Going Through A Storm?

Are you going through a storm right now?

When passing through the storms of life, please remember:

  1.  It could be worse.
  2.  It will get better.

Stay strong, focus on what you can do, not what you cannot, and know that the clouds will soon part, and the sun will return again. – Doe Zantamata

We all will experience storms in life.  I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like them.  I like things calm, peaceful – no drama and chaos please. Regardless of what I like, that doesn’t keep the storms away.  Several times in these past couple of years I’ve heard this about life storms:

We are either feeling a storm approaching, in the middle of a storm or in the aftermath of a storm.

I knew we’d all go through stuff in life but somehow I thought I’d get to a point in life where it would all just be smooth sailing.

Several years ago I also remember seeing Sheila Walsh on tv talking about storms.  She caught my full attention:

Just as storms show us all sorts of debris on the shore, when we walk through spiritual storms or emotional storms, if you walk through a really tough season in life, I’ve discovered in my life it will toss up some things on the shoreline of your heart.  And I think what happens is, it shows you what you actually believe as opposed to what you hope you believe, or even what you think you believe…Storms serve a huge purpose because they actually show us where we’re at in our faith and what we believe.    -Sheila Walsh

I thought about what she said.  I knew that during some storms feelings of fear would grip me.  It was at those times that I really had to steep myself in watching sermons.  A long time ago I found out that watching sermons brought me comfort. Yes, I knew about reading the Bible and praying – sometimes I did that too, but for me, actually watching  sermons seemed to offer me both comfort and learning (knowledge).  I ended up feeling closer to God.

One day I was having a conversation with my daughter about this.  I broke it down this way:  When you get a headache you take an aspirin and your headache goes away.  You don’t know how it works – you just know that it works.  For me, it’s the same thing with God, with the sermons (when I’m fearful, upset, etc.).  I like how Joyce Meyer breaks it down:

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”– Thich Nhat Hanh


Why Do We Experience Trials?

Have you ever wondered why we experience trials in life?

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. – 1 Peter 4:12

Many of us have heard that we will experience trials and tribulations in life.  But how do we handle them?  Why do we experience them?  What’s the purpose?  What are the lessons we are supposed to learn?

Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways. -Proverbs 20:30 (GNT)

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. – Romans 5:3-5

Okay, so we know about the trials and tribulations thing.  The next thing we know for sure is that people die, and one day too you and I will die.  With that said, where did you learn how to go through trials, tribulations and tests?  Where did you learn how to handle grief?  Where did you learn how to handle emotions?  In school, I certainly didn’t see any classes being offered on those subjects.  I don’t recall anything like Trials, Tribulations & Tests 101, Grief 101, Relationship Skills 101, Managing Your Emotions 101, Discovering Your Purpose 101, Personal Finance/Money Management 101, Conflict Management 101, Handling Disappointment 101, Anger Management 101, Love 101, Compassion & Empathy 101, Character 101 — Did you?

So we fumble through life with our limited knowledge and perspectives trying to figure it all out and deal with things the only way we know how.  Some people don’t even bother to learn anything past their formal schooling unless it involves acquiring a skill for employment.  So is it really surprising that so much of the population is trying to seek comfort in all the wrong places, trying to seek comfort in people and things that never satisfy but at most may give us a temporary, momentary high, or just assist us to numb out.

A couple days ago I watched a Rick Warren video on YouTube titled, “Learn How to Thrive When Your World is Shaken Up.”  In the video he talks about the four sources of shake-ups in life, but he really goes deep when he talks about how some of the problems and pressures and difficulties we have in life actually come from God.  And then he goes on to explain some reasons/purpose for the problem and what questions we are to ask ourselves.  And yes, sometimes we have a problem because we did the right thing.  Definitely food for thought.

Video:  Learn How to Thrive When Your World is Shaken Up – Rick Warren


God’s Purpose Behind Your Problems

God Really does have a Purpose behind your Problems!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. – 1 Peter 5:10