Summary: Do we learn anything by passing through difficult times? A study of Job will encourage the people of God to realize that God always instructs us through the trials we are called to pass through.

“Job answered the LORD and said:

‘I know that you can do all things,

and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

“Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?”

Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,

things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

“Hear, and I will speak;

I will question you, and you make it known to me.”

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,

but now my eye sees you;

therefore I despise myself,

and repent in dust and ashes.’” [1]

Tornados—awe-inspiring, powerful windstorms that plague the American heartland—were a common feature of life in Kansas where I spent my childhood and the early years of married life. The state of Kansas is in the middle of what is known as “tornado alley.” The late spring to mid-summer months witnesses tornados, almost on a daily schedule. Cumulonimbus clouds rise and tower over the northwestern sky before they moved rapidly toward the area where labourers double-timed to get bales into the barns. I’ve frequently witnessed these powerful whirlwinds both at a distance, and from terrifying close proximity. I’ve witnessed the awesome devastation and grief left in the path of a tornado after it has passed. I’ve experienced abject terror as tornados passed overhead, and I’ve heard the testimony of survivors of tornados express their gratitude at having survived the terrible storm despite having lost their house, or having lost vehicles, or having lost everything except their lives.

Even after so many years, I still experience a knot in my stomach when watching even a video of a tornado as it is shown on a television program. Earlier this year, Lynda and I watched a documentary of the terrible tornado that devasted Joplin, Missouri in the late afternoon of Sunday, May 22, 2011. That tornado killed 158 people and injured some 1,150 people, causing damages of over 2.8 billion dollars. A woman I knew, a nurse who had gone to school with me, was killed in that tornado. I confess that tears sprung to my eyes unexpectedly as I watched the documentary. I felt a familiar terror as I watched the footage of that tornado and the aftermath.

A year after the storm, gleaming new buildings often spring up where previously there was total devastation. New houses and new businesses will be under construction. Businesses are renewed, and often because they were able to make a fresh start those businesses are leaner, more adept at responding to the demands of customers. After the destructive force of the powerful winds, survivors may be better off than before the storm. There was pain, to be certain, but the demands created by the forced renovation reveal some positive aspects that are not often acknowledged. While no one wants to suddenly rid themselves of all they hold, being forced to do so can result in some definite positives for those who pass through the storms.

Something akin to that situation occurs in the lives of people who pass through personal storms. Their lives are devastated through financial loss, through family disruption, through overwhelming health reversals, through any of a number of situations that can have an impact on our lives and on our families. Those who do not know the Lord, who have scant faith in the Living God, may be destroyed. But those who know their God may thrive through the trouble.

I encourage each listener to join me in reviewing the life of Job, taking particular note of his latter days. Undoubtedly, we have each heard of the troubles of Job, even if we can’t fully comprehend how horribly this godly man was tormented by Satan. When we do allow ourselves to think of what Job experienced, we recoil in horror at the thought that any of us would ever be compelled to experience the massive triphammer blows rained down on this godly man. The loss of wealth and the ability to provide for one’s family is terrible, but the loss of family, compounded by health problems so severe as to render one almost unrecognisable to friends, are not events that any of us could eagerly seek. Were all this to occur in rapid succession, it would be enough to drive us to despair and cause us to surrender to death that would appear inevitable. Death would be a blessing if we should experience what Job experienced. No wonder his wife counselled him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die” [JOB 2:9].

I am well aware that I am speaking to people that have experienced hardships in recent days. Some of you are under siege by your body even as I speak. I’m speaking to people that know something about family breakup. You worked hard at holding your marriage together, but a spouse was not prepared to work to maintain the vows he or she had made when you were married. I’m speaking to people who have been forced to accept the intrusion of the death angel who took a loved one. Perhaps you buried a child—parents are not supposed to bury their children. Perhaps you watched your spouse of years slip out of this life and into the life to come. Whether you were prepared to let go or not, you had no power over the inevitable, and you were compelled to accept the inevitable, accepting the unacceptable. How do we cope with life’s pressures? When tragedy strikes, where shall we turn? What can we do after the whirlwind?

GOD SPEAKS IN THE MIDST OF OUR TRIALS — The opening words of the thirty-eighth chapter read, “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind” [JOB 38:1]. Normally, we wouldn’t expect to see the hand of the Lord in the midst of disaster. However, that is precisely where God appears to Job. Perhaps you have heard, “God whispers in our pleasure, and shouts in our pain.” The full quote is from C. S. Lewis, who wrote, “God whispers in our pleasure, speaks to our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” [2] How true!

