Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a great storm? One where the wind blew, the rain and hail fell, the lightening flashed, and the thunder roared? And at that moment, you knew you were in mortal danger? You knew you had to seek shelter. You knew you had to be out of the elements and in a place of safety. You knew that this storm was threatening your very life, and you had to take action. It is also true that life on this earth throws many storms at us as we try to find our way in following Christ. But even in the middle of a storm, there is a voice that promises His care and keeping power, His ability to sustain us in the middle of the storm. It is the voice of love, the voice of our Lord, saying to us that He is there, with us, in the middle of the storm and that He will never, ever leave us.
Today we will look at three storms that occurred long ago and try to learn what they might say to us today about our stormy world and how we can grow, learn, and find faith in our Lordâ¦ all in the middle of the storm.
Storm #1: Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41
â¢ The storm was real.
- We have to be willing to weather the storms of life when they come.
- And they will come.
â¢ The storm just came up. It was nobodyâs fault.
â¢ The boat was beginning to sink.
â¢ The disciples were certainly in a dangerous place.
â¢ The disciples made a good decisionâthey woke up Jesus.
- But they were wondering if He really cared about their predicament (Mk 4).
â¢ Jesus speaks to the storm, and it stops. He says, âPeace, be still.â
â¢ The disciples marvel at what just took place.
Lessons for Us
â¢ Storms will come. Itâs a given.
â¢ Donât forget Who is in your boat.
- There are times when I forget Who is in the boat.
- The storm is big and threatening, and I forget that the Lord of all creation in is my boat and will calm my storm.
â¢ Always talk to the Lord while in the storm.
Storm #2: Jonah 1:1-6
â¢ The Lord gives the prophet an assignment.
- Each of us has a God-given call and job to do.
â¢ The prophet decides he does not like the assignment.
- We are free to make our own decisions.
- But sometimes our disobedience causes us difficulty.
â¢ The prophet takes off in the opposite direction.
â¢ He boards a ship and encounters a storm.
â¢ In this case the prophet is asleep.
- It is not a good thing to be asleep in our own storms.
â¢ The prophet is awakened by the captain and encouraged to pray to his God.
â¢ The prophet knew the storm was his fault.
â¢ The prophet gives up and, in essence, tells them, âJust kill me.â
â¢ He wanted to die, and God wouldnât let him.
â¢ He tried one way out; that didnât work. So he tried another way out; that didnât work either.
Lessons We Learn
â¢ Sometimes we cause our own storms. The storm is our fault.
- When this occurs, there will be consequences, in spite of Godâs love and mercy.
â¢ Disobedience toward God can result in disaster.
- Our disobedience can impact other peopleâs lives, not just ours.
â¢ If God is in the storm, He will get you out of it.
â¢ The only way out of a storm is repentance and obedience.
Storm #3: Acts 27:13-25
â¢ Paul found himself in a violent storm on an ill-advised voyage.
- Note that this was not because of anything Paul did. It was not his fault.
â¢ The ship, its crew and passengers were in grave danger.
â¢ Paul is obviously frightened, along with the others.
â¢ Paul has an encounter with an angel.
â¢ He believes the promise of God and speaks prophetically into the situation.
Lessons We Can Learn
â¢ If you have a bad feeling about something, it may be the Holy Spirit trying to warn you (Ac 27:9-11).
â¢ There will be times that you will find yourself in storms that are not of your doing.
â¢ Storms are a great place to have a profound encounter with God.
- This can be time for building up or tearing down our faith.
- The question here is, âWill we trust God in the middle of the storm?â
The fact that the storms of life do come along and do have an impact upon us is undeniable. But the way in which we respond to them is highly significant. First, we must find God in the storm. We must never allow ourselves to be lulled into sleep while in a storm. Second, we must always remember that storms are temporary. They always come to an end. Some are more severe and longer than others, but they all end in calm. Third, we are always in the storm with someone else. We are not alone. So when we weather the storms of life well, others are affected. So you and I must ask ourselves, âWhat condition do I want to be in at the end of the storm? Will I allow it to kill me, or will I call to the One who is in the boat of my life with me? Will I ask to die, or will I look for divine revelation and declare prophetically the outcome that God has in mind for this storm?
1. Is there currently a storm going on in my life? If not, say Hallelujah!
2. What am I currently doing while in this storm?
3. How has that been working out for me?
4. Are there any adjustments I need to make?
5. Who is there to pray and walk with me during this storm?