I know that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. (Psalm 119:75)
Now there is a biblical truth that every child of God — beginning with me — needs to have etched upon his or her heart when the storm winds of life are howling around us.
Everything God does is good and right. “He is the Rock,” Deuteronomy 32:4 assures us, “his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” There are no mistakes or missteps in God’s economy. Everything that happens in this world happens for only two reasons: for God’s glory and for the ultimate good of all those for whom He gave his Son.
To be sure, we all must process the challenges we face, but we are to process them in faith, not fear. When we do this, we will always reach the same conclusion that the psalmist confidently declared:
In faithfulness you have afflicted me.
You see, it is during those times of great difficulty and challenge that God is doing the most work in our lives. When I look back over the years in my walk with Christ, my periods of deepest pain have produced my greatest progress, because God was afflicting me in faithfulness. Think about it for a moment; would you not agree that this has been true for you also? Our God is too wise, too faithful, too loving, too good to do anything that is not for our ultimate good — that ultimate good being conforming us to the image of His Son. It is always in faithfulness, not fickleness, that God sends storms our way.
Now, it’s human nature that that we do not rejoice in the experience of the storms we endure in this life. Let me quickly add that the Spirit of God commands us to “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2). This is the command, but I would have to be the first to admit that I am not very good at keeping it! I am far more likely to fret and fuss and fume at trials, rather than rejoice in them. Can I get a witness?
However, even when we fail to rejoice in the midst of our trials, we should rejoice in the results of them. No one likes to be buffeted by the winds and the waves of challenge that come against us, but because we understand that God is in complete control of all things, including the storms of life, we can rest in the results that He has promised. As the poet A. M. Overton wrote,
My Father’s way may twist and turn, My heart may throb and ache,
But in my soul I’m glad to know, He maketh no mistake!
So regardless of the storms you may be facing today, or the ones you may see looming on the horizon, remember that you can trust God to lead you safely through to the other side because He knows the way. And if God does not change your circumstances, it is only because He is changing you. He is faithful in His love for you! No mistakes can ever come from the hand of your Master.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!