Have you never heard the Wise Man’s assessment?

“It is better to go to the house of mourning

than to go to the house of feasting,

for this is the end of all mankind,

and the living will lay it to heart.

Sorrow is better than laughter,

for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,

but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.”


If we are prepared to search carefully during our trials as we are passing through them, we will assuredly see the hand of our Father holding us and guiding us as we pass through the dark vale. If we will understand the message presented this day, we need to know that God does speak in the midst of our pain. Some of you who are listening at this time need to be encouraged to look for the hand of your Father as He directs you even during the trial you are experiencing.

What encouragement is to be found in the words that Isaiah wrote, if we will but receive them. Isaiah wrote, “Though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left” [ISAIAH 30:20-21].

As comforting as that promise is, I find yet another divine promise that is more comforting still. God promised Israel, and I am certain that He promises us now,

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.”

[ISAIAH 43:2]

I am certain that nothing comes into the life of God’s beloved child that is not permitted by a Father who is too good to needlessly hurt His child, and too wise to make a mistake. The LORD does not say “If you pass through the waters,” He says “When you pass through the waters. He does not say, “If you walk through the fire,” He says, “When you walk through the fire.”

After the trial has passed, we will be able to praise Him, as did the Psalmist, who wrote,

“Bless our God, O peoples;

let the sound of his praise be heard,

who has kept our soul among the living

and has not let our feet slip.

For you, O God, have tested us;

you have tried us as silver is tried.

You brought us into the net;

you laid a crushing burden on our backs;

you let men ride over our heads;

we went through fire and through water;

yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.”

[PSALM 66:8-12]

Is this not the promise of our God?

“The wicked watches for the righteous

and seeks to put him to death.

The LORD will not abandon him to his power

or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.”

[PSALM 37:32-33]

That is enough to make a Baptist shout! The Lord our God stands ready to rescue His beloved. Indeed, the one who follows the Risen Saviour can testify on the authority of His Word,

“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.

What can man do to me?”

[PSALM 118:6]

When things are going smoothly, it is easy to forget that God is always with us. However, when we are trapped in the midst of the storm, panic seems to grip our soul, driving us to despair. Then, when all seems about to overwhelm us, the Lord reminds us that He is with us. Perhaps the Lord Himself will stand with us, or just as frequently, He sends His angel to encourage us. However He encourages us, we draw strength from the fact that we are not deserted. The Lord is with us.

Perhaps you will remember the account of the Apostle Paul when caught in a violent storm called the “Northeaster.” The violent storm drove the boat before it, threatening to sink the ship with all hands onboard. Look again at the account as recorded by Doctor Luke. “A tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land. And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. Running under the lee of a small island called Cauda, we managed with difficulty to secure the ship’s boat. After hoisting it up, they used supports to undergird the ship. Then, fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the gear, and thus they were driven along. Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day to jettison the cargo. And on the third day they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned” [ACTS 27:14-20].

The storm battered the ship. It is rather foolish to imagine that the Apostle was unmoved by the experience. We must believe that he was as concerned, even as frightened, as the others who were sharing the trial with him. However, God was moved to comfort His servant. Therefore, we read, “Paul stood up among them and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.” So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island’” [ACTS 27:21-26].

I know that Paul was frightened during those days as the storm pounded the ship, threatening all who were trapped in that frail barque. If he wasn’t frightened, then why was it necessary for the angel to begin his message by telling Paul not to be afraid? It was precisely because he was frightened that the Lord took note and sent His messenger to comfort the Apostle and to assure him that not only he, but all who were threatened by the same storm, would be delivered. Oh, yes, they would be wet, but God would deliver them. God knew where His servant was and the danger in which His Apostle then stood.

God knows where you are, if you are His child, and He knows the danger you face. The storm that now threatens you did not catch your Father by surprise, nor can anything happen that He will not permit for your good and for His glory. I don’t say that you will not be wet, nor even that you will not be cold, but nothing can touch you without the Lord’s permission.

SEEING THE LORD — “Then Job answered…” The Hebrew text begins with what is known as a “waw consecutive.” This is a literary device meant to remind readers that what is about to be said is predicated by what has gone before. In other words, we must not ignore what has preceded the account that is about to be written. A brief review reveals that what has gone before is an extended account detailing how God has revealed Himself to Job. In the process, the Lord also revealed Himself to those who gathered with Job.

