Summary: In all our lives we must face storms. Sudden and unexpected winds of adversity which blow in and blow up. How do we not just survive the storm but thrive in it and through it.

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“Riding Out the Storms of Life”

(Mat 14:22-33 NIV) Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. {23} After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, {24} but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. {25} During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. {26} When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. {27} But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." {28} "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." {29} "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. {30} But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" {31} Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" {32} And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. {33} Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

A. In All of our lives there will come great storms

1. Storms are the circumstances of life which challenge our faith in God and His word

2. You will not be able to avoid the storms, they will come

B. Maybe your storm has to do with some great loss in your life…

1. You have come to a stage in your life where you experience many losses and some can be overwhelming

2. Maybe it has to do with great financial pressure - the bill collectors know your number by heart

3. Maybe it’s a negative report from the doctors, who are telling you to get your affairs in order!

4. Maybe your storm has to do with decisions you must make which are not pleasant and which will effect the remainder of your days

C. Storms are the circumstances of life that challenge our faith, in God and His word.

1. And like being in the middle of an ocean when a storm comes up; there is little to hold on to, little stability!

D. While you can be sure storms will come in life, there are several things you need to be assured of during the storm.

E. This is my focus for today - How can I ride out the storms of life

F. What do I do when I am in adverse circumstances and I find my faith in God and His word growing weak?

II. Be assured That He Brought You Into The Storm

(Mat 14:22 NIV) Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.

A. Jesus made them get into the boat

1. He sent them into the storm

2. It’s important to remember that Jesus was still Omniscient that day

3. He knew the storm was coming

4. He knew what lay ahead of His disciples

5. He deliberately sent them into the storm

B. The disciples found themselves in the storm because they were in the middle of God’s will

1. Many people believe that if they walk in obedience it will always mean “smooth” sailing…

(John 16:33 NIV) "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

2. Some will tell you, or maybe you believe, if there are adverse circumstances, then I must be in disobedience or there is unconfessed sin in my life

3. Never judge whether you are in God’s will solely by the circumstances.

C. Spiritually speaking, there are two kinds of storms…

D. The storm of correction

1. This is when God uses adverse circumstances to bring correction to our lives

2. It’s a form of discipline to redirect us

3. Remember Jonah

4. God told him to go to Nineveh and preach

5. Jonah said “no” to God and headed out in the other direction

6. God used the storm to get his attention and get him back on track

E. Then there is the storm of Perfection

1. This is the storm of circumstances that God uses for a purpose to eventually help us grow

2. There is a specific purpose to this storm; a lesson God wants to bring to us, or an issue in our lives which the Lord wants to address

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