When we pray for God’s will to be done in our life, we will often be caught in a stormy situation. It is easy for us to become fearful and anxious at such times. The storms of life try our faith, revealing our faith or lack of faith. The storms also give us an opportunity to develop faith—to develop Christ’s character.
God uses storms, trying and difficult experiences, to carry out His will in our life. When we learn to trust in God, all fear, anxiety, and concern will be gone, and peace will fill our heart. We find many biblical examples of God’s people being caught in a storm.
The story of Joseph, the son of Jacob, is one such story. Jacob loved Joseph very much, and he gave him a coat of many colors. After receiving the coat, Joseph had dreams that seemed to indicate that his family would bow down to him sometime in the future.
Jacob’s special treatment of Joseph had created flaws in his son’s character. In order for God to be able to carry out His plans in Joseph’s life, it was necessary for Joseph to go through several storms to develop the character God needed so that He could use him in a mighty way. Ellen White wrote of Joseph’s experience:
“But, in the providence of God, even this experience was to be a blessing to him. He had learned in a few hours that which years might not otherwise have taught him. His father, strong and tender as his love had been, had done him wrong by his partiality and indulgence. This unwise preference had angered his brothers and provoked them to the cruel deed that had separated him from his home. Its effects were manifest also in his own character. Faults had been encouraged that were now to be corrected. He was becoming self-sufficient and exacting. Accustomed to the tenderness of his father’s care, he felt that he was unprepared to cope with the difficulties before him, in the bitter, uncared-for life of a stranger and a slave” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 213).
Joseph proved to be faithful to God and man when he was brought to Egypt. However, the storms continued. As you know from an earlier devotional, Joseph was tempted, tested, and thrown into prison. Through all of these situations, Joseph had to rely on God and continue praying for God’s will be done in his life. However, as God’s will was performed in Joseph’s life, he was caught in the storm. It was through adversity that God fulfilled the dreams he gave to Joseph. If there had been no slave sale and imprisonment, there would have been no governorship in Egypt, and there would have been no saving of Jacob’s family from the famine. Ellen White wrote:
“Trials and obstacles are the Lord’s chosen methods of discipline and His appointed conditions of success” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 471).
Throughout the story of Joseph we see him patiently waiting on and looking to God for deliverance. Many things happened to him that he didn’t understand. I am sure that at times it seemed as if God had forsaken him. Yet, he still trusted God to see him through the storms and deliver him. By trusting and waiting on God, Joseph received a great blessing as he endured the severe storms of life that the Lord allowed him to experience.
Joseph’s story is a lesson for us. When thrown into a severe storm of life, God wants us to know that we are in the storm by His providence and that He has a divine purpose for our life. Even if we find ourselves in a storm by our own foolish actions, God will use that to teach us important life lessons, and we will learn how truly merciful and forgiving He is. The psalmist tells us:
“Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, were afflicted. Their soul abhorred all manner of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions” (Ps. 107:17-20).
Our God is sovereign and capable to deliver us from our own foolishness. We may suffer from it, but even these storms will work out for our good and God’s glory.
Personal reflection and discussion:
1. Why does God allow storms to come into the Christian’s life?
2. What lessons did God teach Joseph through the storms He led him to experience?
3. List a few stormy experiences God has allowed to come into your life and the lessons you have learned.
4. Can the Christian learn lessons from storms brought on by their own foolishness?
• Call your prayer partner and discuss this devotional with him/her.
• Pray with your prayer partner:
1. Pray for God to baptize you with His Holy Spirit.
2. Pray for God to revive you and His church.”
3. Pray for God to lead you to trust Him even through the worst of life’s storms.
4. Pray for God to keep you from foolishly bringing a needless storm into your life.
5. Pray for the individuals on your prayer list.
Excerpt From: Dennis Smith. “40 Days.”