Job had witnessed the LORD in all His awesome power, and having witnessed God’s might, the tormented saint was humbled. The encounter with God begins with the LORD speaking out of the whirlwind: “The LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind” [JOB 38:1]. Some people seek to dismiss this account as a sort of fictionalised account of Job imagining what God is like; but I accept that God spoke to Job. There is no reason to think otherwise.

Job had registered his complaint that his situation was unfair, that he wanted to defend himself before the LORD, though complaining that the LORD was not willing to allow Himself to be confronted. I should think that many of us today could relate to this feeling that God is somehow unfair, that God is ignoring us even though we cry out, pleading with Him to intervene. Note something that is easily overlooked. God answered, “out of the whirlwind.” God didn’t answer after the storm had passed, but rather He answered in the midst of the storm. This is important precisely because we need to know that even while we are being battered by the storm in which we find ourselves at the moment, the Lord is with us. And it is when we are threatened with unimaginable loss that God answers.

Job has been lamenting his situation as Satan was toying with him, much as a cat might play with a mouse before it kills the hapless creature. Job must have undoubtedly felt as if his life would end at any moment. His legacy would be destroyed; no one would remember that his footsteps had once marked the planet and that he had once breathed the air that sustains life on earth. Therefore, the battered saint poured out his complaint, even though for the moment he wasn’t sure whether God was taking any calls from his phone.

However, after Job had poured out his lament, the LORD answered. And what an answer God gave. God wonders whether Job actually has done anything that would merit a conversation with the Creator of the universe. “Job, were you there when I created the world and all that is in it? Do you regulate time and space? Have you explored the deepest recesses of the sea? Do you command death?” And the LORD was just getting started with questioning Job! God moves from astrophysics to basic biology, all the while wondering whether Job has accomplished any of the basic tasks necessary to define these parameters of life. Of course, Job is silenced by his ignorance and by his inability to do even the little things that are under God’s control. Unlike many of our contemporaries, Job is humbled by his ignorance in the presence of the LORD God. Job had spoken as if he was the centre of the universe. He was not unlike us when we question God, wondering what He is doing and why He is not doing things as we think He should act.

We would do well to remember the paean of praise to the Son of God that is written in the opening verses of the Letter to Hebrew Christians. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs” [HEBREWS 1:1-4].

If somehow that introduction to the Son of God was not enough to silence our ignorance, then surely the testimony delivered in the Letter to the saints in Colossae will shut our moths. “[Christ Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” [COLOSSIANS 1:15-20].

Christ Jesus, the Son of God, created the world! That statement reminds me of the story of the scientist who boasted that he could create life. In his arrogance, the self-important man issued a challenge to God, imagining that the scientist could do whatever the Creator had claimed to have done. The challenge was accepted and a date for the contest was announced. The scientist ensured that a laboratory was set up for his use. Included in his laboratory was a suitable vessel with a reducing atmosphere and an energy source to spark across the atmosphere when he had just the right mix of amino acids in a gemish. Entering the laboratory the scientist called out for his assistant to bring him some dirt as his final ingredient for “creating” life. At that, a voice boomed out, “Oh, no you don’t! Get your own dirt!”

The Son of God upholds the universe by the word of His power! That is something that no mere mortal can do. I can’t make the dawn appear, its rosy fingers driving away the darkness. That is the responsibility of Christ Jesus alone. No mortal is able to compel the purple shades of evening to announce that night is coming on, the darkened skies that will again allow the weary among mankind to rest, refreshing the body and preparing for another day of gainful labour. That is something that Christ, and no other, does.

Ensuring that the earth does not drift from the orbit which it has been assigned around the sun, as it moves through space at 107,278.87 km/h—this does not lie under the purview of any mortal. Ensuring that the earth spins at 1,669.8 km/h at the equator is essential to maintaining life on the planet. Were the earth to spin faster, then oxygen would be spun off into space, creating a catastrophic die-off of all life forms. We understand that it is the Son of God who maintains this critical motion and Who holds the planet to the required orbit. Even the cyclic slowdown and acceleration of this rate is maintained by the Son of God. Were the earth to tilt even a few degrees off its axis, death would ensue immediately for almost all life.

According to the Apostle Paul, Christ the Lord holds all things together. When He at last withdraws His permission, then will come the dissolution of which Peter writes when he warns, “The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed” [2 PETER 3:10].

