Staying Afloat In The Storm
Sermon shared by Mike Leiter
Summary: A sermon that teaches us what storms reveal about our faith in God’s plan, God’s protection and God’s presence in our lives.
Audience: General adults
About Sermon Contributor
Pastor Mike Leiter
Dice Wesleyan Church, Freeland, MI
I found a story this week that is a good introduction for today’s message:
The central figure of the story is a person who accepts everything that happens as manifestations of divine power. And he said, "It is not for me to question the workings of divine providence." All his life, misfortune had been his. Yet never once did he complain. He got married and his wife ran away with the hired man. A villain deceived his daughter. His son was lynched. A fire burned down his barn. A cyclone blew away his home. A hailstorm destroyed his crops, and the banker foreclosed on his mortgage, taking his farm. Yet at each stroke of misfortune, he knelt and gave thanks to God Almighty for his unchangeable mercy. After a time, penniless but still submissive to God, he landed in the county poorhouse. One day the overseer sent him out to plow a potato field. A thunderstorm was passing over, when without warning a bolt of lightning descended from the sky. It melted the plowshare, stripped most of his clothing from him, singed off his beard, branded his naked back with the initials of a neighboring cattleman, and hurled him through a barbed wire fence. When he recovered consciousness, he got up slowly on his knees, clasped his hands, raised his eye toward heaven and, then, for the first time in his life, asserted himself and said, "Lord, this is getting plumb ridiculous."
Have you been there? Haven’t we all, at one time or another, felt that we had more than our fair share?
Charlie Brown builds a beautiful sandcastle, works on it for hours. Finally he stands back, looks at it. It’s wonderful. Just as he’s admiring it, a storm comes up and blows over all of his sandcastle. Now, he’s standing where his beautiful masterpiece was, on level sand, saying to himself, "I know there’s a lesson in this, but I’m not sure what it is."
Storms do three things for us:
1. Storms educate us.
2. Storms enlarge us.
3. Storms expose us.
It’s this last one that I want to focus on today.
You see, here’s what I know – storms expose what is really inside of us. You and I are a lot Like a sponge - you have to squeeze it to see what’s inside it. We show who we really are when we’re squeezed.
Remember those commercials that asked the question, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop?” I used to love those commercials. Me and my friends literally tried to answer it. I always would lose count around 100 licks. If you recall, in the commercial at the end, the boy goes to the wise old owl and it takes three licks and then “crunch!” he bites down all the way to the Tootsie Roll center, revealing what was inside the Tootsie Roll pop. Storms bite like that. They grab us and “crunch!” whatever is inside us is exposed.
I am going to show you three things that storms reveal about us. Are you ready? Here we go.
1. First of all, Storms reveal our faith in God’s plan.
When storms come, we reveal if we truly believe in where God is leading us.
Now there are many different times that storms come to us.
A. Sometimes storms come when we are running from God’s will.
Jonah is a perfect example of this. God had called him to go to a land that he didn’t want to go to. So Jonah ran and found himself running into a major storm and
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