No Pain No Gain!

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

IMG_20150423_044937Through all of the trials I have been through in life I have learned from experience that God truly does work all things out for the good of those who love them. The thing about being in the middle of a storm is that you can never see through the storm to what awaits on the other side. I belive that is what makes it hard to praise Him in the storm… to count it all joy. We want to know what’s going to be waiting for us when the storm settles. We don’t like not knowing what tomorrow might bring.

I am reminded of Paul’s journey to Rome. In chapter 27 of Acts we read about a violent storm theh encountered that threatened to sink their ship in the middle of the ocean. It wasn’t any short storm either. Verse 21 says that “niether sun nor stars appeared for many days.” Verse 22 says they “had gone a long time without food.” This storm violently assailed them for 14 days straight threatening their lives for every minute of those 14 days! (cf. v. 27)

Paul was continuously encouraging them to eat, not to abandoned ship and not to lose heart. Why? Because an angel of the Lord had appeared to him and reassured him that they would be fine! The angel had also told Paul that they would run aground on some island. While everyone else on the ship was too scared to eat, discouraged and wanting to abandon ship Paul was confident that everything would be okay because he had received a word from the Lord! I can imagine on ship full of unbelievers they probably looked at him like he was crazy when he told them not to worry.

Here’s the thing that really gets me though. God didn’t tell Paul what island they were going to run aground on. Nor did he tell them what exactly awaited them on that island. Neither did Paul seem to care. God said he was going to make it through the storm and that was good enough for him. But us… come on now!

God has promised us we’re going to make it through the storm! He may not give us all the details about what waits on the other side but He said He’ll bring us through. But most of the time that’s just not good enough for us! We want to know what waits for us on the other side amd refuse to praise Him and trust Him unless He tells us! Can I get an Amen?! That’s just how we are.

I’m in the middle of the storm right now! My job hunt has been a bust so far! I don’t qualify for food stamps or unemployment! I’ve picked up a few small jobs from friends who are contractors but it’s only enough to put food on the table and gas in the tank! This weekend I’m going to start packing because it looks like next week when my rent is due this ship is going to be running aground on some island somewhere!

I don’t know what awaits me on this island when I get there! Maybe it’ll be something cool like what happened to Paul on Malta and everyone I rum into there will get saved! Maybe it won’t! I might lose everything on the ship like they did but I know this much… God has promised I’ll make it through the storm!

And so will you! Whatever you’re going through stop worrying about what’s on the other side or what you might lose before you get there! Because God has promised you’re going to make it and in the end it’s going to be a storm that was well worth the pain!

Joseph Sterling

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If God so lays it on your heart to help me make it through this storm your generous support will not go unrewarded! Click here to see how you can help! And the Lord bless you for your loving-kindness!

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