You’ve heard the phrase ‘the calm after the storm’ before, and if you’re alive (you’re reading this, so I’m sure you’re alive) then you’ve most probably experienced those words before. Of course there is also ‘the calm before the storm’, and that usually escapes our notice because, honestly, no one is thinking, ‘Things are really good and calm right now, something terrible must be about to happen.’
But it’s the first phrase I’m interested in, today. The calm after the storm, something the bible has a lot to say about. I think life is a series of bursts of calm preceding bursts of storms, and the cycle continues, ad infinitum. Thank God we have a manual, and an ever present help for both phases of this cycle that’s life.
The Psalmist said;
You have put us to the test, God; as silver is purified by the fire so you have tested us. You let us fall into a trap and placed heavy burdens on our backs. You let our enemies trample over us; we went through fire and flood, but now you have brought us to a place of safety. Ps 66:10-12
And then the apostle James in the NT tells us;
Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a test, they receive as their reward the life which God has promised to those who love him. If people are tempted by such trials, they must not say, “This temptation comes from God.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But people are tempted when they are drawn away and trapped by their own evil desires. Then their evil desires conceive and give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Do not be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters! Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes from God, the creator of heavenly lights, who does not change, or cause darkness by turning. By his own will he brought us into being through the word of truth, so that we should have first place among all his creatures. James 1:12-18
Thus sayeth James.
We’ve all tasted test. When I read the two passages above, I’m left with a sense of calm, and much hope. In trial, many will say this test is from the Lord, et cetera. I know I’ve thought so, too. Well, not according to the apostle James, even though the Psalmist says, “You have put us to the test Lord…”, and even though I know he let Job get put to the test. I admit, I get a little confused reading both takes on test, trial and difficult times. But I also know this, that even when the Lord’s word appears to contradict itself, it does not. It would not. I seek to understand it all more, and I welcome some enlightenment from those of you that may understand it better than I do.
For now, I read both passages and carry away what those words impart to me.
So, lemme know what you think. I want to learn – and understand. I also love hearing from you.