Just as God has a purpose for each of our lives, there’s a purpose for every storm we experience. Let’s examine a few reasons why we must encounter storms in our Christian walk.
One of God’s purposes for storms is to show you who God is, who you are, and who others are. God is the only one who remains with you throughout the intensity and duration of all your storms. You may not always feel the Lord’s presence in a storm. But it’s especially important during these times to be mindful to live by faith and not by sight or feelings.
Storms serve as the training ground to teach you to live by faith. A faith that has not been tested cannot be trusted. It is imperative to have an expectation when you find yourself in a storm. What does God say about your situation in His Word? The Bible says, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17). God did not say the weapon would not form. But He did promise the weapon would not prosper. Let God’s Word be your expectation. God’s promises will keep you anchored in the face of adversity.
Another reason God allows storms is because you are a seed. As a seed, you must be planted in an environment that is conducive to your growth. The storm is the environment God sows you into to cultivate your development. While you might question the validity of this statement, in Matthew 14:22 Jesus instructed His disciples to get into a boat and go to the other side knowing a storm would blow into their lives as they crossed the water. The good news is that we are created to thrive in any environment in which God places us. Your kingdom assignment requires appointments with storms throughout your Christian walk. God knows you will not grow unless He assigns stormy seasons to your life.
God also uses storms to separate you from boat people. Boat people are satisfied with the status quo. They are content with living a mediocre life. They settle into what I call comfortable captivity and remain confined to their past and bound by small-mindedness. They never fulfill their dreams or reach their potential. They have a boatload of excuses why they cannot do any better. More importantly, boat people want you to remain in the boat with them.
In Matthew 14:28 Peter said, “ Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Jesus never said Peter’s name. Instead, Jesus responded with a single word, “Come” in Matthew 14:29. When Jesus said “Come” it was an open invitation to all the boat’s occupants to come out of the boat. Peter was the only one to step out. He did not wait until the conditions were ideal to get out of the boat. Unfortunately, many Christians are like those who remained in the boat. The conditions must be right before they make a move. They refuse to start the business because they are blinded by their limited finances and resources. They are unable to see themselves beyond their present circumstances. They shy away from opportunities God sends their way because they do not see themselves as capable. The Bible says, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
In Matthew 14:29 when Jesus said, “Come,” it demanded a greater level of trust in an already stormy situation. Peter allowed himself to be exposed to the elements of a harsh environment. He had a sense he was being called to a dimension of greatness he had never known before. He would not have known he could walk on water if he remained within the confines of the boat. He stepped out despite his fears. Destiny demands that you learn how to do things scared. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Rather, courage means you do it even in the face of fear. Greatness demands you step out of what’s comfortable and familiar.
Jesus does His best work when things are at their worst. Will you trust Jesus in the height of your storm? When you can’t see, hear or feel Him? When things seem to be getting worse? Jesus is calling you to “Come.” Will you step out on faith? Can you believe?
Stay tuned for the final post in this series when we discuss victory over the storm. Until next time…Be blessed!
Rev. Cynthia Jackson