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We have seen plenty of storms over the last year. In April of 2020, we endured a hard hit on our county. We have seen a few other storms blow through the area since, but none as difficult as the April assault. Recently, we had a tornado heading into the middle of Rockford, and it turned to the north and disappeared. Yep, we can say we have a fair share.
Life is not different. Storms blow into our lives and bring intense suffering and distress. Yet, even in the storms, God’s promises last.
When we look at our storms, we need to always be reminded our storms are different. Our storms offer the opportunity to change us. It is like creating that beautiful diamond; a diamond has to be cut. It is like that glass of juice you hold in your hand; a grape, apple, orange had to be crushed. When you sit down at Triple R and order a hamburger, a cow has to be killed. Though something is cut, crushed, or killed we get beauty, juice, and meat.
God takes what seems tragic and devastating, turning it around for good. How many times have we seen an accident, a job, or a change in relationships bring storms into someone’s life causing grief or hardships? It may be happening in your life or the life of a family member even now. The good from those things may not be happening fast enough. There are struggles or a desire God would use some other way, but blessings will come from whatever is causing the storms of life to swirl around, cause panic and bring heartache.
It is the way God works. He uses things, situations, and circumstances to bring us to a better understanding of His ways. The goodwill shines through. Goodwill come. And when the good shines through and comes to full light, you will be changed forever!
We read in Genesis that Jacob wrestled with God throughout the night; he asked for a blessing and limped away. We come to the New Testament where we meet the bold, brash, brazen fisherman named Peter, and we see he denied Christ, wept over his denial, and then preached the great message recorded for us in Acts at Pentecost.
For the person who eventually walks out of a storm, they will be different. They will walk into the storm one way; they will walk out another way. When they have endured, they will seem stronger, more focused, and willingly sharing the lessons they have learned in the fires of life.
God’s work is not to harm us. He is for us, not against us! His desire is to strengthen us, to build character and faith, and to bring us out as “gold” refined in the fire. His desire to us is to leave a lasting impression for His glory in this world, through you!
“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” – I Peter 1:3-9 (HCSB)
Remember, He never promised this life would be easy, but He does promise He is bigger than any storm we face. He is always working for good. He is with us. He is right in the midst of it all.
Until next time…
Dr. Jeff Fuller is the pastor of Rockford Baptist Church. You may call him through the church office at 256-377-4900 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.