Jesus, The Harbor in Your Tempest
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
What valley do you find yourself in today? What desert have you been wandering around in, desperately searching for the way out. The wilderness is always a daunting time for believers. It is the time that tests and strengthens our faith. It is a time that builds our character and provides us with the vital training God needs us to go through to accomplish the work that He has set out for us. We can know these facts and still dread the experience. We can still struggle to survive the storm we find ourselves in. One of the greatest errors people make is in assuming that being covered by the grace of God means that we will not have struggles. Jesus Himself dispelled that misconception:
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Clearly Jesus warns us and understands that we will have tribulation in this world. There is no exemption for Christians. There is however, no shortage of promises from God in His word. There is no shortage of reassuring words in the bible for us to savor and hide in our hearts for those times we find ourselves in the storm. One of the most definitive ones though is found in Romans 8:28. When all else fails to calm us we should take refuge in this verse from the Apostle Paul. There are three very important facts that we need to hold close to our hearts in the wilderness that are contained in this powerful verse.
First is that those who love Him are called according to His purpose. We tend to forget as our walk goes on that we are no longer our own.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1Corinthians 6: 19-20
It is not just enough to walk with God and say that we love Him. We need to remember that we have been called according to His purpose. There is a work that He has for us and he understands how we need to be prepared for that work. The work that God had called Joseph to would take decades to come to fruition. He would be sold into slavery by his own brothers and then be falsely accused and thrown into prison for over 10 years. Talk about a wilderness! I am sure that Joseph spent many a night wondering about the promises he knew God had made to him but he did not lose faith. I know it is difficult to focus on this when the sands of your desert are swirling around you, but we must try and remember that God has called us for a purpose. We may not see it now but we know that Romans 8:28 promises that it is so.