by Dr. Charles Stanley
God’s Purpose in the Storm
Believers have a choice about how they will respond to life’s tempests. Either they can cast blame while becoming resentful and bitter, or they can turn to the Lord and ask, “What is Your purpose?”
Since recognizing God’s purpose and plan is the way that faith grows, Christians have the right to ask “why?” Like a child learning new concepts, we see that when x happens, God does y, just as He promised. For instance, in the Old Testament, King David made destructively wrong choices for which God allowed cleansing storms into his life. The leader of the nation had wandered off the right path, but painful experiences drove him back to the center of the Lord’s will. We might consider the divine method cruel, but David would disagree. He wrote, “Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I keep Your word… It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (Psalm 119:67, 71).
Returning believers to right fellowship is only one of God’s purposes for a life storm. Some difficulties are meant to blow away all distractions so we can focus our attention on the Lord. Other tempests break our worldly mold so that we can be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Our personal pleasure is not the top priority. God’s primary concern is to shape a wise and obedient servant who loves Him.
When a storm rages into our life, the Lord is already planning how to turn destruction into good. Seek His objective, and work with Him to achieve it. The promise of Romans 8:28 is that we will reap gain from our losses.
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