Sensing God During the Storm, Part 2
Archibald Rutledge tells the story of looking out his window and watching a bird build a nest. He spent the better part of a day watching the scene. During the night, a bad storm came. Rutledge went to the window the next morning to see how the bird's nest had survived the storm, and it hadn't. It was down on the ground, torn apart and shattered. But then his eyes saw the bird. And it wasn't mourning or standing beside that devastated home. Instead, the bird was back in the tree, laboring, building another nest.
I want to talk to you about the storms of life today. Scott Peck in his book, The Road Less Traveled, opens it up with these three words: "Life is hard." I think my favorite passage of Scripture in the Gospels is John 13-17. Five chapters in that great Gospel, the account of Jesus spending some intimate time with his disciples right before the garden and the trial and the crucifixion. It's the most intimate part, I think, of all the Gospels.
In John 13, Jesus washed the disciples' feet. It's in that same chapter that Judas left the room to betray him. It's where Peter says, "Lord, if all the other disciples leave you and run away from you, I want you to know you can count on me. I'll stand beside you." John 14 is where our Lord talks to them about going to prepare a place for them. He talks about how important it is for him to go away so that the Holy Spirit can come and minister to us as the children of God. John 15 is the account of the vine and the branches. I think it's such a beautiful story of relationships and how we are to abide in Him. If we live in Him, our fruitfulness is not of ourselves but what He provides. He provides the nourishment that we need to blossom as people. And John 16 is what we're going to study in just a moment, where Jesus prepares his disciples for His death and departure, for the storm. John 17 is where Jesus prays for the church. It's truly the Lord's Prayer, although it's not called that. It's where he comes before the Father and intercedes for us as His children.
Now, I want you to turn to John 16. To be honest with you, as I knew I was going to be preaching two sermons on "Sensing God in the Storm," I already had my second message prepared (I usually prepare 3-4 weeks, sometimes 5-6 weeks in advance). But Monday morning, I awakened early, and it was one of those moments where I knew God had woken me. In my mind were the words of Jesus when He said, "In this world, you will have tribulation." Immediately I recognized where that was and went out to my office at the house and opened up my Bible.
I got into John 16 and for the next couple of hours; the Spirit of God began to pour thoughts out of this passage into my heart. I just got my legal pad and wrote as quickly as I could. This is a message that God gave me, and I learned a long time ago that when God gives me a message, I put mine aside. His are a lot better than mine. He has some real truths for us. It hit me that Jesus prepared his disciples for an incredible storm in their life
How Jesus prepares us for the storm:
1. He lets us see the clouds.
The first thing Jesus does for his children when there is a storm approaching is let us see the gathering of the storm. He doesn't allow the storm to just catch us unaware, where all of a sudden we're out in the midst of it, getting battered and blown, with no clue what happened. He begins to prepare His people when they're entering into what I call the "storm stage" of life.
You're open to John 16. Get your pens out. I want you to underline verse 1. Jesus said, "I am telling you this to keep you from being afraid." Verse 2, "You will be chased out of the Jewish meeting places. The time will come when people will kill you and think they are doing God a favor. They will do all these things because they don't know either the Father or Me." Underline the next verse. "I am saying this to you now, so when the time comes (when the storm comes), you will remember what I have said." Underline the next phrase. "I was with you at the first, and so I didn't tell you these things. But now I am going back to the Father who sent me and none of you asked me where I'm going.
A. So that our fears will be lessened.
Jesus looked at the disciples and said, "You have no idea what's coming so let me get you ready. The clouds are going to gather and I want you to realize that things are going to happen so that your fears will subside."
B. So we will be secure in Him.
Jesus lets us see the storm gathering, so that we will have security in Him. That's why He said to them, "I want you to remember the words I have said when this time comes." What you'll remember even more than the storm is the fact that I prepared you for it and told you it was going to happen. There'll be a sense of security and you'll say, " God knew all about this before it came.”
