If you are truly a child of God, then the person who walks into the storm will not be the same person who walks out. The Lord sends trials and tribulations for a specific reason, the storms, contrary to the popular belief today, are not punishment, they are blessings. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Every storm has a purpose, but sadly few times is that purpose realized, for many will not see the purpose behind them, they find nothing but fear in the valley of the shadow of death. Our growth, our growth and future dependence on the mercies of the Almighty, that is the reason they come, to show us that He can be trusted, that He is faithful, that it is in love that He always acts towards His children. Only the lost, and for a short time His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, have ever experienced the wrath of God, if you have been born-again you never will. If He sends sorrow or pain, suffering and anguish, we must always rest assured that He wants us to grow in our relationship towards Him, He is granting us the honor of relying on Him even more. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb. 12:11)
That’s because they hurt, they hurt physically, mentally, and in just about every other way that pain can be envisioned, but they are never done in anger, never with wrath, trust the Word of God here, if His wrath was to fall upon you, you would not be alive and reading this letter right now. So why do we not see these truths, why is it when the storms come many, if not most Christians, believe that they are being punished, that the Lord is angry or upset with them, and He is bringing chastisement upon them. Because they will not believe and trust His words of love for one reason, they will not “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” (James 1:2) They have no desire to be participants in the fellowship of His suffering. (Phil. 3:10) They want an easy “Christian” life, no problems, no hassles, no difficulties of any kind, difficulty means stress, burdens they should not be forced to carry.
If you can come through the storm, no matter how it is sent, the same as what you went in, you have not just missed the entire point of it, but you have lost out on blessings that were intended for you, you have failed to lay up treasures in heaven. Sometimes the Lord will send a similar trial or tribulation again in the future, for He loves us dearly and desires that we should grow closer to Him, to trust Him more not only in the midst of them, but on the other side as well. But He will not continue to send these blessings throughout our lives, He will stop, and there will be no more opportunities for a closer relationship with Him.
If you are not this person, then more than likely you have met these individuals, still in the milk of the Word after thirty years, the same one or two verses memorized, no spiritual discernment to speak of, they simply continue to go through the motions, and it can be quite difficult to see whether or not they are truly of the kingdom, for their fruits are rare, if not non-existent. These individuals have no desire to grow closer to Christ, they rebel at pain, Christ’ suffering is not seen as any more than that, His suffering. As I have quoted before many times, they desire the crown of glory, but not the one of suffering and shame.
It is a rare honor for a man to be seen as worthy to be in the fellowship of the suffering of Christ, it is much more common for the believer to only read these words in Psalm 23, than it is to actually trust Him in that dreadful valley. It is all but impossible for these individuals to comprehend that a God of love would send pain in any form to any of His children, and so those who see it for what it is, His desire that we would be more like His Son our Lord, it is more than a blessing, it is a privilege and honor. The storms will come, that is a promise, how we handle them is left completely up to us.