I am keenly aware that there are many of us going through many difficulties and sometimes it’s hard to see God as your Comforter, your God of Peace, your Provider and your Savior. Sometime the storms that arise make this walk extremely difficult and you wonder “when Lord, when will you bring me out of this storm! While I know I can’t tell you when I can tell you how to go through with as much grace as possible. Paul said not only did he want to know Christ in his resurrection but also in the fellowship of his suffering. Suffering is a realty for the just and the unjust. The just simply have One who ever lives to make intercession for us, Jesus, sitting at the right hand of the father. We are told to be trials and tribulations we will have but be of good cheer as Christ has overcome the world. We are encouraged to find peace in this. James said count it all joy when you encounter various trials because the trials are designed to instill patience in us which will make us perfect lacking nothing. We are reminded that the pruning process, while painful, brings about a great harvest. We are also told that God is the silversmith refining us. This means that He takes the silver and puts the fire under it and allows all the impurities of the silver to rise to the top and then it is scooped off and thrown away. He continues the process until He can see His reflection in the silver, so it is with us. God is endeavoring to see His reflection in us when He and the world look at us.
Things to remember while going through:
- Just because you’re in the storm it doesn’t mean you are out of the will of God. Know that you are just where you’re supposed to be. God says He knows the plans He has for you, plans for your good and not for bad, plans for a hope and a future. (Jer. 29.11)
- Just because you’re in the storm doesn’t mean that you have sinned against God. There is purpose in and for the storm. Paul said that the trials of life teach us perseverance. Storms are a part of the life of a Christian. There is an old saying, you are either in a storm, going through a storm or just coming out of one. But God’s promise is He will never leave you nor forsake you.
- God is in control - Know that God is molding you into image of Christ. He is the potter and you are clay. Nothing can happen to you that God doesn’t allow to happen to you. Know that all things that are happening are working out for your good. Romans 8:28 reminds us that all issues of life good, bad, indifferent or ugly all work together for your good.
- Trust God with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. Yea though God may slay you, you will trust Him. Job asked the question should I only praise God during the good and not the bad too? You must not try to understand an infinite God with our finite mind.
- Weeping may endure for a night ( a season) but joy will come in the morning. We have the assurance that our suffering will last only a while not unto death and that joy will take the place of the storm. The sun will shine again because God is a faithful God.
So know, like the resurrection of Christ, your joy will be resurrected, the sun will shine again and there is purpose for the storm. I submit the purpose is to ensure that when the storm clouds move away and you can see clearly what God was doing in and through you, the sun will shine even brighter in your life.
As I journey through my most recent in a series of storms, I have come to the understanding that God is using these storms to move me to a greater place of trust in Him. “Moving me” is a nice way of saying “forcing me”! Trust me, these storms are nothing nice, but as you so aptly remind us, they are “good” - in that they work for my good (Romans 8:28). Romans 8:29 (For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.) gives me insight into the purpose(s) of the storms: to conform me/change me to be more like Christ.ReplyDelete
In its rough form, a diamond is a lusterless, an unremarkable, translucent crystal that resembles a chip of broken glass (kinda like me). But in order for a diamond to be transformed into a jewel, it must be cut into a particular gem shape and then polished, facet by facet. The Master Jeweler’s intent is to maximize the value of finished diamonds, thereby ensuring the greatest return on investment. The purpose is not to destroy, but to enhance. The intent is not to punish, but to perfect.
Does the Master jeweler ask a diamond’s permission to be cut? No! The Master chooses those He will transform. Does the diamond enjoy each strike of the Master’s hammer as it removes, piece by piece, the main flaws and imperfections? No!
Once the main flaws and imperfections have been removed, He then sets to polishing the stone with a steel grinder. Sometimes months, and even years, are required for the perfecting of single stones. Does the diamond enjoy this process? Does cutting and polishing process (i.e. the transformation processes) feel good? No.
Each storm, like each hammer strike, has been specifically crafted for me by the Master- taking into consideration my individual dimensions, and the Master’s ultimate vision for me. Because He who promised is faithful, I will be transformed into a beautiful perfect gem. I will be conformed the image of his son. Into the image of Christ – and that my dear sister, is very good indeed.