I don’t know a single believer who has never faced a stormy season. Every believer must go through them, it’s just something that we can’t escape. When you’re going through a storm it’s so easy to feel like you’re all alone and to just want to give up. It’s easy to forget the goodness of God and it’s easy to get in your emotions. If the storm is severe enough, fear and hopelessness can overtake you to the point that you even begin to contemplate options outside of God (been there), but there is always hope.
I know what it’s like to be going through a storm so severe that it causes you to wonder where God is, if He even cares about what you’re going through, or if He’s trying to punish you. I know what it’s like to be hit with one thing after the other and to just need a word of encouragement and hope that things won’t always be the way they are. And no matter how long you’ve been saved or how strong you are spiritually, we all need encouragement when we are going through these seasons. There is hope in your storm and I pray that this blog post is a refreshing to your soul as God takes you through your stormy season. (Note: There’s difference between storms that God allows vs. storms that you walk into because of disobedience. When it’s a storm that God allows, His grace is there to keep you through it. When it’s a storm caused by your own disobedience, things will continue to get worse until you repent and get back where you are supposed to be).
Every storm serves a purpose.
Purpose is defined as: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. The aim or intention of something; intention.
God doesn’t allow things to happen in our lives without a purpose (without an intention/aim/reason for existence). When you are living for God, every storm that ever comes into your life must first have God’s permission to enter. Nothing happens “just because” and God is not a ruthless God that plays with our minds, lives, and emotions (let that sink in). It’s so easy to forget that we serve an INTENTIONAL God. Everything He allows is for a reason. Therefore, there’s a reason for the rain. While you’re going through what you’re going through, God is doing something in your heart and in your spirit. God uses storms to remove ungodly things in you and replace it with godly things, show you areas of yourself that you never saw, test the word that’s already in you to see how rooted you are in Him; prepare you for what’s to come, refine you, prune your heart, teach you His ways and so much more. Our flesh does not like these seasons, but at the end of it our spirits rejoice because so much growth takes place.
My greatest growth has come from my hardest seasons. It was in times where I felt like I was taking one loss after the other that I grew up in the spirit the most. I’ve shared before that it was in one of my hardest seasons of life that God birthed a worshipper in me; it was in that season that He taught me to worship in spite of everything, to stand strong in the midst of things being stripped from my life and in the midst of great persecution, it was in that season where He taught me to make war (in spiritual warfare). Had I not gone through it, I would not have grown in the spirit. I HAD to walk through that season. It was absolutely necessary for where God was taking me. God doesn’t want us to stay spiritual wimps; sometimes He will bring storms simply to make us grow up. You have to go where God is taking you but to get there you have to pass through many storms – they are for your benefit.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:2-4
God is not punishing you by allowing the storm, our human instinct is to panic during these times, but if we really knew what God was doing in the spirit we would rejoice (although it does not feel good at the moment). God wants us to lack nothing spiritually and equip us for the work of the Kingdom. When you come out of the storm you will look so much better than you did going in!
Praise, worship, and stay in the Word through the storm.
It’s so easy to give up when you’re going through hell and high water. It’s so easy to lose your praise, lose your worship, stop reading the word like you should, and just sulk and have a pity party when you’re going through it. Instead of losing heart, praise! It may seem strange (and hard) to praise instead of panic, but I’m telling you, IT. WILL. GET. YOU. THROUGH. Instead of meditating on what you’re going through, WORSHIP and meditate on the Word of God. Focusing on God through the storm will put things in perspective. While the enemy would love to use this time to beat you up in your mind and in your emotions, combat that by keeping your mind on the things of God.
When you fill yourself up with the word during these times, you have something to fight with and stand on. The storm is not a time to put your weapons down, it’s a time to utilize your weapons and tighten your grip on God. Think of it in the natural: when a hurricane or tornado is coming, that’s not a time to be out and about chilling or so scared that you’re crying and not doing what you need to do to stay safe. It’s a time to get into a safe place (God) and to hold on to Him like never before. Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” When you run into God during these times instead of running away from Him, He will keep you. God wants you to draw closer to Him during these times because it reveals that you understand that He’s the only One that can keep you.
