Summary: A look at why God sends storms our way.

WHY WOULD GOD DELIBERATELY SEND A "GREAT STORM" INTO YOUR LIFE? The two most likely reasons are pruning or discipline.

- Jonah 1:4; John 15:1-8.

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF OUR DISOBEDIENCE? The two biggest are a bad witness for God and bad results for us.

WHY WON'T GOD LET US WALK AWAY? Because what we have with Him is a covenant.

- We don’t fully appreciate how big and how deep a commitment that God is making to us when He enters into relationship with us.

- One of the Biblical words that He uses to describe it is “covenant.”

- That’s far deeper than an agreement. It’s far deeper than a promise. It’s even deeper than a contract.

- There is something holy and eternal in a covenant.

WHAT IS GOD'S GOAL IN SENDING THE STORM? The two main goals are repentance and maturity.

a. Repentance.

- Going back to our first point this evening, this ties into discipline.

- There are times when we are doing what we should not be doing and God disciplines us with the hope of pushing us toward repentance.

- He wants us to see our need for change and coming back to Him.

b. Maturity.

- Again going back to the first point, if the original cause was pruning, then the goal is maturity.

- God is moving us in the direction maturity.

- How does a storm push us toward maturity?

- It does that because it forces us into a situation where we have to pursue God even though we are not getting any rewards for doing so.

- It’s easy to follow God when He’s blessing our lives. But that can be a shallow obedience that is at least partly motivated by the good things that we’re receiving.

- When we follow God even though things are not going well, that stretches us. We have to walk with Him because it’s the right thing to do, not because we’re getting good things.

- When we follow God even though we don’t see Him coming through for us, it means that we’re exercising increasing amounts of faith.

- This is also the ultimate goal even when the immediate goal is repentance (like we spoke of a moment ago). The first step may be repentance, but God’s larger desire is not just that we admit to having gone in a direction we should not have and turn around, but that we pursue spiritual maturity. God wants us to ultimately live a life that leads us to that kind of growth and maturity.

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