As the old saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Michigan, just wait five minutes.” Today is proving the wise old sage knew what he was talking about. Yet from sunshine to storms…and back again to sunshine then storms this is the day the Lord has made, therefore, let us rejoice and be glad in the One who has ordained it! This same truth connects with our everyday lives, too. The difficulties and happy moments, the valleys and the mountaintops are all part of God’s work of grace in and through His people. God’s testing and God’s blessing are all part of His design to refine the character of His people.
Songwriter, Laura Story, wrote in an incredibly moving song entitled Blessings, “What if Your blessings come through raindrops, what if Your healing comes through tears, what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know Your near? What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy? What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”
Listen to these words of truth that outline the same message:
“Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; Sing the glory of His name; Make His praise glorious. . . . Bless our God, O peoples, and sound His praise abroad, Who keeps us in life and does not allow our feet to slip. For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; you laid an oppressive burden upon our loins. You made men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water, Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance. . . . Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul.” (Psalm 66:1, 8-12, 16)
Did you catch the movement in that psalm? You didn’t quite expect that, did you? God’s refining, sanctifying work of grace in His children sometimes involves deep difficulty… but also great rejoicing. He may bring “burden . . . fire and water” yet he also does not allow our “feet to slip” (even though it may seem like it at the time!). And, ultimately, God leads us through and out of those stormy valleys.
Remember, God’s testing and God’s blessing are all part of His design to refine the character of His people.
On the other side of the trial, we turn yet again, like the psalmist, and proclaim, “Come and hear . . . Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer nor His lovingkindness from me.” (Psalm 26:16a, 20).
What storms are you going through right now? What is God teaching you through the “thunder, lightning, and rain” you’re experiencing right now? I’d like to hear about it and pray for you. I will look forward to your reply.
Looking for strength in the middle of your storm? You can listen to a recent message I preached entitled “Strength for any Storm” (Psalm 8) by clicking on the play button below or by subscribing to our iTunes podcast.
Delivered at North Park Baptist Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan.