Why Do Winter Storms Happen?

It’s Christmas Eve and it looks as if many people will not be able to fulfill their holiday plans lest they risk their lives in potentially fatal winter storm conditions. Surely, in the warm blanket that is the sovereignty and providence of God there are reasons for such events. One could never assume that they know all of them, but it’s not debatable that God controls the weather. The adult Sunday School has been starting each lesson on Creation the last couple of weeks by reading Psalm 148.
After showing how creation speaks to the glory of God by its very existence verses 7 and 8 say,
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

So, even the snow, the mist and the stormy wind are obeying God’s word. The winter storm is here because God determined it. Why? Well, as I mentioned above, no one should be arrogant enough to assume they could know all the reasons such an event would be determined by God. But allow me to submit one possibility.

Winter storms exist so that we would be challenged to retain our joy in God even when our plans fall apart.

Countless plans have been changed because of a storm like this. Families separated by hundreds of miles all year long will continue to be separated, perhaps until the next holiday season. Holiday traditions will be sacrificed, meal plans changed, and presents mailed later. Even church services may be cancelled or postponed. All the familiar feelings of Christmas could be sacrificed because of frozen, crystalized water piling up on our roads, mailboxes and AC Units. Why?

These things happen to reveal and sanctify our hearts. These things challenge us to retain our joy in God even when our plans fall apart and we lose some of things that are most precious to us.

Consider the testimony of the believers in Hebrews 10:32-39,
“32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For,

“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”

These believers had endured something far more tragic than a winter storm. They had endured public mockery, public affliction, and the plundering of their possessions. But what was their response to such suffering?

v. 34, They accepted such things “joyfully” knowing that they had a “better possession and an abiding one.” This better possession is surely nothing less than Jesus Christ himself, “The Coming One” (v. 37).

These things happen so that we would remember we have a better possession and an abiding one!

Psalm 148
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!

3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

5 Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
6 And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!

11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the Lord!


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