Summary: The light of God’s wonderful grace shining through the dark clouds in our life produces a spiritual rainbow that will gladden our heart.
THE RAINBOW IN THE CLOUDS
"I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. And it shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember my covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth." Genesis 9:13-17.
We have all stood in awe when a rainbow appears in our view. William Wordsworth described it this way:
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!…
Niagara Falls is truly one of the most scenic places in the world. One of the things that make up its rapturous beauty is the rainbow that frequently appears in its spray and mist. Our guide told us that any day with sunshine a rainbow can be seen. Indeed, you cannot have a rainbow without the rays of the sun for that is its very source.
The light of God’s wonderful grace shining through the dark clouds in our life produces a spiritual rainbow that will gladden our heart. Let’s consider some of these spiritual rainbows.
I. The Rainbow in the Cloud of Adversity:
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4 NASB.
The Apostle James clearly states that the Christian will experience trials in this life when he used the phrase “when you encounter”; not “if you encounter”. The believer who expects life to “a bed of roses” needs to become better acquainted with the Scriptures. Paul was even more emphatic when he wrote to Timothy “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12). Needless to say, persecution is one of the worse kinds of adversity.
Paul tells us that the rainbow in the cloud of adversity is our Lord Himself. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort that we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NASB. To which we must add Romans 8:28.
II. The Rainbow in the Cloud of Death:
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
Isaiah 43:2-3 NASB.
III. The Rainbow in the Cloud of Judgment:
1. Judgment awaits all men: "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Hebrews 9:27.
2. We shall stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, which will be a judgment to determine our eternal reward…, not our eternal destiny. "For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB.
3. The rainbow in the cloud of judgment is the assurance that the believer is eternally free from condemnation. We will never have to stand in judgment to determine our eternal destiny! Praise God that was eternally settled at Calvary. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1.
IV. Seeing The Rainbow From God’s Side
Some years ago it was my privilege to be one of the speakers in a state-wide Bible Conference held in Dallas, Texas. Inasmuch as I was conducting a revival meeting in Houston that same week, it was necessary for me to fly to and from the Dallas appointment.
My oldest daughter Nancy, at that time just four years old, had been visiting her aunt in Dallas and was quite anxious to fly back to Houston with her father.