We don’t usually understand the reasons for the storms in our lives. Later we may see the purpose, or perhaps the purpose others will see after we are no longer on this earth. But we are told that we will have storms in our lives. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) And everything that is made, everything that happens will be for God’s glory: “For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Rom. 11:36)

Stephen, who was full of the Holy Spirit and spoke the truth of God’s Word to the Sanhedrin’s was stoned to death for doing so (Acts 7:55-60). How could that be “good”? He was being obedient to the Lord, and was able to testify before the men who would stone him, “‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.'” (Acts 7:56) And just before his death, he cried out: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (v60) And who was among those who heard this testimony and the forgiveness for those who were killing him? None other than Saul, who would become Paul after his conversion and write the majority of the New Testament.

Paul himself experienced many storms as he shared the Gospel of Christ to both Jews and Gentiles. Paul was a prisoner on his way to be heard by Caesar since he was a Roman citizen. The ship he was sailing on would meet with a storm and wouldn’t survive (Acts 27:1-44). But he received word from the Lord that he was able to share with the men on the ship: “Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’” (Acts 7:23-24) And God kept His word for His glory: “In this way everyone reached land safely.” (v 44b)

And the land was filled with islanders who hadn’t heard the Gospel of Christ before, and they saw miracles: The poisonous snake that bit Paul did not harm him (28:5); and Paul healed the sick (vv 8-9). Paul was walking obediently in the path the Lord wanted him to walk, and used every instance for His glory.

The Lord never promises that we will be without trouble. He doesn’t promise us riches here on earth, but a heavenly reward: “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:8) But He does promise that no matter what storms come into our lives, He will use them for His glory: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Prayerfully ask the Lord to give you a glimpse of the purpose for which He has allowed a storm to sweep through your life. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)