(Photo: Dan Delzell)
We live on a planet filled with storms. Some of them are huge....like Hurricane Sandy. Others weather patterns are rather small and cause little havoc.
There are storms in our personal lives as well. Some of them tend to be crushing, while others come and go without incident.
About 2000 years ago, the Son of God left the perfection of heaven and entered our storm-filled world. He came here to die. There upon the cross, Jesus endured the "hurricane" of God's wrath against sin. Yes....God hates sin that much....but He also loves us that much.
When the storms of life leave you confused and frustrated, just remember this: God is never surprised by what happens....and He is never out of position to help anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord. God saw it before it took place....and He is the ultimate "first responder." "Nothing is all creation is hidden from God's sight." (Hebrews 4:13)
We don't have answers to all the "why's" of every storm. But we have something even better....we have been given a demonstration of God's eternal love once and for all. Christ suffered through a massive "hurricane" in order to save us from sin, death, and hell.
"Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin." (1 Peter 4:1) Suffering has a way of teaching us what really matters in life. Without suffering, we tend to become complacent and we remain pretty self-reliant. When we are brought to our knees through suffering, we are reminded of the One who gives and who takes away.
The temptation is to think that God has forgotten you when you are suffering. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is right there in the midst of it with you....that is, if you believe in the Lord. Just because it feels like God is against you doesn't make it true. You and I cannot believe everything we think.
Without faith in Christ, suffering in this world is only a foretaste of what is to come. With faith in Jesus, suffering is used by God to refine us and draw us closer to Him. Those who reject Christ are in essence "wasting" all of their suffering. They are not gaining anything beneficial from it.
Have you been wasting your suffering? Have you been so busy blaming God that you have missed out on the depth of character that God wants to produce in those who accept His Son? We are all by nature prone to blame God....rather than to trust Him. We tend to think that He is out to punish us....when in fact, Jesus came to earth not to condemn the world, but to save it. (John 3:17)
Do you know the Savior, and does He know you? Or have your personal storms in life led you to curse Him rather than to praise Him? Cursing the Creator has never helped anyone rise up in hope or get any relief in the midst of suffering. The path to peace is to bring our hurt and pain and confusion to Christ. That is much easier said than done....but millions of believers around the world are doing it in the midst of their storms....including many believers on the East Coast of America today after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
Storms in this life can bring much suffering. Storms in the next life are far worse....that is, for those who enter that realm without Jesus. There is no good reason for you to say "no" to Christ today. Just open your heart and your mind, and believe that He loves you and that He died for your sins on the cross.
If you do, it won't make all your storms in this life go away....but it sure will strengthen you to press on when the going gets tough.
Just remember....He pressed on for you so that you could live forever with Him. Believe it....receive it....and be changed by the One who bore God's wrath against sin. If God was not a God of love, He would have never sent His only Son to suffer and to save us from the ultimate hurricane.