The storms of life affect us all.
Are you facing a stormy season right now? Perhaps you’re dealing with a frightening diagnosis, recovering from a tragic loss, or facing an uncertain future.
Regardless of what your storm looks like, God wants you to know that he is with you. He is permitting this storm for a purpose, and he will help you endure this trial.
Life’s storms often feel as if they might destroy us, but God’s Word teaches us that God has a greater purpose for the storms we face.
When the storms of life blow, the good news is that God is always with us. He has promised never to leave us alone in our troubles (see Deuteronomy 31:6).
God uses trials and storms to help us become more mature. By relying on Jesus and standing on the promises of God in the midst of life’s storms, we can endure any storm.
If you are in the midst of a storm today, don’t lose heart. God has a purpose for this challenging season, and he wants to help you through it.
He loves you, he is with you, and there is nothing he can’t turn around and use for good.
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What Are Spiritual Storms of Life
A spiritual storm is any difficult situation that feels overwhelming and challenging. Life is filled with all kinds of storms, ranging from financial crises to health concerns.
Additional examples include dealing with grief, navigating difficult transitions, saying goodbye to loved ones, or struggling in any other realm of life.
Often, the storms of life are entirely unexpected and feel frightening.
On the other hand, sometimes, we feel frustrated because we seem to be facing the same storms again and again.
Examples of these kinds of storms include ongoing mental health struggles, unhealthy cycles in our marriages, and frequent strife within other relationships.
If you are facing a frustrating storm, you might wonder how a child of God can continue to suffer in such a way. Rest assured that God wants to use this season to help you grow and become stronger.
Your role is to seek his face and stand on his promises as he uses this experience to shape your heart.
What is the Purpose of the Spiritual Storms of Life
When life’s storms blow in, most people doubt that good things could ever come from these storms. They question God’s purpose and even doubt his character.
Meanwhile, God promises to stay with us through even the worst storms and also grants us the Holy Spirit to empower and sustain us.
Above all else, God’s purpose for spiritual storms is to help us become more mature and complete.
This seems paradoxical, but as the storms help us mature, we begin to experience more joy and peace in our lives.
We also learn how to stand on God’s promises whenever future storms arise.
Let’s look at 15 spiritual lessons from the storms of life.
The Storms of Life Teach Us About Jesus’ Character
To examine this point, let’s join the disciples on the Sea of Galilee as a great storm approached their boat.
As the furious squall spilled water into the vessel, the men called on Jesus, who happened to be sleeping in the boat.
Jesus said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm” (Matthew 8:26).
The men remarked, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:27)
At this moment, the disciples learned something about Jesus. They recognized that he was the Son of God and developed deeper trust in him.
The Storms of Life Show Us the Importance of a Solid Foundation
Just as the disciples developed deeper trust in Jesus as a result of the storm they faced, life’s storms can lead us closer to Jesus and help us grow in trust, too.
As we develop a deeper trust in the Lord, we develop a stronger foundation on which to stand when future storms come our way.
Luke describes this trusting foundation as follows: “He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock.
And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built” (Luke 6:48, ESV)
The Storms of Life Test Our Faith
Affliction is God’s primary tool for helping us grow in faith.
Most of us wish that comfortable seasons could help us grow in faith and trust; however, God is calling us to change the way we see life’s storms.
Instead of fearing, dreading, or being surprised by the storms of life, we can learn to say, “God is giving me a powerful opportunity to develop deeper faith and trust in him.”
Peter described this growth in this way:
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
The Storms of Life Teach Us to Find Contentment in Christ Alone
There’s nothing like a challenging storm to show us whether we are finding our contentment in Christ or finding our contentment in peaceful circumstances.
The Apostle Paul wrote the following words while imprisoned:
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:12-13).
Every time God permits a storm, he is inviting us to learn how to turn to him for contentment and peace. He offers peace in the midst of even the worst storms.
The Storms of Life Help Us to Become Spiritually Mature
Just as storms help us grow in faith and trust, storms are God’s vessels for leading us to spiritual maturity. We don’t become spiritually mature only by reading books or even memorizing Bible verses.
These disciplines can help us grow; however, God’s primary tool to help us become mature is the refining fire of difficulty.
Jesus’ brother James wrote,
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).
The Storms of Life Test Us
God also uses storms to test our hearts.
Precious metals are tested using fire, and this process removes the impurities from the metal. In the same way, storms and trials remove sinful attitudes and behavior patterns from our lives.
Proverbs 17:3 reads, “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.”
The Storms of Life Remove Impurities from Our Hearts
God directly spoke of refining the Israelites using adversity in the book of Isaiah: “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have triedyou in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10).
