Written by guest author Cassidee DeVeau
[for the homegirls]
Picture with me, that you are a flower amongst all the other wild flowers on top of a hill. Then all of a sudden the wind, rain, and billowing clouds come closing in on you. You suddenly lose sight of the sun that you were enjoying and the gentle breeze, and now you are focused on this harsh weather that seems to be coming out of nowhere. Do we ever feel like that flower that gets tossed to and fro by the winds and the storms of this life? The flower that longingly hopes it will be a sunny day, a day filled with warmth and sunshine? But instead you’re feeling overwhelmed by the storm that is coming in.
Just like this flower on top of a hill longingly hoping for the warmth of the sunshine to provide its nourishment, healing, and transformation… We as women need to be longingly in need of our Sonshine, Jesus. There will be times in our lives when the winds of discouragement, and the rains of loneliness and clouds of depression will come. But when the rain or the trials of this life may come we as women can have true joy, because of the two rays of promise that we are going to talk about tonight. So don’t focus on your feelings of loneliness, anger, bitterness, and discouragement… but focus on the Sonshine (Jesus) and His promises to us when we go through trials. He will be the One who will nourish our hearts when we are defeated, will heal us in His time, and will transform us into His likeness.
Have you been going through a storm in your life recently? Does it feel like you will never see a glimpse of the sunshine again? Do your trials rob you of your joy? Do you wonder “Why me”? Why do I have to go through this? Let’s choose today to not be held back by the storms raging around us, but to focus and follow the Son (Jesus) who brings about sunshine in our lives. We can sing in the rain in our trials by focusing on this ray of promise; that He will grow us.
God will grow us in trials through the nourishment that we get from the "Son"shine (Jesus). When we first get caught in a rainstorm all we can think about is how to find cover, to get away from the harsh rain that comes pelting down on us. We either hide for cover under an umbrella or inside of a building. In the same way, we need to be running to our Jesus to protect us from the storms. We can run to Jesus our source of Sonshine through being nourished and refreshed in His Word, the Bible. But what we need to remember is that any storm that God allows us to go through are not meant to harm us, but to grow us and Jesus does that by nourishing us in His Word.
When you were a little girl did you ever have something that your mom or a family member made for dinner that you absolutely disgusting? And you wondered why they would ever make you eat such an awful thing? I know I have! I think I was around 8 years old, and I was at my Granny’s house for a big thanksgiving dinner. We were all around this big dining room table with tons of what looked like glorious food to eat, but, it turned out to be absolutely disgusting. My brother Sean and I took this meat concoction that my Granny had made, we took one bite and cringed at the most awful, too salty piece of meat. The sneaky masterminds that my brother and I were we took our fancy napkins that our Granny had set next to our plates and we pretended to eat this “glorious” piece of meat and after we were “done” we would pull up our napkins to our faces and pretend to be proper children and wipe our faces, but we really spit the awful piece of meat in our napkins and gently put our napkins back down in our laps. We proceeded to do this all evening.
The thing my brother Sean and I didn’t understand was that my Granny was not trying to harm us or put us through agony by giving us this meat that she had made, but her intentions were to give us this food to nourish our bodies. Sometimes when we go through trials we can ask God why? Why do I have to go through this? God what are you doing? But just like my Granny, God’s intentions for letting us go through trials is to bring about growth and nourishment to our hearts. To provide just what we need, so we are not lacking anything. And a way He provides us nourishment is by His Word.
Let’s look at Psalm 1:1-3 and see just what nourishment we can get from God’s Word in our trials. This verse doesn’t address trials directly, but it does address what God’s Word does for us when we delight in it.
We can see that when we delight in God’s Word “We will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water.” This means, we will be secure, stable, and anchored in our God and His Word. Then when trials come we will be anchored with truth and not carried away by our fear, our discouragement, and our loneliness. When we are anchored with the truth of His Word this will cause us to trust Him more, which will produce fruit in our lives. When we delight in God’s Word we are being made into His image. We also see that if we delight in God’s Word “we will be like the leaf who doesn’t wither.” We won’t succumb or shrivel under the pressures and effects of the trials, but we will continue to be useable for Him! And lastly we see that, “in whatever he does, he prospers.” God’s Word will help us to prosper. To come out victorious in our trials! There is great nourishment available to us in our trials!
