Summary: There is only one thing that matters when you are facing a storm and it's found in Luke 8. I believe the message will bless you and help you understand more clearly who you are as a son or daughter of God.
The Purpose of Storms
How many of you have been on your way to a meeting or to visit relatives in another city or state and it began to rain? At first the rain comes down in a steady flow and you turn your windshield wipers on to one of the lower speed settings. The windshield wipers are able to remove the rain drops so that your vision is not impaired and you can see the road immediately ahead of you and in the distance clearly. You barely notice the sound of the rain drops hitting your car. You reduce your traveling speed but not by too much.
Then the rain begins to come down a little faster, a little harder and with a little more intensity. You increase the speed setting on your windshield wipers and they are still able to remove the rain drops but not as quickly and your vision, while not impaired, is beginning to lessen. The sky has gotten much darker. You can’t see the road as clearly as you could before and you can see much less of the road in the distance. Now you begin to notice the sound of the rain as it is hitting your car and, as if in slow motion, you can see the rain drops hit your car and disperse. You reduce your traveling speed again; this time a lot.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, it seems like the skies open up and the rain begins to pour. The rain fall is now a full-fledged storm. The sky is nearly black. The rain drops are pounding your car. You increase the speed setting on your windshield wipers. They’re now on the maximum setting but you can barely see the road in front of you, never mind seeing in the distance. The sound of the rain hitting your car now sounds like a jack-hammer on pavement. Now, you don’t just reduce your traveling speed but you pull over to the side of the road. You stop. Your plan: to sit on the side of the road until the storm passes.
Does this sound familiar? You’re on your way out of town and you run into what you think is going to be just a steady rainfall and then it turns into a car-stopping storm. What has just happened? The storm stopped you, at least temporarily, from reaching your destination. The storm caused you to make a decision to pull off of the road you were on.
The storms of life
This morning, we’re going to look at the purpose of storms in our lives. A storm can be an unexpected financial crisis. A storm can be an illness that happens all of a sudden. A storm can be the sudden loss of a job. A storm can be a marriage relationship that’s on the rocks. Whatever it is, a storm is a situation that you find yourself in that makes you feel helpless. You feel that if someone doesn’t do something, you may not make it. We may not make it.
Let’s look at a storm in the life of Jesus and the disciples. Pay close attention to how the disciples respond to the storm and how Jesus responds the storm. Turn to Luke 8:22-25.
Before reading these verses let’s look at what has happened in this chapter. Chapter 8 begins with the word “And”. If you want to get the full impact of what’s going on in Chapter 8, go back to Chapter 7. The chapter includes several issues including the Pharisee inviting Jesus to supper and the lady, who is a sinner, who comes in a washes Jesus’ feet and dries them with her hair. At the end of the chapter, Jesus says to the woman, your faith has made you whole. Then we get to Chapter 8, verse 1. Let’s read verses one through the first part of verse five.
And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed:
Jesus has been preaching and teaching the good news of the kingdom of God in the surrounding cities and villages. In verse 5 he shares the parable of the sower. He gives the parable in verses 5, 6, 7 and 8. In verse 9 the disciples ask him to explain it and Jesus does so in verses 10-15.