“Calm Seas Never Make Skillful Sailors”

Stan Russell   -  

There is a lot of wisdom in that saying. In my nearly twenty years as senior pastor at Horizon we have had many great seasons and a few tough ones. I remember going through one of those difficult times and asking the Lord, “Why?”  I distinctly remember feeling like He whispered back to my spirit, “I need you to know this for where I am taking you.” Wow, who would have guessed that the Lord allows us to go through difficult times to build us and prepare us for the future?  If that sounds a little funny to you consider these scriptures:

 Romans 5:3-5
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (NLT)
James 1:3-4
3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (NLT)
Romans 8:28-29
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (NLT)

As I look back on the past twenty years, I see the hard seasons as good ones too. Sometimes lessons learned and character built make them more valuable times. My future and the future of others I minister to is more protected, even more blessed. It is because I went through the rough seas that I can navigate those seas better when they show up again. It’s kind of like David when he said, “The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” (1 Samuel 17:37) Experience, endurance, character, skill and lessons learned can save lives when seas are rough.
So I guess I am saying, be encouraged if you are navigating rough waters. God is building you. He is preparing you to be a blessing!  Remember, “Calm seas never make skillful sailors.”
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