Summary: We need to be able to stand strong in the midst of the storms of life if we are going to grow and thrive in our spiritual walk with Jesus!
• SLIDE #1
• Mark Smith in an article in Readers Digest said the following: Like many high school seniors, my son was filling out college-scholarship applications. One form asked for extracurricular activities. He answered: “wrestling.” The next question requested positions held. He entered: “pinned, mostly.” --Mark Smith, Readers Digest Jun00 (http://www.irsweb.com/)
• How many of you have felt liked you are continually being “pinned” to the mat and are just waiting to get counted out.
• When things get difficult what do we do?
• How do we hold steady when the storms of life try to tear us to pieces?
• SLIDE #2
• Over the next five weeks we are going to journey through a series entitled, “Equip, Essential Tool For Spiritual Living.”
• One of the tools we need to possess if we are going to grow spiritually is the ability to hold steady when life’s storms come at us. WE need to have the ability to let our faith keep us grounded even in the most difficult of times.
• Today we are going to examine three reasons we can hold steady in life’s storms.
• Please turn to Romans 8.
• SLIDE 3
• Romans 8:28(ESV) 28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,£ for those who are called according to his purpose.
• From verse 28 we learn…
• SLIDE #4
To hold steady in life’s storm you must understand:
I. Your storms are not bigger than God’s plan for you.
• One of the temptations we face is thinking that our problem is bigger than God’s plan. I mean we see the problem, but we do not always see the plan.
• I find such peace in Romans 8:28. God is making some significant promises to those who are His.
• Let us take a moment to examine the nuts and bolts of what God is saying to us in verse 28.
• SLIDE #5
A. God will not let storms destroy you.
• We are told that we KNOW that God causes all things to work together for good.
• The word “know” means to learn by instruction. How do we know our math facts? By instruction.
• We know that God causes all things to work together for good because we are taught through God’s word this is true.
• The only way we know this fact is through the teaching of the Bible.
• How many times have you seen what seemed like a hopeless situation turn into something good? I have seen some of the most difficult situations in life turn into something good for people.
• In my own life there have been many things that happened that at the time did not seem good, but later I could see they were the best thing that happened.
• We are told that God causes ALL THINGS to work together for good. In the context of the book of Romans, all things includes all the trials and tribulations we deal with in life. It deals with the persecutions we face as a result of our faith.
• We have some examples in the scriptures of this principle.
• How many of you think it would be terrible to be sold into slavery by your own brothers?
• Then how many of you think it would be bad to be thrown into prison for something you were completely innocent of after things seemed to be going well for you?
• This all happened to a man named Joseph in the bible. Later on in his life, Joseph’s brothers thought Joseph was going to get them back when Joseph said the following in Genesis 50:20
• SLIDE #6
• Genesis 50:20(ESV) 20As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people£ should be kept alive, as they are today.
• When the early church was being persecuted, it seemed like a bad thing, but the good out of it was the fact it made the Christians leave Jerusalem and take the gospel to other parts of the world.
• SLIDE #7
• Acts 8:4(ESV) 4Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.
• The disciples were not going to leave the comfort of Jerusalem until bad things forced them out.
• Whatever we are facing in life, God promises that it will work together for good. Who is that promise for? Is it for every person or just a limited few? Look at the rest of verse 28.
• We see there is a condition for this great blessing, it is not for EVERYONE.
• SLIDE #8
B. God will take care of those who are living in His will.