When we who are living in this modern age permit ourselves to actually think, we are driven to the conclusion that we don’t have it all together. We don’t possess all the knowledge required to do even a modicum of what we imagine is essential. Assuredly, we don’t possess the knowledge the Lord possesses. We who live in this modern world are not necessarily ignorant; it is just that we know so much that isn’t true! Tragically, contemporary people are blinded by what we imagine to be the abilities of mankind. Consequently, our contemporaries, and perhaps even we ourselves, fail to see the Lord because our vision is obscured by our own ignorance. We don’t see His hand guiding our lives. We don’t see Him showering us with mercy and with grace. How desperately we need the capacity of seeing God as He works in our lives.


“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,

but now my eye sees you;

therefore I despise myself,

and repent in dust and ashes.”

[JOB 42:5-6]

Job worshipped the Lord GOD, but Job had not yet had a vital encounter with the Living God. Like many among the churches even in this day, Job knew God from a distance rather than through intimacy with the Lord. Many of the professed people of God believe in God. They are convinced that God is real. They believe His Word and they want to honour Him. They want to live a holy life, to do those things that God has commanded in His Word. And yet, they have never had that life-altering encounter when they were awed as God revealed Himself!

I’m not suggesting that these individuals are not redeemed, God alone knows the heart. Nevertheless, it does appear that many of the professed saints of God have never actually met the Risen Son of God. They are converted to a doctrinal persuasion, to a denominational position, but they have never found themselves in that position of being compelled to confess,

“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,

but now my eye sees you;

therefore I despise myself,

and repent in dust and ashes.”

Far too few counted among the followers of the Risen Lord of Glory have ever found themselves falling at His feet as though they were dead. Too few among us have ever been forced to our knees because our legs would not support us, confessing as we knelt that we were terrified because we found ourselves in the presence of the Holy One. Yet, it still remains that when we actually witness the majesty of the Living God in all His unveiled glory, we will fall on our face, we will be changed forever after that experience.

Job’s view of God was transformed, and what is perhaps more important still is that the beleaguered saint’s view of himself was transformed. No longer was Job the centre of his existence. Perhaps unconsciously, Job had considered himself to be the most important person in his universe, Job suddenly realised that the Living God was truly the centre of life. As Epimenides of Crete would say many years after, “In Him we live and move and have our being” [see Paul’s citation in ACTS 17:28].

In a former congregation, a member accosted me after one service. That day I had presented a message stating that we must cease exalting ourselves. This woman, proclaiming herself to be a “counsellor,” wanted to argue that if we didn’t build up self-esteem we could not value others. Exemplifying the spirit of this dying age, this woman had obviously imbibed deeply from the well of self-esteem. She was convinced that it was necessary to hold a high view of oneself in order to elevate others, and that is what she was teaching her clients. However, self-esteem has a way of intruding into life, degrading a proper view of the Lord God. We see ourselves as exalted rather than seeing God as high and lifted up. Thus, we attempt to lift ourselves at the expense of lifting others from the depths of their broken condition.

If anyone among those who penned the words of Holy Writ had reason to exalt himself, to boost his self-esteem, it was the Apostle to the Gentiles. Yet, when defending himself to the Corinthian Christians, this was Paul’s testimony as recorded in. “Let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool. Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!

“But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?”

Then, the Apostle concludes with this statement that should be adopted by each Christian: “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness” [2 CORINTHIANS 11:16-30].

Soon after writing these words, the Apostle wrote of the manner in which God permitted Satan to work in his life—work that left him weak and exhausted. Listen and learn from what Paul wrote. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” [2 CORINTHIANS 12:8-10].

This is the question that each of us who follow Christ the Master must answer. Can we rest secure in the knowledge of Christ’s power? Are we willing to accept that He is actually in control, even when we are hurting? Are we convinced that God makes no mistake? When the storm envelopes us, it is far too easy to conclude that God has deserted us. However, we must learn the reality of the promise we have received, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” [HEBREWS 13:5b].

Take a moment to note the context in which this quote is offered to those in distress. Look at the full verse, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” [HEBREWS 13:5]. The writer was addressing saints in the midst of severe storms. The first readers were driven from their homes and their goods had been stolen from them. That is quite a storm. Many had been imprisoned because they were followers of the Christ. Surely, that qualifies as a major storm of life. They were under assault from a culture that did not honour sexual morality, a culture that promoted every form of immoral behaviour, a society that concluded that acquiring wealth and things was the summum bonum of existence. That was a storm of gigantic proportions when they were trying to remain pure. In the midst of these multiple storms that were wreaking havoc on their lives, these saints were admonished to keep their lives free from love of money.

