Summary: In 2009, we are going to encounter many storms, but Jesus has given us the key to experiencing a victory that overcomes the world – our faith. Therefore, let us learn what faith is, and how we can strengthen our faith.
FAITH: THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMES THE WORLD
OPENING: I love New Year’s! It’s always exciting because we are leaving the old behind, and everything becomes new! All of our past mistakes and failures are left behind us. We can make new year’s resolutions, and decide to make things different. Are you content with where you’re at in your relationship with the Lord? If not, then let’s make some changes!
QUOTE: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll have what you’ve always had.”
• “Be willing to do whatever it takes to have what you want.”
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.” (1 John 5:4).
• Victory = Greek word Nike – in Greek mythology, Nike was the goddess of victory
• Nike means to conquer, overcome, get the victory. There’s a battle to fight, but we win!
• Michael Jordan said, “I play to win. The day I stop improving is the day I walk away from the game.” He threw 300 baskets a day, and that’s why he was victorious!
THE BIG IDEA:
In 2009, we are going to encounter many storms, but Jesus has given us the key to experiencing a victory that overcomes the world – our faith. Therefore, let us learn what faith is, and how we can strengthen our faith.
2009 STORM WATCH:
Prophetic warning – there are storms ahead! For the world in general, and believers specifically. In our families, our finances, our health, and more. This is not to discourage you. God shows us what’s coming so we can get ready for it!
BIBLE STORY – JESUS CALMS THE STORM:
“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side." Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:35-41).
• Note first of all that the storm came as the disciples were following Jesus.
• The disciples were in the boat with Jesus, but they still went through a great storm.
• The disciples said, “Don’t you care?” Sometimes when we go through storms we are tempted to think that Jesus doesn’t care about us.
• Jesus was shocked by His disciples. He said, “Why do you have no faith?”
• After the storm, the disciples had a greater revelation of who Jesus was.
FOUR TRUTHS ABOUT STORMS:
1. STORMS ARE INEVITABLE:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33).
• Jesus said you’re going to go through storms, so don’t be surprised by them!
• You don’t plan to have a flat tire, to be rear-ended, for your van to stop going in reverse.
• If you’re on the mountaintop today, praise God, but sooner or later, the storm’s coming!
• Usually something very good will come out of it. Notice that the disciples encountered Jesus in the storm in a new way that they never had before.
2. STORMS ARE UNPREDICTABLE:
“Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves.” (Matthew 8:23-24).
• Sometimes storms will come into your life even when you are doing everything right.
• Just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean that you’re not going to go through storms.
3. STORMS ARE TEMPORARY:
“So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.” (1 Peter 1:6).
“For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!” (2 Cor. 4:17).
• The Bible says that sorrow may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
4. STORMS ARE PURPOSEFUL:
“These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” (1 Peter 1:7).