One of my favorite inspirational quotes is by Vivian Greene. It says, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. . . . It’s about learning to dance in the rain!” This quote inspires me for two reasons: I love to dance, and I don’t like rain. I don’t like storms. I like it when everything goes according to plan. I guess you can say I am a recovering perfectionist. But life isn’t perfect or fair. It doesn’t always go the way we hope or expect.
Growing up, I always wanted to know the “why” behind bad things happening to good people. So I asked people I respected for an answer. One person was my grandfather, Kenneth E. Hagin. Whenever I asked him why such and such happened, he looked at me and said, “Denise, the secret things belong to the Lord.”
As a teenager, that answer pacified me for a while. But as I grew older and started experiencing faith-shaking events in my life, it was no longer good enough.
When a close friend received a life-altering report from her doctor, I asked the Lord why. He said, “You are asking the wrong question. That is why you don’t have an answer. Stop asking why, and start asking who. Why the storm is happening is not nearly as important as Who is in the storm with you.”
Jesus is the Who in any storm you face. And if you know Who He is to you during those times, the why simply doesn’t matter.
Many times when Christians experience adversity, they default to thinking they must be out of the will of God. But going through a trial does not mean that at all.
In the biblical account where Jesus calms the storm (Mark 4:35–41), the disciples were in the middle of a storm. Yet, they were very much in God’s will—after all, they were with Jesus! And He always did His Father’s will.
Jesus said we would experience trials and sorrows (John 16:33 NLT). But then He told us to take heart because He overcame the world. In the Greek, take heart means “unflinching courage.” And this is the attitude to have during a storm.
God knows every hardship you will face and promises to take you through all adversity. So anytime you encounter an overwhelming situation, instead of asking why, look to the Who that is always with you. Who is He?
Why the storm is happening is not nearly as important as Who is in the storm with you.
Mark 4:39 (NLT) says, “When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Silence! Be still!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.” The Who in your storm will be your calm.
It’s not natural to be calm when faced with difficult situations. The world expects you to freak out, cry, and scream. But because the Who with you is Jesus, you can tap into His peace and let it flood your heart and mind.
No one feels like being joyful in a trial. There may be days you don’t want to get out of bed. But outlook often determines outcome. A defeated and depressed outlook allows the waves of a storm to crash down on you.
Instead of being discouraged, James 1:2 (NIV) says to consider it an opportunity for pure joy when tests and challenges come your way. That doesn’t mean you are happy for the hard time. Joy comes from knowing the waves are temporary and that you will get to the other side with the One who is in your boat.
You may have to force your emotions to line up by doing things that fuel your joy. Find something that makes you laugh and lifts you up. A cheerful heart is good medicine!
Your Friend and Comforter
Jesus is the source of your comfort. Believing this truth gives you the boldness and courage to face anything. Psalm 34:18 (NLT) says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” And Second Corinthians 1:3–4 (NLT) says, “God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
God will bring people into your life to show His comfort and mercy during a storm. Don’t let pride, stubbornness, or self-sufficiency cause you to reject the help God sends to you.
God also wants you to be part of the Who in someone else’s life. One of the best ways to forget about your problems is by looking for opportunities to comfort someone during a tough season in their life.
Storms come at the most inconvenient times! When they arrive, it is critical to focus on the Who and not the circumstance, problem, or prognosis. Keeping your eyes on Jesus will transform the very atmosphere around you. It can change the atmosphere in a hospital room, in your home, or with a rebellious teenager.
Hebrews 12:2 says to fix your eyes on Jesus—the author and finisher of your faith. That means Jesus will be with you in the beginning, in the middle, and at the finish line. He will never leave you! So no matter how bad things may look or how hard they may be, stay focused on God!
The Who will be your voice. Remember, Jesus was not silent in the storm. He spoke to it and said, “Silence, be still.” He has given you authority to do the same.
Let Jesus speak in your storm through the Word. It has a lot to say about every circumstance you go through! Search the scriptures to find what it says about your situation. Once you have God’s Word on the matter, speak to your storm! Speaking the Word with boldness will bring about a great calm.
The Who with you is always victorious. He never quits or loses! Therefore, you never have to be afraid when faced with challenges. You can be confident that the end of your story is victorious because Jesus—the King of Kings, the Healer, the Provider, the Alpha and Omega—lives inside of you. He has made you more than a conqueror (Rom. 8:37).
So the next time you are in a storm, you don’t have to wait for it to pass. You can smile and dance in the rain because you know Who is with you!
Denise Hagin Burns
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