Though tempted by the siren call of this dying culture, the child of God must not to look to acquisitions, to possessions, as the means of deliverance. The one who follows the Master must not permit herself or himself to begin to live as though avoiding the assaults of this dying world will somehow bring happiness. The follower of the Christ must look to Him who gave His life for us and then conquered death as the only One who can fulfil what He has promised. And among the rich promises He Has given is this, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” This is the God we serve! This is the God who redeems us! And He has redeemed us for something far better, something far greater than this world can ever give. He has called us to His glory, and we shall reign with Him forever and ever. Amen

BLESSING AFTER THE STORM — One cannot read the final paragraphs of this book without rejoicing in the goodness of God. We read, “The LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold.

And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. And Job died, an old man, and full of days” [JOB 42:10-17].

God blessed Job; and the LORD will bless you after you have passed through the storm. I don’t want you to imagine that the blessing of God will be material—it was in Job’s case, and it may be in your case. However, unlike the corrupt Prosperity Gospel that has insinuated itself into modern church life, God has not promised to enrich us fiscally. He has promised to be with us and to bless us in our spirit. Three Hebrew men, cruelly treated by the King of Babylon and forced into service to a pagan king, were confronted with the demand that they do obeisance to an idol. When Nebuchadnezzar demanded their compliance with his demands, these men answered, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” [DANIEL 3:16-18].

There was no promise of financial reward when they stood with God. There was only the promise of suffering and trial. Their eyes, however, were fixed on something far beyond this moment we call “life.” They knew that they would be delivered into the presence of God Himself. When ISIS savages killed eleven Christians in Nigeria on Christmas Day this past year, [3] there was no possibility of physical rewards for these martyrs. However, through faith in Christ the Lord, the promise of God was that they would be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” [see 2 CORINTHIANS 5:8]. And that is our promise as followers of the Risen Saviour, no matter had terrifying the storm you are facing!

It was during a time of personal crisis, I had been in a storm, and I had been following the Saviour only a brief while. I didn’t have the maturity that might have allowed me to weather the storm, but I did have a high view of Christ as Master of my life. I attended a service at a sister congregation located in another community within the Dallas Metroplex. That night, before the message was delivered, the choir sang a hymn that reduced me to tears. I wept because the words they sung spoke directly to my situation. Perhaps they speak to your situation today.

In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face

While the storm howls above me, and there's no hiding place

‘Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry

Keep me safe ‘til the storm passes by

‘Til the storm passes over, ‘til the thunder sounds no more

‘Til the clouds roll forever from the sky

Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand

Keep me safe ‘til the storm passes by

Many times Satan whispered, “There is no need to try

For there's no end of sorrow, there's no hope by and by”

But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I'll rise

Where the storms never darken the skies

When the long night has ended, and the storms come no more

Let me stand in Thy presence on the bright peaceful shore

In that land where the tempest, never comes, Lord, may I

Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by

‘Til the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more

‘Til the clouds roll forever from the sky

Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand

Keep me safe ‘til the storm passes by [4]

If you are a follower of the Risen Saviour, you are either being battered by a whirlwind, coming out of a whirlwind, or soon to go into a whirlwind. It is the nature of things for the one who follows the Master. The whirlwind does not discriminate when it comes to the Faith. Whirlwinds don’t care about your sex, don’t care about your race, don’t care about your financial situation. Satan sends his dark angels to batter the people of God. You may not face precisely what Job faced, but make no mistake, Satan will endeavour to throw you off your stride.

What I would have you see is that God is God, He is still on His throne. He knows your address. He knows what you are passing through and just how much you can stand as He stands with you. Your situation didn’t catch Him by surprise. And when you have passed through the whirlwind, He will still be God—your God. After the whirlwind, you will be able to praise Him as never before. Don’t give up. Stand firm. Amen.

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Crossway Bibles, Wheaton, IL, 2016

[2] C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (Macmillan, New York 1947) 81

[3] Jerusalem Post, “ISIS brutally kills eleven Christians in Nigeria,” December 27, 2019,, accessed 28 December 2019

[4] “‘Til the Storm Passes By,” Thomas Mosie Lister, ©Music Services, Inc.