The Purpose and the Plan Behind Storms in Life
As many of you know, I am in northwestern Harris County, between Houston and The Woodlands, and the remaining bands from Hurricane Harvey are pummeling us right now. The rain bands have been pelting us, on and off now (mostly on), for two days. We see on the news that the whole southern coastal area of Texas is seeing catastrophic levels of flooding. Our home has not taken in water as of yet; but we wait, listening to the storm and watching the water rise in the streets and around our neighborhood. We do not know for certain just how bad the destruction will be.
We know it is going to be bad. Will tens of thousands of homes be destroyed, or will hundreds of thousands of homes be destroyed? And although I know it is a selfish thought, of course, we also naturally wonder: is our home going to be one that is affected? Are we prepared? If we take in water and destruction, do we have a plan to seek help, to seek safety, and ultimately to rebuild? And if we are blessed to stay safe in a dry home, we still wonder: are we prepared and willing to seek ways to personally help others who may not be so fortunate?
I've been thinking of what to write this weekend. Honestly, I've only been thinking a little bit about writing - because I obviously have a lot on my mind right now. However, today my pastor addressed us with an excellent message through Facebook Live. He did this because all the churches in the area are closed and unable to hold services today due to the storm.
So in this moment, I feel that my notes, gleaned from the wisdom my pastor shared this morning, are the best words to also share with all of you today. So whether you are also going through the Harvey Storm (as I know many of you are); or whether you are in a different kind of life storm -- I hope these words will help you stay close to Him, and help you to seek His purposes throughout it all.
Here are my notes:
God does have a purpose to every storm in life, and there is also a purpose and a plan beyond every storm.
Storms refine our faith. Adversity stretches us, and causes us to trust more and more in Christ for our needs and for our strength.
Trials are the “classroom” for our spiritual development.
Storms are not always due to disobedience. Sometimes we go through a storm because God has larger purposes for His kingdom plan.
God may take you to a storm, and He made take you through a storm; but he never leaves you in the middle of a storm.
Through the storm, God is always working. He is always there.
God will not leave us in a storm. God would not have led us to it, if it was His intention to leave us in it.
Promises from God in the midst of a storm:
There is no promise of a storm-free life; but we are promised His presence in every storm. Peace came to the disciples when they turned to Christ during the storm. Sometimes we just have to sit and watch the destruction happen, knowing there is nothing we can do. But we never sit there alone.
Somehow God will use this for His glory. We probably don't want to hear this now; yet it is a definite promise from God. Romans 8:28 tells us, "All things work together for good for those who love Him and are called towards his purpose."
He will use this storm, and all storms we encounter, in order to grow our faith. We will be able to use this experience as a future testimony. "He turns our tests into testimonies."
We cannot see it now, but God is using this to build a foundation for something that we cannot see.
Fear is the opposite of faith. We can be fear-filled or faith-filled, but not both.
We cannot control the outcome, but we can trust the One who does.
Storms in life can be of all kinds: financial, medical/health related, or family or job troubles.
God is the God of any and every storm.
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As I finish writing this, the rain has picked up once again, and it continues to pelt relentlessly. We will go to bed tonight not sure what tomorrow nor the days ahead will bring.
We cannot control it. We cannot stop it.
We cannot even get out of it.
We have to go through it.
We don't have to go through it alone.
God is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the same comfort we ourselves receive from God.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
If you would like to see the entire message from Pastor Fleming on Facebook, it is posted on the church facebook page. I'm not able to find a way to link directly to the video, but you can find the video by scrolling to posts dated the morning of August 27, 2017 : https://www.facebook.com/championforest/
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