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Exorcism At Midnight. Leander Jackie Grogan. Gods Modern Miracles. Micki Palczynsky. A Midwife Is Born. Carole E. Italo Taranto. God Is Alive! Gerald Gaylord. Dorothy Woodrum. This Way Up: Where would I be without a good set of wheels? Rhett Brown. Broken Healer. The Fight of Our Life. Catherine Hawley. My Breakaway. Renee Pitt. Living the Moment. A Time to Dance. Milli Laughlin. One From Two. Margaret L. Ripped to Shreds. Ann Wilson. Death By Intention. Byron Calhoun. And I Held Her Hand. LeRoy L. From Darkness to Light.
Patricia Potts. The Butterfly. Judith A. Ann Cabb. Rodney Stalks. Sylvia Hawthorn-Deppen. The Secret Life of a Preacher's Wife. Ralph R. Breast Cancer and Me. Lois Olmstead. Mind The wee Places Nurse. Mary Helen Gill. Help, I'm Trapped in the Duvet! Howard Lester. Body Blame. Bryanna Heartley. My Sacred Secrets. Lisa Tesch. It Happened Like This Nurse! TJ Edwards. Rescue Michael Morse. Green Wood and Chloroform. Anthony Betts. The Twinkling of an Eye. Sue Brown. The Darkness In My Past. Ebere Cathy Njoku.
Jeff Tanyard. Sometime: the Plague World. Instead of looking through it or beyond it, we look at it. No wonder we become confused. As a pastor I have stood with many members and non-members when the storm came. I was with the Daltons when their precious baby was born with such unbelievable complications that living more than a few hours was a total impossibility.
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Mark and Debbie and I stood in the pediatric ICU and watched that little bundle of love breathe its last breath. They looked beyond the storm and found comfort. They traced a rainbow through the rain! Butch Redford was a good friend in high school He was with me the morning I was saved. He was quite a guy, six feet six, a basketball star, and a boxing chaplain.
When we graduated, most of our group attended college while Butch fulfilled a boyhood dream of becoming a United States Marine. One dark night in a rice paddy somewhere in South Vietnam, a sniper put a bullet through his heart. There in the darkness alone he gave up the ghost. How long are we going to pray and ask for God and not get an answer? Why Butch was only 19 years of age.
One of my most heartbreaking moments was when I received that call from Tom Elliff, then my missionary friend in Zimbabwe. He and his family had left the pastorate of one of the fastest-growing churches in America to bury their lives in a distant land in the service of the Lord Jesus. He called to report that Jeannie and the children had been involved in a dreadful automobile accident on a road out in the bush. Beth, their beautiful teenage daughter, had left her friends and school where she was a cheerleader. Because of the love she and her family had for the African people.
Now she was in critical condition, and at best would face several years of plastic surgeries. Many would have looked at the storm. How long is this going to go on? He traced a rainbow through the rain. We as believer shave never been promised lives free of difficulty and trial.
True victory is ours when we learn to look through the storm and beyond it to trace a rainbow through the rain.
Rainbows begin to appear when we realize that:. How do we look through a storm? The first step is to have proper perspective. In modern-day Israel, it is not uncommon to pass through the countryside and see a watchtower. It is a stone structure where one could ascend to the top and see if the enemy was coming, where one could see the layout of the whole land. When we merely look from our perspective, our vision is often limited.
The watchtower is an apropos place to be when asking hard questions. Perspective is exceedingly important. The Hawkins family took a trip to Colorado many years ago. We visited the famous Seven Falls. A natural rock formation at the top of the falls looked as if it were a covered wagon. Upon arriving there I strained to see it. Only when I had climbed steps to an observation platform across the canyon could I see the rock formation on the top of the mountain. It was there all the time. As a boy I used to play in the woods not far from our home.
When we lost our way we would climb a tree in order to recover our sense of direction. This is what Habakkuk was doing. Often we are so close to the moment that we look only from our personal perspective. God has a plan and we must look at it from His perspective. We view this practically in our own daily experience. Before we take a trip, we plan our route.
We then progress through the various stages of development. So it is with God. He is never surprised by any unforeseen circumstances.
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Although we do not always recognize it, God does have a plan and purpose for us. Joseph certainly found this out. Most of us know the story backwards and forwards. His brothers were so filled with hateful jealousy toward him that they sold him as a slave to the Ishmaelites who carried him away to Egypt.
