Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Sometimes the Lord allows conditions to get worse so He can make us better. No one goes through life without difficulties. In order to get our attention; the Lord may allow adversity to bring out the best or the worst in our attitudes - depending on our p

No one goes through life without difficulties. In order to get our attention; the Lord may allow adversity to bring out the best or the worst in our attitudes - depending on our perspective.

The Lord is far more interested in developing our character than in seeing us succeed in our jobs. God is wise enough to know that you can teach some people by what you say; you can teach a little more by what you do; but you teach most effectively through who you are.

The Lord Jesus always tried to help the disciples get the Heavenly Father’s priority perspectives for their life above their own.

Example: One day Jesus and his disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee when a furious storm came up on the lake. The waves swept over the boat threatening the lives of everyone on board. The disciples panicked with fear, but Jesus kept on sleeping. The disciples woke Jesus and cried, "Lord, save us! We are going to drown!" Jesus replied,

"You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" After Jesus rebuked the wind and waves the men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him?" (Matt 8:23-27)

When we encounter tumultuous times do we admit our need to grow in faith, knowledge and intimacy with God?

1. Jesus knows what everyone needs to grow spiritually. No human ever reaches a point where they do not need to improve. Even though the stormy experiences are unpleasant be assured that the Lord is always in control of every circumstance.

2. Jesus works all things together for good if we love Him and conform to His plans. We have a sovereign Lord who is able to take every delay, every problem and every person and work them all for our greater conformity to the image of Christ. (Rom. 8:28,29) It might not seem pleasant at the time, but the Lord allows hardships for GOOD reasons.

3. Jesus wants us to look beyond the storms to His reassuring face. When the disciples saw the stormy seas and the waves spilling into their little fishing boat, they let fear control their thinking.

a. Take your emotional focus off of your problems and transfer them to the Lord in prayer.

b. "Oh what peace we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pains we bear. All because we do not carry. Everything to God in prayer."

4. Jesus stands ready, willing and able at the right hand of God’s throne to intercede on your behalf. Even when we do not know what to do, what to pray or how to control our fears, He is ready to deliver you. Our God is awesome God who reigns from heaven above. In wisdom, power and love our God can lift you above any problem.

5. Jesus does not sweat the small stuff. The Lord did not worry about drowning that day on the stormy Galilee Sea. He was not a fatalist, He just knew that His heavenly Father protects us from dangers beyond our control. Surely, Jesus prayed for protection from the elements before He entered the boat and was confident that His heavenly Father would answer that prayer. Whatever you ask God for in the light, do not doubt when you get in dark situations.

6. Jesus did not worry when the disciples relied on their human instincts to assess the situation. The Lord knew that the disciple’s human mistakes could be used to teach them an important lesson. It is easy to give in to the emotions of your peers. Learn to plan, pray and act in your own mind before allowing a group of people to think for you.

Refuse to give in to the temptation to criticize realizing that the Lord is the one who teaches the best lessons to everyone.

7. Jesus saw the power of God when the disciples saw the power of the prevailing conditions. It is easy to get swept up in the trends of what is going on around you. When you spend the first 15 minutes of every day in prayer and study of God’s word you will be able to listen to the Lord’s voice before allowing yourself to be influenced by the news of the day.

8. Jesus asked the disciples a rhetorical question to try to persuade them to believe. Occasionally, we need to employ rhetorical questions to people of lesser spiritual maturity to bring them to greater levels of faith.

9. Jesus can do the things that are impossible for men to conceive or achieve. When the Lord calmed the stormy seas and winds hundreds were amazed. They said,

"What manner of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" When others do understand your great faith press on. Eventually, they will understand because of your fine example in speech, conduct, love, faith, purity and fruitfulness. (I Tim. 4:12)

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