C. Because the timing is right.
You see, there's a time for us to hear God talk to us about the storms of life. And for the disciples, it was time. He said, "While I was with you, I didn't tell you these things. I'm waiting until now because the timing is right, because I'm going to leave and you're going to be asking questions, and you're going to be battled and bruised and you're going to be wondering what's happening."
2. He assures us that he has our best interests in mind.
He assures us that when the storm comes in our life, He has our best interests in mind. Look at verse 6 and part of verse 7: "You are very sad from hearing all of this. But I tell you that," now underline this next phrase, "I'm going to do what is best for you." That's why He said, "I'm going away. I want you to understand that this storm that you're about to encounter is what's best for you."
Now, humanly speaking, when we're in the middle of the storm, none of us really feel that, do we? Do you remember when your parents used to discipline you and tell you it's for your good? I never bought that as a kid. Whenever they disciplined me, my parents did two things that were just life‑changing to me. First, they never disciplined me without first telling me that they loved me and it was for my good. Then they did it. The second thing they always did was, 15- 20 minutes afterwards, tell me again how much they loved me.
3. He sends the Holy Spirit to minister to us.
He sends the Paraclete, or "one who walks alongside of us." He sends the Holy Spirit to minister to us and to comfort us during this very dark time in our lives. Look what he said in the latter part of verse 7, "The Holy Spirit cannot come and help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you."
The Holy Spirit will:
A. Reveal truth about sin and God's justice.
B. Guide the believer in full truth.
C. Glorify God during the midst of this storm.
In all four gospels, it's recorded that Jesus told us believers that he would send the Holy Spirit to us to comfort us, to walk alongside of us and to minister to us.
4. He gives us enough light for today.
He reveals enough knowledge to help us get through the storm. He doesn't let us see the end of the storm. Would you look at that in verse 16? Jesus told His disciples, "You will see me for a little while and then for a little while you won't see me. They said to each other, `What does Jesus mean by this? What does He mean by saying that He's going to the Father? What is this little while that He's talking about? We don't know what He means." Now, go up to verse 12 with me. Jesus said, "I have much more to say to you, but right now, it would be more than you could understand." Look at verse 23, "When that time comes, you won't have to ask me about anything." Right now, they're full of questions. They're about to enter the storm and they're asking the typical question: "Why is this happening to me?" He says, "When that time comes, you won't have to ask me about anything." Look over in verse 24. "Then it will be given to you so that you will be completely happy." Look at verse 25, "I have used examples to explain to you what I have been talking about, but the time will come when I will speak to you plainly about the Father and will no longer use examples like these." When he prepares us for the storm, He gives us just enough light.
A couple of years ago, I used an illustration with you about getting into your car at night after a wonderful time with your family at a restaurant. You get into your car, and turn the lights on. The lights shine a few hundred feet ahead, but you can't see your house. You can just see a few hundred feet ahead. What would happen if you said, "I turned the lights on. If I can't see my house, I'm not going." No, you just use the light that's available to you. You start moving the car in the right direction and the light just stays a few hundred feet ahead of you. And as you move the car, the light gives you what you need at that moment. That's the same way it is during the storm. Jesus said, "You're not ready yet to understand everything. It's okay. I'll just give you enough light for you to see where you are right now, and you just keep walking." You see, our problem is many times we stop and say, "God, I ain't going unless you show me more light." Then the light stops. "If we walk in the light as He is in the light..." -- walking in the light, not standing in the light.
5. He reminds us of His unconditional love.
He reminds us that He loves us unconditionally. Now, really, don't miss this, folks. I could literally stop and preach the whole message here. Let's go to verse 31. Are you ready? Let's look at these words. Jesus replied, "Do you really believe me? The time will come and is already here when all of you will be scattered. Each of you will go back home and leave me by myself. But the Father will be with me and I won't be alone."