Let’s delight in God’s Word the Bible, this will bring nourishment to our hearts. Just like the rain that provides nourishment to the ground to make the plants grow, our God and His Word provides the same growth and nourishment to our hearts. If we don’t let God’s Word nourish our hearts we will be like a dry and weary desert. What does a dry and weary desert look like? It’s hot and muggy, you feel like you can’t breathe like you are suffocating, there’s no life it is lifeless. All you can see is the barren desert, just dirt. Are you stuck in a dry and weary desert tonight? If you are or have been, those are the times when we can fall prey to discouragement, loneliness, and depression when we are not reminded of His truths in the Bible. But when we let God’s Word soak down deep into our hearts we will be like a tree firmly planted in the storms. We will be firmly grounded and secure in our Jesus because of His Word that makes us secure in Him and provides nourishment for our hearts. He reminds us of His character, promises, and His faithfulness. Let’s be reminded of our great God and the nourishment that he gives to our hearts when trials may come, so that we can truly sing in the rain!
Not only does God grow us in trials from the nourishment from the Sonshine, but He also grows us in trials by the healing that we get from the Sonshine.
Let’s read 1 Peter 5:10, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore (repair, heal), confirm (establish, anchor, deepen your roots), strengthen (strengthen one’s soul, healing), and establish (steadfast, immovable) you.”
Let’s look at the first truth that is mentioned here in 1 Peter. It says, “will Himself restore (repair, heal).” God Himself will restore (heal) us in our trials. It is the same word in Matthew 4:21 as mending nets. God wants to mend us in our trials, to make us fit and useable for Him.
Jesus, your ray of Sonshine wants to produce growth in our hearts through the restoring power of His healing through His Word and Himself. When you let your Jesus repair and heal your heart it will cause your heart to be set free! We can be set free when we choose to hand over our burdens to the Lord, to cast them at His feet. We can therefore be set free from the painful experiences that we have gone through or are currently going through right now. Are you feeling like you are locked in a cage, trapped? Trapped by your own pain? Pain of loneliness, rejection, loss, physical or emotional abuse? Whatever pain you have experienced or are experiencing right now, know that Jesus wants to set you free! He does this by healing you from those painful experiences through His Word.
For me, I have recently realized that I have been in a cage for far too long. Not a literal cage, but a figurative one. A cage that I built for myself within my own heart. I didn’t even know that I was in this cage, but I had put myself in there because of the old wounds that I have carried for far too long. At that time I was so burdened with the broken relationships that I had gone through, loss of friendships, and my Grandpa’s passing. I felt like I was wallowing in my own self pity and my hurts that I couldn’t let go of them. It felt like I was clinging to my hurt. Once I realized that, that I was a little girl trapped in a cage I had to ask the only one I knew who could help me get out, my Jesus. I fearfully asked Jesus, “Jesus, would you help me out?” But I couldn’t get the gumption to leave this place that I had built for myself of old wounds and regrets. I again asked, “Jesus, would you help me out?” He said, “Yes my Darling.” But the door to the cage was locked. I then asked Jesus, “Jesus would you open the door?” He opened the door and then graciously took my hand and helped me out. I finally felt set free for the first time! Set free from my burdens that I was carrying! I finally let Jesus take them, I finally cast them at Jesus’ feet! He set me free, He took my burdens for me!
Have you put yourself in a cage like I did? A cage of your past or current painful experiences? Do you need to ask Jesus to not only open the door, but to help you out? To help you out of your own self pity, and pain. Jesus wants to grow us through our trials and painful experiences, to ultimately set us free! Let’s read Isaiah 61:1-2.
Jesus has come to bind up the brokenhearted and proclaim liberty (set us free) to those that are captive or bound! What a promise!
Let’s let Jesus our source of Sonshine heal our hearts from the pain and brokenness that we have gone through. Are you ready to let Jesus heal your heart? Have you been wrestling with thoughts of loneliness, bitterness, discouragement, and depression? Give them to the Lord today. Lay them all at Jesus’ feet, let Him take them from you and let Him heal your heart so you can freely sing in the rain!
