Summary: You can make it through the storm because Jesus calls you, HE prays for you, He comes to you, and He will bring you through.
THE PERFECT STORM
By R. Juthman
On October 30 of 1991, a storm stronger than any in recorded history hit the coast off of Gloucester, Massachusetts. This storm created an almost apocalyptic situation in the Atlantic Ocean, where boats encountered waves of 100 feet - the equivalent of a ten story building - and winds of 120 miles an hour. While this storm may not have been a threat to land or to the homes along the shore, it was however deadly to those men who were caught in the shipping and fishing lanes. Many of the families of the small fishing towns surrounding Gloucester suffered the loss of friends or family members in what is now remembered as "The Perfect Storm."
One boat lost at sea during the storm was the Andrea Gail, a swordfish boat out of Gloucester with six hands on board. The story of this storm and this boat is told in a book by Sebastian Junger called "The Perfect Storm". In 2000 this tale was made into a movie staring George Clooney entitled, the Perfect storm.
I am probably the worst title maker in the history of preaching. When I began studying this passage , and felt this was what I was to preach today, I began thinking of an appropriate title. Well, here goes. I have titled this message, guess what, THE PERFECT STORM
Most of us in this room this morning will never face a situation like the one that I just described. However, there will be a time in the life of most Christians when we will come upon a different type of storm. How we handle that storm may in many ways determine how we live the remainder of our Christian life.
What the bible teaches us and life affirms, is that
STORMS ARE A PART OF LIFE
There are some here today who are going through a storm. Others in this room have passed through a storm, and aside from a few scars you are enjoying a season of peacefulness. I have good news for the rest of you here today, you are about to enter a storm.
Peter reminds don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. ( 1 Peter 4:12)
And James adds when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.( James 1:2)
The psalmist writes, Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid,(Ps.23:4)
As we read our Bibles, we discover that ….
THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF STORMS:
There are storms of CORRECTION. Some storms come as a result of choices we make that are contrary to God’s will. A prime scriptural example is Jonah. God called him to Nineveh, but he disregarded Gods command and chose to board a ship bound for tarshish.
When a storm broke out threatening to take the lives of Jonah and the crew, he told the captain to through him overboard where a great fish swallowed him up.
You know the rest of the story how when Jonah repented, the Lord caused the fish to vomit him onto dry land which just happened to be in the area of Nineveh where God had called Jonah in the first place.
This was a storm of CORRECTION. The storm was a result of Jonahs choice, and it was used to get him back on track with God’s will for his life.
Most people I encounter and counsel are not in that category. The storms they are facing are not due to their rebellion or ill-conceived choices, but occur while they are doing God’s will.
You could call them storms of PERFECTION where God causes us to grow in our faith.
I can think of two biblical examples of storms of perfection. One is Job, who is described as a man of the highest integrity. In fact God’s testimony of Job was that there was no other like him in the earth, who walked in integrity before God and men.
Yet, Satan was permitted by God to afflict job with all sorts of trouble including the death of his children, the destruction of his home, and the decimation of his livelihood. Nevertheless, in all of his distress the Bible says this was his response, ‘The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord.’
Another example of a person who walked with God and encountered unbelievable storms was Joseph.
Joseph was the favored son of Jacob. He was a young man of integrity, vision, wisdom, and courage. He was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery. Falsely accused by his employer and imprisoned for crimes he never committed. He was forgotten by his friends whom he had helped out of prison. Yet the Bible says he never grew bitter, he continued to serve the Lord and when brought face to face with the very brothers who betrayed him, rather than exact vengeance he encouraged them with this testimony of faith,