Summary: A message about overcoming storms and surviving.
Stand and lift up your bible and repeat after me.
This is my Bible.
I am what it says I am.
I can do what it says I can do.
I am going to learn how to be what it says I can be.
Today I will learn more of the word of God.
The indestructible, never ending, living word Of God.
I will never be the same.
I will never be the same.
In Jesus Name.
I am going to try to encourage you all today.
Recently, I have encountered a person who’s going through an incredibly severe storm. You’re in the midst of, probably, the darkest time of it. I want to thank you Lord because today you’ve put Scripture into reality. But because I’ve sat for 1 hour with a brother who has no fear and no regrets, who has peace, joy and anticipation with his life.
In fact, he kept saying, “Pastor David, the ones I feel sorry for are those left behind. All my life, I’ve lived to be with Jesus, and I get to go to be with Him when I die.” I’m thinking, “The world wouldn’t understand this.” The world would see that peace and joy and courage, and they would give anything for it. What am I talking about?
Being in the midst of the storm and yet at the same time having the grace and the power of Jesus Christ as such a reality in your life where you can say, “The storms may rage, but through the power of God, they can’t destroy me.” Amen?
Statements about storms:
1. Storms allow us to see ourselves
Adversity has a way of introducing us to our real self. Folks, we live in a cosmetic world. People are bouncing through life, never willing to allow the storms to stop them long enough to get a real perspective of who they are and what they’re encountering.
Every once in a while, I’ll run into somebody who’ll say, “Well, you know, Pastor, I’ve really never had any storms in my life.” And every time they tell me that, I say to myself, “Self, you’re looking at a very shallow person who has never allowed the storms to let them see themselves as they really are.”
Now, let me tell you something about storms, because if you’ve lived in a place like Southern California all your life, you don’t know anything about storms. I lived in Pennsylvania most of my life. I know what storms are like. I mean, I’m talking about wind and lightning and thunder and rain.
I’m talking about thunderstorms and hurricanes. I remember, we knew what to do during the storm. One of the first things you learn about storms of life is that when you go through one, things aren’t where they’re supposed to be when it’s over. One of the things God does for you and me when we go through the storms of life is shuffle the deck.
He lets us see life, not in our cosmetic view, everything in the right place, and everything for a right reason with a right label on the right shelf. He blows it all around. Messes things up. And He shows us our life as it is, not as what we had planned it to be or pretended to be.
That’s exactly what He did with the disciples, in the upper room. Before the storm, Peter thought he had his act together. He had his testimony already written out, and it was a good one. Peter had his doctrine already stated, and it was good. But when the storm came in, it blew that thing all over the place. He woke up and thought, “I don’t love God as much as I thought as I did. I’m not as faithful as I thought I’d be. And I didn’t follow through on my promise.”
The storms of life have a way of knocking the props out from under us and helping us see ourselves as we really are. And, it’s okay to come to this church and not be perfect. I learned a long time ago: storms take away all of the cosmetic appearance of life. They clear the façade. They cut out all the junk.
2. Storms are times of restoration
They are times, if I allow them to be, of renewal. They are times that allow me to draw real close to God.
Every parent will understand this illustration. Just think of your high-energy children. They may be full of a lot of mischief, but if they get sick, all of a sudden, all that energy leaves their body and they become pliable and dependent.
I remember one time when I was little, we were going to drive to Florida. I always dreaded trips in the car because I got car sick. I mean, I’m sorry, but it wasn’t a complete vacation without me getting car sick.