Summary: In light of the tornadoes of May 20, 2013, this lesson is an attempt to keep us focused on God in the midst of the storms.
1, It is Well with My Soul
"It Is Well with My Soul" is a very influential hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford and composed by Philip Bliss.
This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford¡¯s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the S.S. Ville du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone." Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
2. Another day of infamous storms ¨C 5.3.99 ¨C now 5.20.13
a. What things went through your mind?
b. ¡°Why?¡± would be the big question of the hour;
c. Also ¨C WHO?; What Now?
3. Some Lessons to take away
I. The Power of the Storm
A. Some Storms in the Bible:
1. Yeshua (Jesus) in the Boat ¨C ASLEEP in the storm
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ¡°Let us go across to the other side.¡± 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, ¡°Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?¡± 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ¡°Peace! Be still!¡± And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, ¡°Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?¡± 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ¡°Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?¡± Mark 4.35-41
2. Yeshua (Jesus) Walking on Water in a storm ¨C Matthew 14.22-27
22 Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, ¡°It is a ghost!¡± and they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately he spoke to them, saying, ¡°Take heart, it is I; have no fear.¡±
3. Job¡¯s Losses ¨C Job 1.13-19
4. Elijah¡¯s storm with the still small voice and then his whirlwind
11 And he said, ¡°Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.¡± And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, ¡°What are you doing here, Elijah?¡± 1 Kings 19.11-13
11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Eli¡äjah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, ¡°My father, my father! the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!¡± And he saw him no more. 2 Kings 2.11-12
5. Babylonian ¡°Storm¡± ¨C 5 Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. 6 For lo, I am rousing the Chalde¡äans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize habitations not their own. Habakkuk 1.5-6