Jerry Wiles on A Tract for Troubled Times

Storms and Crisis Can Bring People Together

In 1976 in Fort Worth, TX the pastor of the church we attended at that time delivered a series of messages from the Epistle of First Peter.  He called the letter of I Peter “A Tract for Troubled Times.”  I am often amazed, and sometimes surprised, at what I remember over a period of many years.  It’s actually a confirmation of God’s promise that the Holy Spirit will bring to our remembrance the things He has spoken to us, or what we have read.  It is especially encouraging to be reminded of God’s faithfulness in troubling times.  Many times it is during those times of difficulty, problems and disasters that we grow most in our relationship with the Lord.

Growth in the Valleys of Life

A friend who is a professional counselor has a large picture on his office wall of a mountain scene with a lake and fertile valley.  He often asks his counselees, “Where do you see the most growth in the picture?” Of course, it is obvious that the valley is where the growth takes place.  I’m frequently reminded of a quote that my Dad shared with me when I joined the United States Air Force in 1964.  It was actually a quote that his Dad shared with him when he enlisted in the United States Army during World War II.  He said, “I want you to always remember that God works all things together for our good.”  I was not a serious student of Scripture at the age of 18.  However, I later discovered my Dad’s quote was from Romans 8:28.  There are actually numerous promises in the Bible about how the Lord uses negative experiences to bring about positive outcomes.  God consistently turns curses into blessings as we look to and trust Him.

Calmness in the Storms of Life

The account of Jesus Calming the Storm, recorded in the gospels, shows how God has power over nature.  An important lesson that comes out in our Orality Training is how Jesus can bring calmness during our storms of life.  A couple of questions Jesus asked His disciples after He calmed the storm are, “Why are you so afraid?  Where is your faith?”  Those are questions we can ask ourselves when we find ourselves in troubling situations or difficult times.  Other helpful questions we might ask are, “What does God want me to learn from this situation?”  Or, “How does the Lord want me to respond in these circumstances?”

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SOURCE: Assist News Service