Saturday, January 22, 2011

More on the Weather

I know, I know, yet another message centered around the weather.  Saturdays are for taking whatever is on my heart and finding a message from God in it and so far this Winter, it has been the weather.  We are facing yet another major storm this week up here in New Jersey and one has to wonder when the last storm will finally come through.  Sometimes in life it is like that.  Sometimes (though for the most part we are being mellowdramatic though sometimes it is not too far off), we feel like Job and cry out "What next?!" or "When will this end?!"  Yes, sometimes even for children of God, the storms seem to keep coming.  Sometimes are friends are no better than his and tell us that something must be wrong with us or these things would not happen. 

Why does it happen, though?  Why would our loving God allow repeating calamity to crash through the lives us His children?  Why would God allow us to suffer crisis after crisis with no end in sight?  He does it because He loves us.  I know that goes against every grain of logic we can muster in our mortal brains, but our ways are not His ways nor are our thoughts His thoughts.  He has a purpose behind every crisis, loss, heartbreak, storm, tragedy, or calamity that comes our way.  I am not going to answer what that reason may be in your life because I am not the one to tell you.  Only God knows why He is allowing those things to happen and our response needs to draw nearer to Him and not harden ourselves to Him.  Ultimately, no matter the reason, the ultimate goal is your faith being strengthened and your relationship with Him being closer than it was before.  The end is not the crisis, but how He takes you through it and how He uses what you experienced to bless others. 
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NKJV
As His children, we are privy to His grace and comfort in our times of needs.  We need to cling to that and God will comfort us through our train of tribulations leaving us with the same grace and comfort provided by Him to provide to others going through the same things we are dealing with or have made it through.  Empathy is not something you can learn from a book, it is something you must learn through experience.  You can not understand the pain of another if it is not a pain you yourself have felt.  We experience that pain as a means to empathize with others. 

And while blessing others is a side-effect of our tribulations, we have the primary objecting of growing in our faith and relationship with our Lord.  Christ suffered just as we suffer and sharing in that fellowship of pain, we find the joy of that special intimacy with Christ.  We also see that in the end, God will take us through.  Even if the end is not in this world, we live in the hope that the end of tribulation comes to a dramatic halt in the next world.  There is no pain in eternity. 

So face the series of tribulation with the knowledge that God will give you the strength to get through and that in the end you will have an even better relationship with the Lord than you do now.  Face it with the knowledge that your experiences will be used to bless others who are going through the same.  Face it with the knowledge of the hope that no matter what happens in this life, we have eternity in paradise with our Lord where there will be no snow, no layoffs, no death, no sickness, no car accidents, no divorce,  no broken hearts, no surgeries, and no broken cars.  And finally, face it with the knowledge that God has a purpose behind your tribulation and that purpose is always for your benefit.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4 NKJV

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