Summary: If your going through troubling times right now I have good news for you, YOUR GOING THROUGH IT!
Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus didn’t say you might have trouble, or you will only have trouble when you’re out of God’s will – He said you WILL have trouble. Jesus is clear on the point that we will all go through trouble. If your going through troubling times right now I have good news for you, YOUR GOING THROUGH IT.
George Barna reports that over 70 million Americans today are struggling to find some meaning in life. And that over 50% of Americans struggle with some type of depression.
We all have a way of completing this sentence: “If God is God, then....”
There will be no financial collapse in my family.
My children will never be buried before me.
People will treat me fairly.
This church will never divide.
My prayers will be answered. (Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm)
And when these expectations go unmet doubt sets in. We tell God show me and I’ll believe, He says believe and I’ll show you.
The peace that Jesus offers us comes only through a relationship with Him. The world can’t give us peace and it can’t take away the peace that Jesus gives us. It’s a peace based on our relationship with him not on our performance (how “good” of a Christian we are), not on our feelings, or our circumstances.
1. Sometimes God will lead us into a storm.
This is where our expectations of God and reality clash. We expect God to only lead us to calm water and sunny skies. We have a hard time grasping a loving God allowing us to suffer as we follow His leadership.
a). Some storms hit without warning. It always has amazed me how in one short moment our lives can be changed forever. One phone call, one conversation, one incident and everything has changed.
b). There is a calm right before the storm. Maybe right now everything for you is going well, but one phone call, one conversation, one incident and your calm can change to chaos instantly.
2. The strain of life is what builds our strength.
The typical view of the Christian life is that it means being delivered from all adversity. But it actually means being delivered in adversity. Are you asking God to give you life, liberty, and joy? He cannot unless you are willing to accept the strain. And once you face the strain, you will immediately get the strength.
Illustration: For two years, scientists sequestered themselves in an artificial environment called Biosphere 2. Inside their self-sustaining community, the Biosherians created a number of mini-environments, including a desert, rain forest, even an ocean. Nearly every weather condition could be simulated except one, wind. Over time, the effects of their windless environment became apparent. A number of acacia trees bent over and even snapped. Without the stress of wind to strengthen the wood, the trunks grew weak and could not hold up their own weight.
A) Jesus could have prevented the storm.
Think of what all God could have prevented – sin – pain – heartache – the devil. Yes God could have destroyed the devil but he chose not to. He could have created us all with out any choice but to serve Him and Love Him, but He didn’t He has given everyone a choice. What if your spouse said I love you just because your my husband or wife? I’m sure that would send warm fuzzies up your spine. God has given us a choice in the midst of all the hard times and with all the temptations we face to love Him and serve Him. That’s what makes love – love it’s a choice.
In the storms of life is where we ask God, why? What have I done to deserve this?
God is in control of everything and through every circumstance in our life God is working to draw us closer to Him. But we all have a choice in every situation to turn to God or turn elsewhere.
B) Jesus could have been more attentive to their plight. v. 38
Sometimes in the storms it seems as if God has turned His back on us, or has dosed off. Without God we wonder how we can cope. Too many people today are trying to cope with storms by turning to everything but Jesus.
C) We must take our concerns to God. v.38
Was it wrong for the disciples to wake Jesus? Should they have just sat while the waves crashed over the side of the boat and just watched the Lord sleep? Jesus wants us to turn to Him not only in our moment of need but with everything.