We can trust that every time we sense God leading us into a storm, he is about to remove impurities from our hearts.
This process is almost always painful; however, it also results in deeper joy and peace once sinful attitudes and inclinations have been removed by the fire.
For example, God uses grief to soften us to the grief others experience.
He uses physical illness to help us develop compassion for those who deal with long-term illness. He uses frustration to help us become patient with others when they feel frustrated.
The Storms of Life Help Us Develop Compassion
The Apostle Paul wrote,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
God uses the storms of life to develop compassion in our hearts. He uses storms to teach us how to turn to him for comfort, and then he sends us to the hurting as vessels of comfort and compassion.
Have you ever noticed that those who have experienced deep losses are often better equipped to comfort others when they are grieving?
God uses our greatest trials to become our greatest ministries.
The Storms of Life Strip Away Our Pride
Tough times are powerful for stripping away our pride. Pride tells us that we can do life on our own and makes us believe that we don’t desperately need God.
God uses storms to strip away our pride and show us how much we need him.
He does this as an act of love. We were created to live in a dependent union with God, and storms are God's means of restoring this union.
The Storms of Life Teach Us About the Steadfast Love of God
God’s steadfast love will never leave us.
Most of us feel tempted to put our hope in the expectation of happy and pleasant circumstances. When life is difficult, we hope for the season when the storm passes, and life returns to “normal.”
Meanwhile, God uses storms to teach us that his love is our hope.
God’s love is always with us—even in the middle of the darkest storm. This love is our Living Hope.
The Storms of Life Lead Us Closer to Jesus Christ, Who Will Never Leave Us
Jesus promised never to leave his children.
Just as he was in the boat with the disciples on the stormy sea, he is with us in every storm we face. He has promised that nothing can ever take his love away from us.
In his letter to the Roman church, the Apostle Paul, wrote,
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Storms remind us that Jesus’ love is always with us and can never be taken away.
The Storms of Life Build Spiritual Stamina
When the storms of life come, most of us feel tempted to give up.
We face storms in our ministries, careers, friendships, marriages, and more. During these times, we often doubt God’s calling and wonder if we should quit.
Instead of quitting, God often uses storms as one of his simple ways of teaching us about perseverance.
Galatians 6:9 reminds us, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
The Storms of Life Lead Us to the Arms of the Shepherd
The well-known words of Psalm 23 teach us that God is like a good Shepherd with his sheep. He leads us, restores us, guides us, and protects us.
When life is going well, we often overlook our great need for the Shepherd’s protection and provision.
Storms teach us that we need God to watch over us and deliver us in troubling situations.
As we learn to rely on him more, our love for him deepens, and our lives are beautifully transformed.
The Storms of Life Teach Us Not to Rely on Our Own Understanding
Proverbs 3:5 reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
Sadly, most of us don’t naturally trust God. Instead, trust grows when we are put in situations in which trusting God is difficult. Storms often make it difficult to trust God.
God uses storms to help us turn away from our human understanding and trust him more.
As a result, he directs our footsteps and makes the paths in front of us clear and straight (see Proverbs 3:6).
The Storms of Life Help Us Assess Our Priorities
Life’s stormy seasons often strip away certain parts of our lives.
For example, illnesses force us to focus on completing only the essential tasks of our days. Overwhelming stress reframes our light and momentary problems.
Life’s storms often help us identify our priorities and rebuild our lives around those priorities.
As a result of the storms, priorities such as relationships, self-care, and faith return to their rightful places in our lives.
Pray Through Your Storms of Life!
The key to navigating the storms of life is praying through the storms. Claim the biblical promises listed above.
Thank God that he is using the storm to help you become mature and thank him that he will never leave your side.
You might not feel God's presence in your storm. It might feel like God has forsaken you. Remind yourself that feelings are not always true.
Instead of believing the lie that God has forsaken you, speak the words of Deuteronomy 31:6, which reads,
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Additionally, speak God’s Word. Find a Bible verse to speak when the storm leaves you feeling discouraged. It's also important to stay in fellowship with other believers during life's storms.
If studying the Bible better is on your list of things to do this year, be sure to visit our Bible Study Resources page where you'll find everything you need to make Bible study a regular part of your daily routine.
These friends can encourage you and speak the truth to you when you begin to doubt God's goodness.
Lastly, don’t stop talking to God and crying out to him. He is listening, and he hears every word you speak. Here is a prayer to pray as you face your storm:
“Father God, thank you for your promise to stay with me through the storms of life. I claim this promise even in the moments when I cannot feel your presence.
Please help this storm to lead me to a place of deeper faith and trust in you.
I run to you, find rest in your arms, and believe that you will use this storm to help me become stronger and more mature. Amen.”