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Summary: Examining the keys to growing strong through the trials of life.

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LIVING ABOVE OUR STORMS

Part #1: How Are You Facing Life’s Difficulties?

Introduction

We are currently, here in the islands, in what is known as, "Hurricane season". Hurricane or Typhoon season is determined by a study of historical data collected over a period of time on weather patterns in a specific geographical location.

"Where a person is living, will determine when, and how long the hurricane season will be."

For us in the islands, it is from June till November that the Civil Defense marks as the months we are most vulnerable for a Typhoon or Hurricane.

Let us first start off by defining what a spiritual storm really is.

What Is A Spiritual Storm?

Definition: A spiritual storm is a trial, tragedy, or misfortune.

Let me share with you some of my observations about storms:

1. Storms are happening everywhere all over the earth.

All of us experience storms in life. Someone somewhere is experiencing a storm of some sort even now!

2. Storms are a part of life.

No one is exempt from storms, (Even God-loving, God-fearing, God’s favorite Christians are not exempt!).

All of us will experience storms in life.

The Bible tells us that the same storm came to the righteous as well as the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45), the wise as well as the foolish (Matthew 7:24-27).

Illustration

In 1991, when Hurricane Iniki hit the islands, especially the island of Kauai, one of our Kauai pastors said, "Spiritually speaking, It is not a matter of whether or not an Iniki will come our way, but rather, the question really is, when will the next Iniki come."

3. Storms can come and will come to us in all shapes and sizes.

The Book of James 1:2-4, tells us that trials and temptations come in diver shapes, color, and sizes (Pastor Sid’s paraphrase!).

4. Storms can either make us or break us, depending on how we respond.

Trials, tragedies, and misfortunes can either be a stepping stone or a stumbling block for us depending on our heart’s response.

1 Peter 2:5-10

Psalm 119:23-24

5. Storms expose areas of weakness or unpreparedness in our lives.

Trials, tragedies, and misfortunes expose our character to surface strength or weakness in our character.

It is not when everything is going well that our true character is revealed but it is when things go wrong.

Illustration

Trials and difficulties reveal our true character. It is like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. What is really on the inside will eventually ooze out. The greater the pressure, the greater the oozing!

6. Storms can bring good to us, if we have the right attitude and if we prepare ourselves rightly.

Illustration

In the 1990’s, when forest fires were breaking out all over Southern California, scientists discovered that these fires did bring good to the forestry. They discovered that some of the sicknesses and diseases among the trees and shrubbery, as well as, in some of the animals were eliminated. Storms can in the end bring good.

Romans 8:28

7. Disaster can be overcome, if we prepare.

Every person can escape the disastrous effects of a storm, if they properly prepare.

The way a storm develops is when contrary winds collide and escalate from what is know as a disturbance to a depression, to a bigger depression, then to a super depressions known as a super typhoon or hurricane!

The contrary winds look for instability in the upper atmosphere to escalate itself from a disturbance, to a tropical storm, to full blown typhoon or hurricane!

Having stability and consistency in our prayer life, our reading and studying of God’s Word, our attendance in the House of God, our serving, our giving, our witnessing, our character, our family time, our life mission of serving the LORD, are so importance in minimizing the disastrous effects of a trial, tragedy or misfortune.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Growing In Our Walk And Building A Good Testimony Requires:

1) Having a consistent prayer time - Mark 1:35, Psalm 91:1

2) Being consistent in reading, studying and meditating in God’s Word - Isaiah 34:16, 2 Timothy 2:15, Psalm 1:1-3, Joshua 1:9

3) Being consistent in being in the House of God -Acts 2:42,

Hebrews 10:24-25

4) Being consistent in serving especially in the House of God -

Galatians 6:10

5) Being consistent in our giving - Malachi 3:8-12

6) Being consistent in our character (especially at home)-

Psalm 101:2

7) Being consistent in our family time - Joshua 24:15

8) Being consistent in our life mission - Joshua 24:15

The Challenge

Storms (trials, tragedies, and misfortunes) can be very devastating especially, if we do not heed the warnings to rightly spiritually prepare our hearts.

Again, as we stated, no one is exempt from trials, tragedies, and misfortunes in life. But we can minimize these storms from turning into disasters, if we develop stability and consistency in our walk with the LORD.

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Sidney Sumida

commented on Sep 16, 2009

Excellent content!

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