When Storms of Life Hit—8 Promises of God.
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
“John landed on the Island of Patmos, not because of tribulation, or hardship, but He was strategically placed on this Island for the word of God’s sake and the testimony of Jesus.” P.H
As I begin to ponder those words, Why John was on the Island of Patmos? The thought came to me. Do I know why I’m here?
Is life just a series of events? 70, if really fortunate, maybe 80 years.
This thought came to me—If God’s word is completely relevant, then I like John have a purpose that’s larger than me.
It happened August 29, 2005. Over 15 years ago. Disaster struck. Hurricane Katrina made landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane.
It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. In addition to bringing great devastation to the New Orleans area, this hurricane caused much damage along the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, as well as other parts of Louisiana.
We will never forget, and many of us remember the bleak images, the lives lost, the aftermath of the storm that our nation faced. Droves of people sought refuge in nearby cities. Thousands filled the city’s convention center and Houston Astrodome, seeking relief, looking for help. Row upon row of cots lined the buildings, the now temporary home of those who had lost literally everything.
Remember this, Big storms can roll in fast, suddenly turning blue sky days dark with worry. It can happen with one brief conversation, a diagnosis, an accident, or life-altering occurrence. And we're left, thoughts swirling, wondering how we didn't even see it coming.
Storms—Hit us hard. Leave us flat—We can't stop the storms from happening. But we can know where to run...for cover.
7 things to remember about storms:
1. Storms will come.
Isaiah 43:2NKJV When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.
Notice verse 2, Doesn't say "if," but "when."
Again, Storms happen. It’s inevitable and unavoidable.
But God still reminds us in His Word that He will be with us in the midst of it all.
Daniel still faced the lions. Joseph was still thrown in prison. Job still lost all he held dear. The disciples still faced persecution.
Being a believer doesn’t mean we will be kept from every hard circumstance, but that He will be with us in it all.
Hebrews 13:8AMP Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down ( relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]
Remember, From today’s text—Revelation 1:9, John was on the island of Patmos for the Word of God’s sake and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Storms come…However, as you serve Jesus storms go too.
2. Heed the warnings.
Matthew 24:42NET “Therefore stay alert, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
God reminds us in His Word to stay aware, (heed the warning) to wake up to what surrounds us.
It’s all too easy at times to ignore the warning, and continue on our own way. Thinking somehow we know better, or that we’ll be spared.
1 Corinthians 10:13NET No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.
We need His wisdom to know when to stay, or when to go.
Again, heed the warning!
3. Be prepared.
Life is often predictable. Often storms come on without much warning.
Ephesians 5:15-17NET Therefore consider carefully how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is.
The best way to stay spiritually prepared is to stay in close relationship with God. Walking wisely.
Every day we need Him, the fresh filling of His Spirit, time in His presence through prayer and reading His Word.
The better prepared we are “inside,” the better equipped we are to stay strong in Him, no matter what comes our way.
4. Be ruthless with sin issues—keeping our hearts right with God and with one another.
Stay in close fellowship with other believers.
Be connected to a church and worship where you are growing.
Serve, and stay strong in Him.
Jesus records these words in John 16:33NET I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage—I have conquered the world.”
Notice the original Greek translation for Tribulation—trouble and suffering.
Jesus clearly points out that in this fallen world you will have tribulation, or troubles and sufferings.
Notice—this is the last verse in John 16, The next chapter begins with Jesus praying for His disciples—His followers.
Again, this last warning in John 16:33 was given to prepare us!
5. Know where to find refuge.
Psalm 46:2NKJV Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
When facing a storm, we instinctively know to find a safe place, to be protected from the elements.
Remember, you have a hiding place in Jesus. In all that we face, no matter what may fill our days, we have a place to run to.
Remember, God is our Refuge, our constant Help, our Safety. He is the only One who can walk on water. He is the only One who still reigns over all. He is the only One who can speak to the storm and the wind obeys His voice.
Remember, at anytime, God say—“Peace, be still.”
6. The enemy comes in like a flood.
Isaiah 59:19bNKJV…When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.
The ‘a’ part of Isaiah 59, Lets the reader know that this promise was given to everyone who feared the Lord’s name.
Isaiah 59:19a So shall they fear The name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun;
The enemy will try to wreak havoc in our lives. He loves disaster. He loves it when we struggle.
According to John 10:10, His whole aim is to steal, kill, and destroy.
You need to remember, as a child of the Most High God, As Sons and Daughters of God, you’re never fighting alone. P.H
7. God is over the flood.
Psalm 29:10-11NIV The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. 11 The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Such a great reminder that God is still all powerful, over the floods, and over the weather.
He's not pacing heaven's floors, but He "sits enthroned over the flood."
He's still in control, and He knows our way. He understands what concerns us. Our "flood" may not be literal standing water today, it may be the circumstances we find ourselves in that are wreaking havoc on our thoughts. We may feel overwhelmed, like we're drowning in all the struggles we're up against, like it's too much to bear. We may be knee-deep in hurt, wading through the mess of it all.
However, remember this, Don’t doubt for a minute that He's not there. He's over every trouble we face, He's with us in each trial—We do not face it alone.
Again, According to Psalm 29:11, There are two things God gives us in the midst of the "flood."
He gives, "Strength to His people," and He blesses us with “peace."
8. Life comes back.
Genesis 9:13NIV I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
Remember this, Even in the face of huge loss and ravaging storms, hard times do not hold the final say over our lives.
As believers, we are kept safe in the hands of our Creator in this life, and in the next. Winds can blow. Devastating loss may come.
However always remember this, God is a Redeemer. He is the only One who can take what seems to be utter destruction, and somehow turn it around for good. He did it for Job. He did it for Joseph. He did it for Noah. And He is the same God today!
Revelation 1:11NIV…“Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
Again, Life comes back. That’s why God chose John, He was chosen for the churches, He was chosen for you and me.
Never forget—God’s faithful to His promises and to His Word.
Russel Brownworth writes—I served in the US Army during Vietnam. I have to admit that even in the midst of a war zone, when it was my turn to stand guard duty there were times when my eyes were so heavy I was tempted to take a quick nap. God is not like that. In the greatest war of all God is on duty 24/7, wide-awake to protect you from Satan and sin.
Again, Life comes back.