I have been told that everyone is either coming out of a storm, walking through a storm, or about to enter a storm. I think it is a pretty accurate statement. What I have always struggled with is the origin of the storm. Who is responsible for it? Who sent it my way?
In my mind, there are really 4 options for us:
- God’s Tests – Maybe the current distress in my life is sent directly from God. He has orchestrated these problems to test, sanctify, and progress me.
- Satan’s Temptations – Many people believe that anything that appears negative must come from the devil himself. He is putting things into my life to discourage me and to hinder me from following God.
- Someone’s Attacks – Quite possibly, some of the distress in your life can come from sinful people acting sinfully. They have done things to hurt you and their actions have left a devastating effect.
- My Consequences – Unfortunately, some of my distress might come just the natural consequences of my dumb decisions. I am in this pit because I dug it and jumped in it.
As humans, we always want to know the origination of the distress. That is natural but also unhelpful. The issues with your job, relationships, family, finances, health, etc. are in your life right now and you may never know why they are there.
The good news is regardless of why they are there, our response should be the same.
- Is it God’s tests? Stay faithful and be obedient.
- Is it Satan’s temptations? Stay faithful and be obedient.
- Is it someone’s attacks? Stay faithful and be obedient.
- Is it my consequences? Stay faithful and be obedient.
You can waste a lot of time asking “why” when you should be focusing on, “now what?”
If you have distress in your life and you don’t know where it came from, stay faithful and be obedient.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.