Storms (Part 1)
“Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this, for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.”
Notice with me these words: “…as they sailed... there came down a storm of wind…” Storms are a fact of life. Rich or poor, low or elite… storms come. Consider a few observations about storms.
Storms are predictably unpredictable. One call from a doctor can result in a storm that can rock your world. It can be smooth sailing and then without warning a storm comes and life as we had known it changes. The good news is Jesus, the storm-stopper resides IN us as believers and I John 4:4 says “Greater is he that is in us than He that is in the world”.
Sometimes, in churches, people can be Storm Starters. Jesus said blessed are the “peace makers” not the “peace breakers”. Some people are unifiers and some are dividers. Some build walls while others build bridges. “Storm Starting” is a fruit of a spirit but, not the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes, in churches, people can be Storm Stoppers. Sharon and I have spent thirty-four of our forty-four years of marriage, pastoring. Over those thirty-four years, we pastored four churches. In those four churches, God graced us with some very loving people that knew how to stop storms. Love always prevails over hate, truth triumphs over lies and Spirit-empowered unity defuses the spirit of division. Storm Stoppers, people that know how to speak “Peace” when the winds of adversity are howling, are a gift to the pastor.
Beyond the church, marriages encounter storms on the sea of life. Words spoken can start or stop storms in the house. Proverbs 15:1 says: “A soft answer turneth away wrath but, grevious words stir up anger.” Wise is the husband or wife that in the authority of Jesus, rebukes the storm and speaks “peace” over the home so calm replaces conflict.
Then, there are Storm Survivors. These are the people that are not stopped by storms. Storm Survivors are those that go through the storms but, keep going, keep believing, keep loving, keep worshiping and keep serving… survivors of the storm; didn’t start the storm, didn’t want the storm… but, survived the storm. Battered but not bitter. Storm Survivors praise and worship a little louder and a little longer than everyone else... I love Storm Survivors!
Perhaps you are in a storm right now... or, there is a storm raging in you…tossed and torn by questions in a crisis you didn’t ask for. May the power of God INFUSE you with faith and fortitude to forge through the storm. May the Peace Speaker speak peace over your life today!