Summary: Third in the series. The trials and storms of life are meant to bring us into a greater awareness of Gods Presence.
The Presence Driven Church
Finding Gods Presence through the Storms/Trials of Life
Peter one of the disciples experienced many trials and temptations as a follower of Jesus as a result of this personal experience he was used to pen first and second Peter. In 1 Peter he gives three reasons for trials and as one who suffered much the Holy Spirit uses him to comfort us and explain why we go through these times.
Three Reasons for Trials
1. To Build our Faith - 1 Peter 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
2. To Purify our Lives - 1 Peter 4:1-2, 12-19 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
3. To Bring Glory to God - 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
In the midst of these dealings of God we find that the end results of times like these that without Him we can do nothing. In the midst of what takes place Jesus simply wants to increase our awareness of His personal Presence and its results. Let us study one incident that Peter experienced and learn some spiritual lessons:
Matthew 14:21-33 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
Notice that Jesus made His disciples get into the boat – literally it means He forced them. The context of this passage was the miracle of feeding the 5,000 – the disciples were so caught up in the miracle experience that they thought they had “arrived” – they wanted o crown Jesus King – Jesus wanted them to learn about the Kingdom – it is easy to recognize God’s Kingship in the midst of miracles but do we recognize His Kingship in the midst of storms