Tracing the Rainbow through the Rain
The brothers then lied to their father, Jacob, and told him a wild animal had slain his favorite son Joseph. Meanwhile back in Egypt, Joseph was thrown in prison because he was falsely accused, but by the time he was 30 years old he had become the prime minister of Egypt. Consequently, he was later able to protect his family from a drastic famine.
From the human perspective, what happened to Joseph was bad. Jealousy and hatred are bad. Being separated from your father is bad; being falsely accused is bad. From the human perspective, everything looked confusing. So we seldom hear the Lord say anything to our hearts. If you can learn the lesson of doing that, you are almost there.
The secret is to leave it there. The secret to the Christian life is perspective. Since we seldom look from His perspective, we see Him in the blessings but not in the afflictions where He is also present. This is a practical lesson for us. But many of us are not looking from the right perspective.
And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision and make it plain upon your tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. He now realizes the primacy of waiting on God.
Look at Job. He lost his family, his wealth, and his health. When Job had lost it all, all he had left was his faith in God. Here is the acid test of discipleship — how we respond when lose some of our blessings. Job received all kinds of unsolicited advice. In fact, his friends suggested he ought to bargain with God. But how did Job answer?
How enervating it must be to wait without any seeming reason. Talk about patience — Job was filled with it. When Job begins to trace his rainbow through the rain, his testimony of faith is marvelous. If God did what was fair, I wonder where any of us would be? And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
I am going to wait for the vision; it is certain; It cannot fail. The third step in looking through the storm is promise. What God has promised he will most assuredly perform! If Joseph is our example of perspective and Job is our example of patience, then Joshua must be our example of promise. Those walls of Jericho were totally insurmountable. They could not be tunneled under or skirted around or climbed over! Joshua was at a loss about what to do. And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor.
And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
Joshua In the kingdom of God, we live by promises — not by explanations! There is no explanation for those walls of Jericho falling down flat. Yet there was the promise from God that it would happen. And though the promise tarried, it surely came to pass. None of us can fully answer all the questions of life.
There must be room for faith because what we believe always determines our behavior. He charged him to go and dip seven times in that muddy Jordan River and his leprosy would be cleansed. Naaman almost missed his cure because he was looking for an explanation. He was only looking at his storm and confusion had set in. Far more important than explanation is a personal relationship with a living God. When we are deeply hurt, what we really need is not an explanation, but a revelation!
A promise from God. Then you can begin to trace your rainbow through the rain. A fourth step in looking through the storm is participation. This verse is also one of the most-quoted verses in the New Testament Rom. God declares that there are only two possible attitudes in this world — faith and misguided reason unbelief. This is the watershed. I either live my life by faith, or I live it by unbelief. Note the verse carefully. I am talking about participation with Christ here. The just shall live how? But his faithfulness. When we begin to look through the storm we find this confidence in our participation with Him and in Him.
Kendall, pastor of the world-famous Westminster Chapel in London, England, tells of taking his son T. Living in a foreign country and in the massive city of London, the small boy sat in fear as he rode in the car next to his father to his new school. Upon arriving at the school, T. He simply sat there crying. So anytime you are afraid, remember that your father is praying for you. This is how we are to live. This participation with Christ, living by His faithfulness, is what enabled those first-century Christians like Polycarp and Ignatius to face their deaths in victory.
This was what enabled so many others when commanded to say Caesar was lord to declare there is no Lord but Christ. As a Catholic monk, he was crawling on his knees up the Scala Sancta of St. God has promised that there will come a moment in time when nor further waiting will be necessary.
What a day that will be! But what do we do in the meantime? Like Habakkuk we wait patiently on the promise.
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Because we believe God. We believe that God is faithful! That is what prompted the songwriter to exult:. Summer and winter and springtime and harvest Sun, moon and stars in their courses above Join with all nature in manifold witness To thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.
We can live by His faithfulness today.
Stop looking at the storm, start looking through the storm, and though the vision tarries, in the meantime participate with Christ, live by His faithfulness, and you can trace your rainbow through the rain. The fifth step in looking through the storm is perception. He is in control. Evil may appear to triumph for a while, but that is not going to last! Its doom is sealed! God still reins. What a perception! God is reigning, and He knows what he is doing. He will fulfill his purpose.
Every Child is a Blessing shows mothers who have lost children posing in picture series
Have you gone this far in your personal pilgrimage, or are you still looking at the storm and wallowing in your confusion? Come to the proper perception of life and see that above it all God is still in charge. We gaze around our world, and it appears that the evil and worldly seem to be on top most of the time. But we need to remember that God has not abdicated his throne. He is still in His holy temple. Why does God allow it? Why does God permit all this evil and suffering?