A vine clings to an oak tree and in so doing finds the protection in times of trial that preserves it. If a violent storm should arise and the vine is on the side of the tree away from the wind, the tree serves to protect the vine from the wind, which would otherwise tear it away and rip it into shreds. If the vine is on the exposed side of the tree, the wind serves only to press the vine closer to the tree it already clings to.
In the storms of life, God will at times set Himself between us and the fury of the storm and so protect us from it. At other times, He will expose us to the storm so that its ravages may serve to press us closer to Him. Yes, we have now entered into a new year with great expectations, but the storms of life will continue to rain upon us. That’s one thing we can count on. And we can also depend on the Lord to be the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will continue to keep and protect us from the horrific storms of life. What He did for us in the past He will continue to do for us in this new year. He won’t get weary with us.
I especially like how Nahum expresses the nature of God: “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7). It would pay us to examine his words, because they are true and uplifting to the spirit, mind, and body. They will bring peace in times of trouble. Just think, “The Lord is good,” meaning that’s His personality. He is “a strong hold in the day of trouble.” We can depend on Him to defend and keep us through each trouble. He will not allow us to be crushed. And there is peace knowing that “He knows each and every one of us, by name, who trust in Him.” We are His dear children and He is our loving Father. He calls us by name.
Students of nature say, when the time comes an eagle will stir up the nest and turn her young ones out into mid-air, forcing them to use their wings. It may seem like a cruel thing to do, but the eagle knows what is best for her children. O.K., I’m going to say it. In a similar manner God allows His children to be disturbed by troubles to bring about an urgent sense of need for spiritual growth and maturity. Yes, there comes a time when we need to be teachers of the Word instead of students. We need to get off of the milk and get into the meat of God’s Word. And God presses us to do what He wants us to be.
When a wood sculptor wants to create a work of art, he starts with a log and begins to fashion it with a sharp chisel. He meticulously cuts and shapes that log until finally he has his finished product. The log, which might otherwise have been burned in a fireplace, has become a beautiful masterpiece that can be displayed on the mantle over the fireplace. God’s working in our lives may sometimes be painful, yet His ultimate purpose for us is to produce a masterpiece. Let’s make 2014 the year we change our attitude by allowing God to do His best work in us. This article was originally written by Pastor J.C. Myers, III on December 31, 2013. You can get more info online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.