Summary: There are three components to understand that will help us withstand life’s storms: Everyone is hit by storms, Everyone has the same instructions, and Everyone who acts withstands.
Withstanding Life’s Storms
There are three components to understand to help us withstanding life’s storms:
Everyone is hit by storms 25, 27
Everyone has the same instructions 24, 26
Everyone who acts withstands 24, 26
Children can be embarrassingly frank. A minister once visited a parishioner. The lady of the house was trying to impress him with how devout she was by pointing out the large Bible on the bookshelf and talking in a very reverential way about it as "the Word of God." Her young son interrupted the conversation, "Well, if that’s God’s book we better send it back to him because we never read it!"
• How many of you here today own at least one Bible in your home?
• How many of you have more than one Bible in your home?
• If you asked most Americans today, you would find that 93% own at least one Bible. Even though it has been on the bestseller list for quite some time it is the book most likely to stay on a bookshelf.
• Pollster George Gallup Jr. found after numerous surveys that only 4 in 10 Americans know that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.
• A majority of citizens cannot name the four Gospels of the New Testament.
• Only 3 in 10 teenagers know why Easter is celebrated.
• Two-thirds of Americans believe there are few, if any, absolute principles to direct human behavior.
• These beliefs are not held just by those who do not profess a faith in Jesus Christ. Nearly half of “born again” Christians deny the existence of the Holy Spirit and a real Satan.
• One in five Christians denies Jesus’ resurrection and believes he was a sinner.
Even though the mass majority of Americans may own a Bible, only a small minority of them actually read it, and only a smaller portion of them know what the Bible says, and only small fraction of them believe what the Bible teaches and only a slight few do what the Bible teaches.
We all would agree:
• that the Bible is important for us read, more so than the morning paper
• that the Bible is has life giving power to change lives (Hebrews 4:12)
• that the Bible is useful to correct, instruction, rebuke and teach us in the ways of righteousness so that we can be completely equipped children of God (2 Timothy 3:16)
• that the Bible is a lamp unto our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119: 105)
• that if we hide the Bible in our hearts, we would not sin against God (Psalm 119:11)
Yet, we wonder why America is in such a terrible shape. We ask why our society is a mess, and why our families are such a wreck. We want to know why families fall apart when hit with a life-storm.
When problem drench us as a pouring rain, when stress surround us like a rushing flood or when pressure pound us like a howling wind, we want to know why life grumbles around us.
We all desire to stand strong and tall through the pounding winds, yet fall apart at a slight breeze. Many people desire to endure the harshest assault from life’s canon yet grumble at the sound of the first shot.
We all desire to have a strong life, yet many don’t. Why is that?
In our passage this morning, Jesus gives the answer that question. He tells us how to withstand the storms of life.
Read Matthew 7: 24-27.
There are three components to withstanding life’s storms.
1. Everyone is hit by storms. 25 & 27
We all face storms in life. Your storm is different than mine and yours comes at a different time than mine. Yet, we all face them. No one is excluded from this part of life. We all have this in common.
• Problems drench us like a driving rain.
• Stress surrounds us like rushing flood waters.
• Pressures pound us like a hurricane wind.
We must come to understand that even though our storms are different, we all have them. No one is excluded from the storms.
2. Everyone has the same instructions. 24 & 26
In the midst of the storms, we all receive the same instructions. We all are told what the best steps to take are. When the ice storms came this passed winter, we are told to not drive, and to stay in were it is safe.
Jesus also gives us instructions concerning life and the storms we face.
3. Everyone who acts withstands. 24 & 26
However, the difference comes in what we do with the instructions. We can choose to act upon them or ignore them.
During the ice storms, some chose to venture out to drive and ended up needing help out of the ice.