I sit here typing as a storm plays itself out right outside my window. A dark, stormy, gloomy day weaves itself towards evening. What will it bring? A dark quietness settling in on the rain swept city? One storm harkening another to come? Or soft thunder rolling gently over the ever darkening streets? Whichever might befall us, we know this for certain: God is in control.
Too many folks worry too much about life. At the root of our worry is a lack of faith. Our failure to place complete trust in our Lord usually comes from our not knowing God as we ought. How many churches emphasize the attributes of God? God’s loving sovereignty? His justified wrath? His immutability? Or His holiness beyond all possibility of our understanding? Far too few.
Whether our concern is a storm playing itself out over our home and town or a storm playing itself out in our life, the response of a child of God must be as the response of a child to his loving earthly father. How many of us ran to our fathers or mothers arms as thunder rolled and crashed around us? Our response must be the same to our heavenly Father as storms descend upon us.
Charles Spurgeon: “Trials are no evidence of being without God, since trials come from God. Job says, “When He has tried me.” He sees God in his afflictions. The devil actually wrought the trouble; but the Lord not only permitted it, He had a design in it. Without the divine concurrence, none of his afflictions could have happened. It was God that tried Job, and it is God that tries us. No trouble comes to us without divine permission. All the “dogs of affliction” are muzzled until God sets them free. Nay, against none of the seed of Abraham can a dog move its tongue unless God permits. Troubles do not spring out of the ground like weeds that grow randomly, but they grow orderly as plants set in the garden. God appoints the weight and number of all our adversities. If He declares the number ten they cannot be eleven. If He wills that we bear a certain weight, no one can add half an ounce more. Since every trial comes from God, afflictions are no evidence that you are out of God’s way.
Storms exhaust the one caught in them. Trials buffer us this way and that until we can no longer see. But if we are a child of God, we need not fear that darkness. God knows our way for He preordained it in love.
I work on remembering this. As a wife of an abuser, separated for biblical reasons, dealing with health issues that have left me weak and unable to stay up for long, even struggling to stand at times, in daily pain, recently having lost an important source of income, our only transportation needing multiple thousands of dollars of repairs or perhaps to be replaced, persecution and attacks from my husband’s family, and if that weren’t enough (and, trusting in God’s sovereignty, it wasn’t), my son came home from work last week barely able to stand due to extreme back and leg pain. Rest and pain medicine hasn’t made it any better. He’s now lost several days of work and we’re not sure what’s ahead. The burden of the struggle to keep afloat, financially and emotionally, is great. My Lord is greater still.
So what do we do when the storm is stronger than we are? I know only one place of safety and I’ve proved Him over and again. He’s put food on our table when we had none, kept a roof over our heads when we came close to the streets, protected us from harm or from harm doing its greatest evil. God is good always and would have been good even if He hadn’t done these things. His goodness isn’t proved by His provision but nonetheless, His provision is part of His goodness. If He hadn’t provided, if another storm had befallen us, He still would have been good. This is true for you as it is true for me. Sometimes His will is for His child to suffer, for the good of His child and for His glory. Soli Deo Gloria!
If you’re going through a storm, don’t turn away from the Lord. Go ever inward into Him. I’m sadly reminded of an elder I once knew whose daughter and granddaughter died in an accident. In anger and despair, he turned his back on God. To my knowledge, he never repented. This we don’t want to do. God is our only hope in good times and in bad. No matter what storm we are facing, this we must remember.
Our Father is the Master of the storm. Our Savior stilled a storm. When His disciples had been afraid of the storm and accused Jesus of not caring, His response to them was to address their lack of faith head on. “Ye of little faith” is what we don’t want to hear.
No matter what you are facing, face it with faith in the One who will never lead you astray. Even as He leads you through trails, know this: The trail, brought by the loving hand of God, is exactly where you–and I–need to be.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Whither goest thou? Sermon by Charles Spurgeon (the Spurgeon quote above was taken from this sermon)