brought You to It You Can Get Through It
1 Corinthians 10:13 says “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more that you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (NLT). I know you are asking ,” What does this have to do with my trials? This scripture is about temptation?” Let me explain. The key part of the scripture is “God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.” It says that anything that you are going through you can make it out on the other side to victory. God knows your breaking point. He knows when enough is enough. The only problem is that we have to endure until He says enough is enough. Paul says in Romans 5 :3″ We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials , for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation”
3. Meditate on your identity in Christ
1 Peter 2: 9-10 says “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, and God’s very own possession. As a result , you can show others the goodness of God , For he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light . Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy”. Peter gives us something to think about in this scripture. If you don’t know who you are it is easy for Satan to plant thoughts on who you are. There are many people who shape their identity on what others have said about them ,what happened to them , or even what television says they have to be . In these cases , we find that we have a lot of people confused and trying everything to find themselves. This is why it is very important to know who you are in Christ. When you are going through a tough time , Satan will always challenge who you are in Christ . Thoughts like ” This always happens to me.”, ” It’s not fair God.” , or ” I’m not able to make it through this !” are examples of Satan attempting to challenge your identity. He wants you to doubt that you are more than a conqueror in Christ. He doesn’t want you remember you are a royal priest , a holy nation, or a chosen person of God . When you began to doubt these things then you have allowed Satan to gain access to tell you who you are. It is important to meditate on who you are in Christ . I’ve been challenged in this area recently and the best advice I can give is find scripture in the bible that attest to who God says you are in Christ and stand on it .
4. Realize God Loves you Too Much to Leave you Where you are
Like parents, God wants to see his children grow. Some growth comes through just getting older and others come through trials. Some trials come as a season of testing others may come as a result of our disobedience. However trials come just know it all comes together to grow you . It’s to make sure you don’t stay at a particular place in life in a specific condition. Some people have lost their lives staying in one place refusing to move. They became complacent and adapted to thinking that it will always be that way. One thing about God is that He is always on the move . He says that He is doing a new thing . Doing a new thing does not mean staying in one place or being complacent. God wants to see you move on to bigger and better things. Because we can’t see the future and we are sometimes scared of the unknown, God has to sometimes push us through some painful, hurtful things to get us moving.
Let God HELP YOU through your storm!