“Oh no, You never let go, Through the calm and through the storm, Oh Lord You never let go of me” (from You never let go – Matt Redman)
When you live in a country like Northern Ireland, you get used to the fact that it rains. A lot. And over the past few days in particular we’ve had some really heavy rain. And when you have to walk to and from university every week day rain can be a major pain. Often you wish the rain just didn’t happen.
But here’s the thing. For some reason or another recently during a worship session I started thinking about plants. And for plants and crop to grow, they need rain. The same rain that can be so unpleasant for us is essential for the growth of plants. And I realised that this is true for us too. There are unpleasant, uncomfortable things we need to go through in order to grow. But through them all God never lets go!
James 1:2-4 says that “when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” Through the rain of life we are given great opportunities to grow in endurance. And once our endurance is fully grown then we will be ‘perfect and complete’. It doesn’t say it will be easy, it doesn’t say it will be fun, but it does say it will all be worth it.
There is an old saying that there is ‘no rainbow without a cloud and a storm’. Likewise our faith
cannot grow and be shown to be genuine without going through trials and ‘spiritual storms’. When we see that God is faithful though the storm our faith in Him will grow. And when those around us see that we remain firm in faith despite challenging circumstances they will see that there is something real that our faith is built on. They will want to know more about it, and maybe even want to experience it for themselves.
So if you are going through a spell of rain in your life right now, don’t despair. Keep your gaze fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Remember that God causes all things to work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). And remember that through it all, the calm and the storm, He will never let go of you.