Having a continual, steadfast mindset of praise will prevent you from getting depressed. Praise reminds you of the goodness of God and of the very fact that God is with you. God gives us the “garment of praise for the spirt of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3), but we have to put it on! When you are feeling down and out, PRAISE! The same goes for worship, when you worship in your hardest, darkest moments, it strengthens your worship and intimacy with God. There is something about choosing to genuinely worship God in a dark place – it’s like you’re pouring your oil on Him and telling Him, “I don’t have much but I give you EVERYTHING that I do have” – It’s a beautiful place of TOTAL surrender. There is a growth, strength and intimacy that is birthed in that place that cannot be birthed any other way. Don’t neglect your relationship with God because you’re going through, draw near to Him and He will draw near to you in this time.
Remember the goodness of the Lord.
“God forgot about me…” “Things were better for me before I came to Christ so I should just give up…” “I’ve been in this situation forever, I’m tired of doing things God’s way…” – These are all thoughts that will pop up in your mind when you’re in a really stormy season, especially if it’s a lengthy one or you’ve been getting hit with one thing after the other. Put a pause on those thoughts and think back to all the times in the past that God came through for you, think of all the goodness He’s poured out on you in past seasons. It’s human nature to only think of what we’re going through now and how we are feeling at the present moment, but if you allow Him to, the Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance the goodness of God not just in your life but in the life of those around you and of those spoken of in Scripture.
I always tell people that whenever God does something amazing in your life (big or small) or a testimony takes place, to write it down because they will need it to look back on one day. When you’re drenched and soaked in a storm, it is so, so easy to forget about what God did yesterday. It is so easy to accuse God of being unloving, unjust, unfair, and everything else and forget how just a few weeks/months ago you were singing His praises and telling Him how wonderful He is.
All of us can look back on something that God has done in the past to encourage us for our present season. He has brought you through so much already, don’t let the enemy fool you into thinking He has abandoned you all of a sudden (the enemy’s job is to lie and deceive). God is a fair and just God, He doesn’t abandon His children and He doesn’t’ leave us to be ashamed (Rom. 10:11).
Hold on! This too shall pass.
Hold on to God and keep the faith! Don’t take matters into your own hands or give up on God completely! If you really believe that God has a purpose for bringing this storm into your life (point #1) then you will be still until He removes it. Just as He brought the storm into your life for a purpose, He can take it away once that purpose has been fulfilled. God is with you as you go through what you are going through. He doesn’t’ just drop you in the midst of it and walk away and leave you to fend for yourself, He is literally by your side through every phase of it. And if you keep your mind focused on Him, He will give you everything you need to make it through.
The storm won’t last forever. After the rain stops and the dark clouds pass, the sun will eventually come out. The enemy wants you to believe that you’ll be where you are forever, but that’s a lie – the storm WILL come to an end (no matter how long it lasts). There is a time for everything (Ecc. 3:1-8), therefore there is a set time ordained by God for that storm to end. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” Wait patiently for God to bring it to an end.
So many people give up on their faith completely and go back into the world because they forget that everything God does serves a purpose, they forget to meditate on the Word and the goodness of God, and they forget that God is with them in their storm – they forget the God that they serve (or don’t know Him well enough to believe that He will see them through). Our God is a just and righteous God, everything that He does is righteous. He loves us so tenderly and proved that love by dying on the cross for us. Trust Him in your storm. Let the storm do what it was intended to do – let it take you to another level of glory in Him. Many of us want to be used by God greatly but don’t want to be tried by Him; we don’t want Him to refine us, purge us, or prune us, we just want Him to give us everything WE want. But because He loves us so, so much, He will do whatever is best for us, including taking us through stormy seasons.
God is still God in the storm. Rest in The Fathers arms as He carries you through.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
nor shall the flame scorch you.”
– Isaiah 43:2