“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”
– Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
What does it mean to “stand in the storm?” When we see dark, puffy clouds gathering, or feel the first few raindrops plunk us on the head, our natural instincts are to run away, hide, take cover.
Photo Credit: Peter Carter
As believers, we know we have shelter from storms in our Lord. But scripture also exhorts us to stand in the midst of storms (of temptation, of spiritual warfare, in trials). Which is what so much of life is comprised of: troubles, tribulations, afflictions, struggle…i.e., storms.
Christ warned us that in the world we would have tribulation [John 16:33] and Paul spoke of the relationship between suffering or affliction and comfort in a normative way [2 Cor. 1:3-4]. In other words, we’re to expect, not be surprised by, suffering (of any kind).
In Greek, the word most often used for affliction is thlipsis. Strong’s defines it: “pressure (what constricts or rubs together), used of a narrow place that “hems someone in”; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, “without options”).”
My hope for this blog is to offer encouragement, truth, and commonality in our mutual experience as people who follow Christ. Too often as believers we have this sense that we should constantly walk around with silly smiles plastered on our faces no matter what is going on in our lives.
But I am human. You are, too. Christ incarnated humanly. We live theologically, but we also live in the reality that it is hard to hold on to truth when you’re in pain. It is harder still to hold on to platitudes. Rather we hold on to the strength of Christ in us in the storm. Even when we can’t muster the grip, we can be confident He is still holding on to us.
And we stand.