When we let God’s Word soak down deep into our hearts and let Jesus heal our hearts of loneliness, bitterness, anger, and hurt we will see that our Jesus is all that we need. He is our sufficiency! God is seeking to do a transforming work in our hearts! One of His ways of doing this is by letting us go through trials. Let’s read 1 Peter 1:7;
We see in this verse that when we go through trials, our faith in the Lord will be tested! When we let our trials draw us to the Lord it will refine and transform us like precious gold tested by fire. When gold is tested by fire the gold will have rough and sharp edges and won’t look pretty at first. The gold has to go through harsh conditions in order to bring out the beauty of the gold. The purpose of refining fire is to rid the gold of all impurities causing it to be of great value. Jesus is seeking to do the same thing in us. He is seeking to do a refining process in our lives, are we willing to let Him? Are we willing to go through the harsh conditions that the storms may bring in order to bring about the beauty of a transformed heart?
When we go through trials we can either choose to let them beat us down or we can choose to allow it to transform us as we draw near to God and His Word. When we are going through trials we can “feel” as though our world and everything around us is crumbling, but what Jesus is saying through those feelings and circumstances that you are in is, or what He has said to me personally is… “Cass, do you trust me? Do you trust me to transform you through this trial? To bring you through it? Will I be enough for you? You say you want all these storms and trials to go away, but what if this is the only way to get your attention? The only way I can purify you, to transform you into the person I have created you to be?”
During this past summer I heard Jesus saying these similar things to my own heart. “Cass, am I enough for you?” I was burdened with the feelings of loneliness. I was sharing these feelings of loneliness with my mom, and she shared something with me that I thought was profound, she said… “What if, the feelings of loneliness that you are feeling are a backwards way of the Lord saying, “Cass, I am trying really hard to come after your heart.” When I have felt lonely and that I have no worth or value, yes those are true feelings that I may feel but when I look at it with the perspective that my God is coming after my heart, this totally changed my perspective on the trial that I was going through. The perspective that my God is seeking to transform me into the woman He has created me to be.
Is Jesus coming after your heart? Is there something that you are going through right now that you think is too much for God to handle? Maybe Jesus is saying to your heart… “I just want you, I just want your heart! I want to make you into my image!” Sometimes I think God let’s us go through hard trials so that we will realize that all we need is Him, and that He just wants all of me. He is seeking to do a transformational work in our hearts in the trial!
Jesus, our Sonshine is seeking to transform our hearts into His image, the trials remind us that He is all that we need! And knowing this we can reflect His light and radiate His Joy. Are we seeking to be transformed into the image of our Son? If we are, we can radiate His joy in any storm!
When we are stuck in the midst of trials and when it seems like there is no way out, let’s remember that we can sing in the rain because Jesus nourishes us in the Word, because Jesus brings healing to our hearts, and because Jesus transforms our hearts. That’s what Jesus does for each of us in our trials!
What is the best way to be nourished in a trial? We need to go to God’s Word! Are you being nourished in the Bible? Is His Word taking root deep in your heart? Are you letting God’s Word change the way that you look at the trials you are in? Let’s start now, that we will let God’s love letter to us soak deep down in our hearts.
Think about the trial that you are in right now. What is it? Give that trial to Him, let Him carry it, Let it go! Let Him set your heart free! Whatever trial that came to mind, tell Jesus all about it. He already knows, but tell Him how it has made you feel and really seek to be honest with Him. Then, once you tell Jesus about your hurts, choose to give your burdens to Him. Choose to let them go! Stop clinging to the hurt, and cling to your Jesus, cling to the Healer. Are you willing to let Jesus heal those wounds from the trials that you have gone through or are going through right now? Have you laid them at Jesus’ feet? I would encourage you to give them to the Lord today, and let Him heal your heart, allow Him to mend you so you can better be used of Him.
Has Jesus been seeking to do a refining process in your heart, just like He does with gold? Are you seeking to be refined and transformed into His image? Have you allowed God to transform you through the trials that you’ve been through or are going through right now? Ask Jesus to use the trial that you are going through right now to transform you into His image, to reflect His light and radiate His joy through trials.
I would just like to end with this song by Laura Story. It’s a song about how we can have a new and fresh perspective on the trials and hardships that we may go through. This song is called, “Blessings”. Listen to these words, they fit so perfectly with what we have seen today.
“We pray for blessings, we pray for peace, comfort for family, protection while we sleep, we pray for healing, for prosperity, we pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering, all the while You hear each spoken need, yet love us way too much to give us lesser things, 'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops, what if Your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights, are what it takes to know You're near? What if trials of this life, are Your mercies in disguise?"
Are you singing in the rain today? Am I singing in the rain? Are you letting Jesus the Sunshine bring joy to your heart? Let’s start singing in the rain today!