Growing up I remember that my dad really enjoyed storms. When it was thundering and lightning outside, my brothers and I used to join him on the front porch to watch the rain. To this day, I love a good storm as long as I’m in a safe place – as long as I’m not in the middle of it. This evening my wife, Kari, and I went on a walk and hadn’t made it a quarter mile down the road when the rain started. We headed for home but not without getting a little wet in the process.
If there’s anything we know about life it’s that storms come whether you’re expecting them or not. Sometimes you’re under shelter and you remain safe, but other times you’re seemingly unprepared for what life has in store. Regardless of your preparedness, James encourages us to face our storms with joy. That sounds kind of heartless, doesn’t it? After all, I know of some pretty awful storms that both my loved ones and I have experienced. Should I find joy even then?
The nature of joy is that it’s not based on circumstances – it’s a steady satisfaction that comes from the knowledge that God is in control. When we find joy in our storms we are declaring that we will not be defeated or discouraged by what surrounds us because we trust that our heavenly Father is using the circumstances for His purposes… even when we don’t understand what His purposes are.