The Lord brings storms into our life, in order to sanctify us. Sanctification is where He is able to set us apart, give us our purpose and plan in life, and ultimately make us more like Him. However, no one ever said that the lifelong process of sanctification would be easy, and many times we are brought to a place where we are without the ability to see any light at the end of the tunnel. When this happens, it is only natural to get discouraged, and wish that life did not include times of trial in order to find our way and live out our greater purpose. Yet because God can see further into our future than we could ever imagine, He knows best, and sometimes, what is necessary to mold us into all we were meant to be in life, are rough, trying, heart breaking, and physically tormenting storms. Overall, accepting the fact that sanctification means hardship and pain, may be something that we reject at first. After all, living in our own bubble, doing what we enjoy, and limiting our exposure to hurtful things in life, is only our natural instinct. In fact, truly embracing that times of struggle are necessary for us to grow, can bring a lot of sadness and confusion. Just when we feel as though we have fully come to terms with all that is changing in our life, something else gets added to the plate, leavings us feel as though everything is officially impossible. Overcome with grief, the last thing that we want to do is be positive, and even try to look for the bright side of things. Yet that is ok, and I am not entirely sure that God calls us to necessarily be happy in times of struggle, but rather, at peace. In order for this to occur, we must have put our full trust in God’s hands, and not rely on our physical mind and bodies to get us through the storm. This can be a process, and it certainly does not happen overnight, as we must tear our own prideful ambitions down day in and day out.
If we are not striving towards accepting the trials that come along with God sanctifying us, then we put ourselves in a place of complete failure. We are not allowing God to do what He promised us through salvation, and are ultimately still living a self-centered life. Therefore, instead of shrinking away from the process of striving to become like Christ, we must see storms as a time of transformation. Every one that comes has a purpose, and as long as we look to God for strength to get through, never once will we be left high and dry, unable to find the reason for such a season. That being said, we must not let the quest for finding our purpose in each storm become our main focus, as in doing so, we counteract the initial surrender to God’s will. Not only that, but the reason for our suffering may not even present itself while we are here on earth. In the end, if we have eternal perspective and strive to always focus on Christ, every storm, no matter how big, long, hard, and exhausting it may be, will not only seem tiny, but it will serve as yet another way we can grow closer to Him. Of course, trials are not something we as humans naturally embrace. In fact, most days we do all in our capability to avoid even the smallest of inconveniences. While this may be ok for being productive, staying on task, and arriving on time for appointments, we must not view storms in the same light. Instead of being a waste of our time, money, and energy, we take the trial at hand, and squeeze out as much of what we can learn from it as possible. We do this by talking to God, all day, any day, reading and meditating on His word, and ultimately always trying to keep our eyes fixed on Him, not the storm. Ultimately, trying to get through a rough period in life as fast as we humanly can, will only lead to fatigue, frustration, and anger. We forget that there is even any reason to the suffering, and just wish it would be over with. However, if we stick close to God and allow His will, storms no longer become a stumbling block, but rather an advantage point where we can get further in life and closer with God, spiritually and eternally.
James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”