And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
In 1991, the strongest storm in recorded history developed off the coast of Massachusetts. It was later dubbed The Perfect Storm, because three storms combined into one, creating an almost apocalyptic situation in the Atlantic Ocean. Two existing storms absorbed a hurricane, ironically named Hurricane Grace. The combination of these weather elements produced a monstrous hurricane that was 2,000 miles wide and generated 100-foot waves.
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In Matthew 8 we find the disciples facing a Hurricane Grace of their own: “Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep” (Matthew 8:23–24 NKJV).
Look again at verse 23: “Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him” (emphasis added). Where did that lead? Right into a storm. This storm came because the disciples obeyed the Lord—not because they disobeyed Him.
Sometimes when troubles come, we assume that it’s a result of disobedience. But that storm actually may be the result of obedience. God can use storms in our lives. Where there are no trials in life, there are no triumphs. It has been said, “The hammer shatters glass but forges steel.”
God has His purposes in the storms of life. It seems like it would be better if we never had to go through a storm. Yet there are things we learn in storms, things we learn in hardships and crises, that we cannot learn anywhere else.
No one is exempt from the storms of life. God is doing a work. He will not waste your pain. Ultimately God’s primary purpose is to make you more like Jesus. He will take those things you’re going through and use them for His glory in time.