Weathering the Storm

I was taught, in a round about way, that if you fall sick or something happens to you that is distressing, you are either about to get a huge blessing from God or you’re in sin! I guess sin can bring on it’s on distressing times, but that’s not what that comment meant. The blessing part… Well, I agree with that, but again, not in the context it was meant for.

I believe the blessings are that God is always with us and that we will survive and the blessings are the things we learn along the way that grow us spiritually and mentally. Life is going to happen. How will you weather the storms? -Rachel

Peter 5:8-11
Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does. (1 Peter 5:8-11 MSG)

First the Suffering

“Why do we have to suffer?” “If God truly loves us, why do all the bad things happen to us?” I hear such questions often. For years, people have wrestled with those questions, and they still haven’t discovered the answers. I don’t even try to answer the questions. I do make one comment, however: “If God only blessed us after we became believers–if He took away all suffering, hardship, and turmoil for Christians–wouldn’t it be a way to bribe people into the faith?”

That’s not the way God works. The Lord wants us to come to Him out of love and because we know we’re needy–so needy that only He can fill those needs for us.

The reality is that from the time of birth until we go home to be with Jesus, we will suffer at times. Some have harder tasks than others, but suffering is still suffering.

I also think that when people watch us as we turn to God for help in our hardships and they see our victories, it provides a witness to them. That witness may not always make them turn to Christ, but it does show God’s presence in our lives and makes them aware of what they’re missing.

The other day I had a new thought: Suffering results in thanksgiving. When our lives turn chaotic and we don’t know what to do, we turn to the Lord for help, and He answers our prayers and sets us free. God speaks to us and comforts us. And the result is that we’re thankful.

The time between suffering and thanksgiving is when the devil truly attacks our thoughts. He may begin by saying, “If God really loved you, you would not have to go through this.” The truth is, we’ll have problems if we’re believers; we’ll have problems if we’re nonbelievers. But as believers, we’ll also have victories. As believers in Jesus Christ, we can have peace in the midst of the storm. We can enjoy our lives during the hardships because we truly believe that God is working on our behalf to bring deliverance.

Pray: My Master and my God, forgive me for always wanting an easy life. I admit that I don’t want to suffer, and I don’t like it when things go wrong. But I ask You to help me have a good attitude and to trust You to bring good out of it. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2005 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

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