Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"When the Rain Just Won't Stop"

You may be going through one of those seasons in your life when the "rain" never seems to stop. It's been stress, bad news, struggle, maybe disappointment, grief, confusion. We all take our turn facing those seasons when we keep waking up to another rainy day.The Word of God has been, for 2,000 years, a bright light for dark days.

      The well-worn words of Romans 8:28 have helped millions of believers see a bigger picture when it seemed as if it would never stop raining. As familiar as you may be with these words, they may literally have your name on them for this particular season of your life. Listen to them with your heart, "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

     For me, Romans 8:28 is "a soft pillow for a long night and an umbrella on rainy days". I hope you will let it be that for you. Because it gives you God's ironclad assurance that there is meaning in what you're going through; there is a holy purpose for God either sending or allowing those things in your life. His purpose for our dark times is seldom explained, but it's always there. No, it doesn't say everything is good here. It says everything is being worked together for good. For your good, if you're one of those "who love Him."

      So you can say, no matter how many days it's been raining, "This is going to be good for us later on." God simply wouldn't let this happen if it wasn't going to be good for you later on. Romans 8:29 tells us that the ultimate good God is going to bring out of this is to make you more like His Son. I believe God shapes and allows the circumstances to come into our life that will best develop some quality of Jesus in us. There's nothing greater God could do for us than to plant in us the way Jesus loves people, the way Jesus treats people, the way Jesus is patient with people, the way Jesus understands what a hurting person is going through, and the kind of bondedness Jesus had with His Father.

      And it may take a lot of rainy days for God to make us the man or woman He created us to be and redeemed us to be. He's toughening us, or maybe tenderizing us, purging us of old ways of doing things, squeezing us into new and better priorities, sensitizing us to people that maybe we've hurt or neglected, moving us to burn some old bridges or to treat some old wounds. What gets us through the rainy days is the calm assurance that "God is working all this together for my good to make a better me."

    Are you going to enjoy one rainy day after another? Not necessarily. But it sure helps to see them in the big picture perspective. God is using these days to prepare us for better days ahead. So if you got up this morning and found that it was raining again, lean hard on Romans 8:28 and say, with all the confidence of a blood-bought child of God, "This is going to be very good for us later on."

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