Mentoring Ministry

Providing biblical teaching resources for the next generation.

How will you Answer the Rain?

Among the greatest challenges a missionary faces is walking through those tough times when
trouble burst forth like an unexpected rainstorm. If you are trusting and faithful in those times,
and refuse to give in to the circumstances, you will endure. Always remember that when you are
in the grip of your trouble, let yourself be gripped by God’s grace. God has the stronger hand. He
will always prevail. When the storms of life come, I love to remind myself of these reassuring

(Isaiah 40:10-11 NKJV) “Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, And His
arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. {11}
He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry
them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.”

Let me tell you about fifty students and a rainstorm. In 1997, I was principal of the CMF School
of Urban Missions, at the Harbour Centre in downtown Suva. As part of our curriculum, the
students planted cell groups, did hospital visitation, and evangelized. They had about twenty
Bible studies going in various businesses around the city. We were a busy bunch!
We had planned an evangelistic outreach in Ratu Sukuna Park, just off the harbor in downtown
Suva. At the very edge of the park, was a band shell where we planned to hold our outreach. We
anticipated a large crowd would be there when we kicked off our program. For weeks, the
students had spent hours preparing for the crusade. They had rehearsed their skits, practiced
music, coordinated testimonies, prepared short sermons, and assigned follow-up ministers to be
among the people. They had done all those things necessary to make for a successful program.
The students knew it was going to be a great demonstration of the power of the Gospel. They
were highly motivated and ready. They were a relentless, unstoppable force for the Gospel… that
is, until they encountered the one variable that could stop them in their tracks. I am talking about
the weather.

Suva is a city where it rains most days. When it rains, the windows of heaven truly open up. On
the morning of the outreach, our students arrived at the park, set up the stage and got their sound
system ready. As the music began, they suddenly found themselves facing a torrential downpour.
The park quickly emptied, except for a handful of die-hard souls who had taken refuge under the
trees, which dotted the landscape. My wife Nancy and I stood under an umbrella watching the
pouring rain flood the grounds. It was washing away all of our students’ expectations for a
glorious day. They bravely tried to continue their program, but it was next to impossible. We
were a bunch of fiery, faith-filled fanatics for Jesus. We believed in the power of prayer and the
authority of the believer. As their leader and mentor, I knew it was time to put feet to my faith.
Holy anger was rising up inside of me. There was no way that this rain would be allowed to stop
our work for the kingdom. After all, it was for the glory of God. I would stand in faith and
declare a thing or two!

I confidently moved into the downpour and onto the stage of the band shell. I interrupted the
student who was doing his best to sing through the misery the downpour was inflicting on him. I
confidently took the microphone out of his hands. It was time for an open show of the power of
God in the face of the enemy. With great boldness, I shouted into the microphone, “In the mighty
name of Jesus of Nazareth, I command this rain to stop – right now!” Everyone was watching.
Everyone fully expected the rain to stop. We just knew the sun was about to shine. I gave the
microphone back to the student and confidently strode back to my place under the tree, waiting
for the rain to stop. Instead, it rained harder. We waited and it rained even harder. It never
slowed down. It rained all day. Finally, we packed up our gear and went back to the church,
soaked to the bone.

The following week, I was teaching class one morning. The students were discouraged because
of the disappointment we experienced that weekend. There was a lot of doubt circulating in the
class. In the middle of the lesson, (I cannot remember what I was teaching) one of my students
raised his hand. “Pastor, why did the rain continue last week? You took authority over it and
commanded it to stop. We know the power of God is in us to do such things. Why didn’t it stop?”
That got everyone’s attention. It was a good question.

Why was my prayer unanswered? Why didn’t it stop raining? Why wasn’t my authority effective
from the stage that day? After all, we were doing the work of the kingdom. What could I say to
them? It was one of those times when God intervenes and speaks wonderful things, for in that
moment the Holy Spirit burned something into me. I heard the Spirit of God say, “That is the
wrong question.” It was revelation. It was liberating and exciting. It was wrong because it was a
question that should never be asked and would never be answered. Who were we to question
God or put demands on Him? The farmers in the fields just outside of town might have been
praying for the very rain we were praying against! The right question should have been, How
will our faith respond to what happened in that rainstorm? I could not contain myself. I had to
let it out! Listen to my reply. Let the spirit of what I told my students ignite something in your
heart, just as it did theirs. Here is what I said.

“If we spend the next two weeks preparing for another evangelistic crusade… and set our
equipment up on that stage in the park… and begin our program and the heavy rain
comes again… I will march up to the platform, take the microphone and command the
rain to stop, in the name of Jesus. I will expect it to stop!

If the rain does not stop, but becomes another torrential downpour, I will go home
soaked, but I will go, knowing that God is faithful and I did the right thing.
And if we spend another two weeks preparing for another evangelistic crusade…and set
our equipment up on that same stage in that same park… and begin our program and the
rain comes again… I will still march up to the platform. I will again take the microphone
and command the rain to stop, in the name of Jesus! And I will expect it to stop. That is
what faith is all about!”

When my students heard my reply, there was a moment of silence. Then, came a spontaneous
roar – an eruption of great joy. They jumped from their chairs and began celebrating. Praise
broke out. They began to shout and run and declare the goodness of God. It was a remarkable
sight! What happened? They simply understood what I said, which was this. It is never about
whether the prayer is answered. It is simply about believing God is who He says He is and can
always do what He says He can do. It is about living a life of faith, regardless of the outcome.
Our responsibility is to trust God in spite of the circumstances. It is about uncompromising,
stubborn, single-minded faith. Job said it best, when in the midst of incredibly difficulties, he
told his friends, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15a NKJV)

My students now understood that whether or not the rains stopped, I would not stop. The
students were moved to new places in their faith. Their shouts and dancing was the kind of faithfilled
celebration that will terrify the devil and convince him to go somewhere easier! They
realized faith is not about results. It is about unwavering trust in God. When God sends you to
your place of purpose, you must refuse to deny your faith, regardless of the apparent outcomes.
Just wait for the next rainstorm and with all the boldness of the champion for Jesus that you are,
command it to stop!