In the classic work, Holiness, by J.C. Ryle, there is a chapter entitled "Growth in Grace" in which he talks about Hebrews 12:11, which says: "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

Commenting on this verse, Ryle says: "When days of darkness come upon us, let us not count it a strange thing. Rather, let us remember that lessons are learned on such days, which would never have been learned in sunshine. Let us say to ourselves, 'This also is for my profit, that I may be a partaker of God's holiness. It is sent in love. I am in God's best school. Correction is instruction. This is meant to make me grow!'"

As strange as it seems to the natural man, a biblical worldview teaches us to not wish for our trials to merely be finished, but to "run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:1b-2).

Whenever I experience a trial of some kind, I often find myself just wanting it to be over with. I am confident that I am not unlike you in that respect. However, the gospel does not teach us the kind of escapism we desire. Instead, it teaches us refinement. So then, let us sit in the school of suffering with Christ and learn our lessons from our Master himself. Christ our Lord did not practice escapism; he practiced endurance. He practiced it not because He had some lesson to learn or area of refinement himself, but for our endurance, for our refinement, and for the glory of God therein.

When the ground rumbles as the storms roll in, we can look to Christ (and how He endured storm of God's wrath for us) and know that our trials are meant to make us grow!

Take heart, we have a God on the throne who sends us rain from dark rain clouds to make us grow (and sometimes they are accompanied with loud thunder and crashing lightning).