The storms of life are liken unto a grain sifters, it matters not what you start with it but rather it is all about what is left when the shaking stops. Many of us are going through a lot of shaking, and some of the people we thought would be left when the shaking stops are gone. Some of the things we were counting on as stabilizing elements of our lives have disappeared. I want to share with you that what matters most is what is left when the shaking stops. We should thank God for what is left and stop complaining about our losses. There is a lot of rich meaning in the original language of this lesson text and the violent nature of the storm is reveal in the syntax content. However the purpose of this lesson is to pull practical principles from the surface of this text that will help us when the storms of life are raging. Question, What do you do when the storms of life are raging? Pray, keep busy, isolation, evaluation, hesitation, rationalization, or just out right blaming everybody your situation.
Storms are designed to hinder our progress, impede our development, distract our focus, and halt our spiritual development. Think about it for a moment, when storms come don’t they keep us from going where we were trying to go, in fact a severe storms will sometimes cause us to forget what we were doing before the storm came. Let me change streams and say don’t misinterpret what is meant by the term storm. In our usage today a storm is any situation that hinders, halts, distracts, and attempts to destroy your peace, joy and the providential and plan God has for your life. Sometimes our storms are places of employment, sometimes they are people in our lives, our Finances, friends and even family members can be storms.
Today we are going to find our second set of life lesson Principles form A Storm.
Subject: Life Lessons From A Strom Pt. 2
Life Lesson Principle # 4
Vs. 28 - We Must Be Willing To Get Out of The Boat.
Our boats, are those old patterns or life, predictable behavior and tragic flaws that we have a tendency to repeat over and over again. We keep rowing, but we are not making any advance in our old boats. The boat represents the status quo. To often we are trapped by the status quo, expectations and fears of others whom tell us what they would and would not do. It is time to get out of the boat and experience something new. If you don’t like what is happening, the way things are going get out of the boat. If you don’t like the way people treat you, change boats or if you don’t like the way things are going in your relationship get out of the boat. Wait, get out does not mean leave, it means try something different. Change the formula and the end result will also change. 2003 is an great time to get out of the old boats of failure, and frustration. Can you think of some boats that are sinking (not working) that you need to get out of. Finally I believe this lesson demonstrates that we shortchange God by staying in our boats. The point is it better on the water with Jesus that in the boat with others whom are not going anywhere or doing anything.
Life Lesson Principle # 5
Vs. 29 – We Succeed When We Move Toward Jesus.
I have watched a lot of people go through storms and I have had an abundance of them myself. One common factor is that in most cases people believe that they are doing what is right when the storms comes. Peter moved toward Jesus in the midst of contrary winds and waves and things were find. See two things here the presence of the storm does not keep Peter from moving toward Jesus. It’s all about what direction we move in when the storm comes. Examine the passage and see that eleven (11) other did nothing, and that is what most of us do. Some of us pull away, and then other move toward Jesus. What are you do you do when the storms come? Run and hide, blame and shout ! What your response to your storm?
2003 we should discipline ourselves to draw nigh to God. Relationships and fellowship are life line in any storm, we were not designed to go it alone. No man or woman is island, and all that talk about I have Jesus and that is enough is self deceptive. We need others to talk with, cry with and understand our pain.
Peter was on the water, but Jesus was with him. We need others that have Jesus in them to be with us.
Life Lesson Principle #6
Vs. 30 - Lapses of Focus (faith) are Recipes for Spiritual Failure.
Division is the results of the lost of wholeness and division will have a residue called distraction. See anytime we are torn by the forces of life we now have multiple things that we attempt to monitor. Peter is torn by the forces around him, the rip his faith-focus and he now watches the wind and waves rather than the great I AM. This lesson high lights the importance of focused faith, lapses are too expensive. Lapses happen when we take our focus off of Jesus. When we get preoccupied with the wind and waves it is a set up for disaster. Some of the people, problems and events of our lives are just our wind are wave forces designed to get our focus-faith off of Jesus. Peter provides us with a great example of what to do when we have our lapses. Peter cried out, wait he didn’t just cry, no the text said he cried out to Jesus. Our problem is that we cry, yeah we cry in the problem, and we cry about the problem but we don’t cry out of the problem to Jesus. Lord, save me is the right response to lapses of faith and sinking situations. Can you think of some things caused you to loose focus?
Life Lesson Principle # 7
Vs. 31 - Storms are Measuring Devices that Reveal our Faith Level.
The final verse of our lesson text is quite revealing, Jesus in the nick of time reaches out and saves Peter the same way HE does so many times with you and I. Let’s examine what we learn from this verse, first the closeness of Jesus. Yes, we contend with wind and water forces but Jesus is available and accessible for those of us whom call on him. What a glorious fact, that no matter how strong the forces against me Jesus is available and accessible. Additionally HE educates us as HE eradicates us from our predicament. Jesus tells Peter that the core of the problem is an faith problem. Jesus tells Peter that this storm has revealed his faith level. It is not how much we shout, or how loud we sing, or how eloquent we preach or pray that speaks about our faith level, but rather what we do when the storm comes. We are encourage to review our response to our storms and strive to do better with our focus-faith.
The songwriter said that the storm is passing over, and that there is a blessing in the storm. We must remember that no matter how dark the night, and no matter how ruff the way may get we need to encouraged to keep on keeping on. When the storms of life are raging and we find ourselves struggling and straining with the winds and waves of life we be willing to get out of our boats. The boat of tradition, the boat of low expectations, whatever you boat is, I want to encourage you get out of the boat. Not only do I want to encourage you to get out of the boat, but also want you to remember whatever happens move toward Jesus. When you have problems in your home, and problems on your job go to Jesus. We must keep our focus on Jesus and not allow ourselves to lapse and collapse. We must remember that storms that the reveal our faith level.