If you fall to pieces in a crisis,
there wasn’t much to you in the first place.
Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Pr 24:10). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.
One of the great misnomers about being a Christian is the thought we will not experience any difficulty. This scripture is quite clear we will face difficulty in this life.
When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.
Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Mt 5:44–45). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.
The KJV renders verse 45 like this…
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Mt 5:45). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
He sends rain on the just and the unjust, the good and the bad. When we hear the word rain, we automatically associate it with storms, especially when we are thinking in spiritual terms. We think like this: rain is bad, sunshine is good. So please, no rain for me, I only want the sunshine.
Let’s talk symbolically for a moment. Rain is what brings the nourishment that allows trees to establish or grow roots. Roots are the system beneath the ground that give strength to every part of the tree that is visible above ground. When the rain comes, it travels below the surface, and the tree then uses that moisture to establish or strengthen itself, so it will grow.
They say the best time to plant a tree is in the fall. It is the season when the root system has the most growth. It is in the fall when the root system gets all the attention from the tree. It’s right before the harshest of seasons when the tree grows best. It is almost as if it’s preparing itself for survival through the cold, dark and harsh winter. The tree may not know exactly when winter is coming, but it seems to know that it is coming. It is just the way of our world. Instead of ignoring it, saying it will never happen, the tree goes into preparation mode.
Listen to how the Apostle Paul describes the life of a Christian.
If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken
Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (2 Co 4:7–9). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.
There is something within us that you may not see, but do not be mistaken. It is there. When the storms of life come, I will not only survive, I will thrive. Proverbs 24:10 should be a challenge to us as Christians. When adversity comes, we will not shrink, but rather we will grow. We will not faint; we will stand in the day of adversity.
Many people see adversity, trials and difficulties as the making or breaking of a person. But in reality, adversity, trials and difficulties allow us to see what was already in a person. They are a gauge of your preparation for the day of adversity. We must grow deep in God to have strength to stand in the trials of this life.
In the text in Matthew, many people view the rain as trouble. It is actually about nourishment, giving the necessary ingredients to grow and thrive to every person. It just depends on what you do with it. What will you do with the rain?
The answer is obvious to those who are watching you go through the storm. After every storm, you can drive around town and see the trees that were weak and ill equipped to handle it. They are the ones toppled, crumpled and ripped up by the roots, and by the storm came, it was too late to grow roots. It all depends on what you’ve prepared beforehand. You should know the storm is coming, because our enemy is looking for anyone to devour. The storm will come, but you can be prepared! Not to avoid the storm, but to withstand the storm. Many people pray for an easier life! How about we pray to be a stronger person, so that when the storm comes we will not faint.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Jas 1:2–4). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.