God will let the storms rage in our life. Like the refiner’s fire, He will use these storms to develop Christ’s character in areas where we need changing. This process will especially intensify as we approach Christ’s return. Those ready to meet Jesus will have gone through the refining process, enabling Christ to be perfectly reflected in their character. Trials and difficulties are the means God uses to carry on His work of purification in our life:
“Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 69).”
The storms of life can be confusing and scary, but we must remember who is with us. Take for example the story of the disciples and their experience on the stormy seas:
“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’ ” (Mark 4:35-40).
“The disciples and Jesus were caught in a terrible storm in a small boat on the lake. The disciples fought the storm, trying to keep the boat afloat, but they couldn’t do it on their own. Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat. They cried out to Him in desperation, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Jesus words of reply are very significant, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
The point of the story is not that Jesus can stop the storm, even though that is good to know. The point is, don’t fight the storm. The disciples were in the storm at Jesus’ direction, and Jesus was with the disciples in the boat.
Ellen White wrote of the great peace Jesus had when He ministered on earth. Describing His response during the storm, she wrote:
“When Jesus was awakened to meet the storm, he was in perfect peace. There was no trace of fear in word or look, for no fear was in His heart. But He rested not in the possession of almighty power. It was not as the ‘Master of earth and sea and sky’ that He reposed in quiet. That power He had laid down, and He says, ‘I can of Mine own self do nothing.’ John 5:30. He trusted in the Father’s might. It was in faith—faith in God’s love and care—that Jesus rested, and the power of that word which stilled the storm was the power of God” (The Desire of Ages, p. 336).
She goes on to challenge us to trust our Lord in the same manner:
“As Jesus rested by faith in the Father’s care, so we are to rest in the care of our Saviour. If the disciples had trusted in Him, they would have been kept in peace. Their fear in the time of danger revealed their unbelief. In their efforts to save themselves, they forgot Jesus: and it was only when, in despair of self-dependence, they turned to Him that He could give them help.”
How often the disciples’ experience is ours! When the tempests of temptation gather, and the fierce lightnings flash, and the waves sweep over us, we battle with the storm alone, forgetting that there is One who can help us. We trust in our own strength till our hope is lost, and we are ready to perish. Then we remember Jesus, and if we call upon Him to save us, we shall not cry in vain. . . . Whether on the land or on the sea, if we have the Saviour in our hearts, there is no need of fear. Living faith in the Redeemer will smooth the sea of life, and will deliver us from danger in the way that He knows to be best” (ibid.).
The same lesson applies to us today. The storms of life are inevitable; we will experience trying and difficult times. However, we do not have to fight the storm. Jesus is with us in the boat of life, and He will not leave you during the storms of life.
Personal Reflection and Discussion:
1. Why does God allow storms to rage in our lives?
2. What is Christ waiting for in His people? What must happen before His return?
3. What lessons can be learned from the disciples’ stormy experience on the lake?
• 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.
4. Pray for God to help you not to panic when storms come into your life.
5. Pray for the individuals on your prayer list.
Excerpt From: Dennis Smith. “40 Days.”