Letter from the Editor: April Showers…
As I sat here pondering my first “Letter from the Editor” article, outside, the rain is coming down. Somewhere between a downpour and a sprinkle, it’s familiar pitter patter is music to my ears. We all know that at any given moment, this easy Spring rain can turn into a violent storm capable of destruction and chaos.
It occurred to me while I stared out at the dreary, wet world that the common phrase, “April showers bring May flowers”, holds a Kingdom lesson we all need to remember. What is the purpose of April showers? To bring May flowers. Or, from another perspective, the troubles in our lives bring about change within us.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds… James 1:2
Joy? JOY? Do joy and trials even belong in the same sentence?
Jesus promises us that we will have trouble in this life. Just because we are Christians, saved by the blood of the Lamb, does not ensure us a life on a sunny beach with the cool breeze tickling our skin as we lay out in chairs. In fact, quite the opposite. We will face all sorts of trials, big and little. Sometimes the trickle of daily annoyances turns into a deluge of chaos.
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:3
God allows the trials we face because He sees something in us that needs changing or refining. He is preparing us for what is ahead. Take Joseph from the Old Testament–beloved by his father and loathed by his brothers. His brothers despised him so much they sold him into slavery. Once in Egypt, Jospeh was accused of seducing Potiphar’s wife and thrown in prison. Still, he managed to come out on top in the end.
Later, he tells his brothers: You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Gen 50:20) God knew the troubles that befell Jospeh–but He also knew what was going to happen and had chosen Joseph to be the one by which Jacob’s family would be saved.
Paul, before he was the great missionary to the Gentiles, was struck blind by God, Himself.
Job’s faith was increased when God allowed Satan to afflict Job and take everything from him.
Easter is pressing upon on as we go through this week, which offers the greatest trial of all. Jesus endured so much with the mockery, the torture, and the crucifixion. He ended up giving his life for us. For one moment, God turned His face away from His only Son. But He knew–He knew this was the only path to salvation for His people.
The Bible is full of people who faced their own downpours that, in turn, brought about change in themselves or the world.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7
Take heart, my friends! We were not made for the world, but for another. While we are here, we are being changed and refined, prepared for an eternity to come. Our lives–our faith–in times of trouble are our testament to the world. We are believers, saved by the blood, transformed into a new creation. And no one–not even the devil–can take that away from us.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18