Underline verse 33. "I have told you this so you might have peace in your hearts because of me." He's saying to His disciples, "Brothers, in a few moments, things are going to drastically change around here. They're going to take me away from you. I want you to know what you're going to do when the storm comes: when I need you the most, instead of staying with me and being courageous, you're going to run and scatter”. This is just a few minutes after Peter has said, "Lord, I don't know about the rest of these disciples but you can count on me." And Jesus said, "Peter, no I can't." Now, notice what he said: "These things I have said unto you so that you will have peace because of me." What does He mean? "Peter, when you deny me and the cock crows, you're going to weep bitterly. You're going to run out of that garden and say, 'How could I do this to the one I love?'"
He says to the disciples, "You're going to go to a closed room, and lock the doors and huddle like a bunch of scaredy-cats. You're going to hear news out on the street about this man who was unjustly accused, and you'll go on a supreme guilt trip. You're going to feel so bad and so unworthy, and so rotten deep down inside, because you'll know that when I needed you, right in the middle of my storm, you deserted me."
But when you scatter, when you fail, when you come short of the glory of God, when you don't measure up, when you sin after making promise after promise, hang on. He said, "I want you to know that I knew it was going to happen, and I want you to have peace because of me. I knew you were going to fail, and I told you ahead of time, but I love you unconditionally anyway." Now, I don't know what that does for you, but it's so exciting when I understand that God loves me, not because I preach to you on Sunday morning, or am a third generation preacher, am preaching His Truth from the Bible. I understand that although I'm not always faithful to God, he's always faithful to me. Jesus never fails.
6. He gives us courage in spite of our circumstances.
Jesus said, "While you're in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up, I have defeated the world." Basically, Jesus said to the disciples, "In the next 48 hours, the world is going to throw everything they can on top of me. You're going to see me encounter the worst that the world has to offer. I want you to understand that when I encounter the worst that the world has to offer, I'm going to be victorious. Cheer up, because I'm going to overcome the world. You're going to see me taken away. You're going to see me in a mock trial. You're going to see me die on a cross, in the next 2 days. But if you'll hang around, on the third day, you'll see me resurrect from the dead." And He said, "I want you to understand that because I was victorious over the storm of death, you'll be victorious over every storm you encounter in life." That's what it's all about. Cheer up. He said, "I have overcome the world."
Last Monday I spent an hour with a prayer partner of mine for a few years now. His name is Gary, and he's dying. He's in the last stages of cancer. He wanted me to spend a little time with him. So I went over with my daughter Elizabeth . And we just sat in his living room for an hour. His face was very hollow. He's in his last few days. And he said, "Pastor, there are some things that I want to share with you before I die." And so I took a legal pad out. And for the next hour, I wrote down the wonderful things that he said. At the end of the hour, I picked everything up, prayed with him, gave him a hug, and said, "Gary, I want to thank you for this hour that you've given me. Because every Sunday I stand in front of hundreds of people and preach. I try to extract the truths in this Word and teach the best I can. But I also take the Word of God and try to apply it to life. I'm doing a series on the storms of life. And today, I've encountered a person who's going through an incredibly severe storm. You're in the midst of, probably, the darkest night of it. I want to thank you, Gary, for myself and my daughter Elisabeth. She's 16 and has never seen or talked to somebody who was dying. I want to thank you because today you’ve put Scripture into reality. Every Easter, I refer to one verse that speaks of death: 'Oh, death where is thy sting? Oh, grave, where's thy victory?' Next Easter, when we're down at the stadium and I'm preaching to thousands of people, by that time you'll be with our Lord. But when I say, 'O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?' I'll preach it with power, and not only because it's scriptural. But because I've sat for 1 hour with a brother who has no fear and no regrets, who has peace, joy and anticipation."
In fact, he kept saying, "Pastor, the ones I feel sorry for are those left behind. All my life, I've lived to be with Jesus and I get to go first." I'm thinking, "The world wouldn't understand this." The world would see that peace and joy and courage, and they would give anything for it. What am I talking about? Being in the midst of the storm and yet at the same time having the grace and the power of Jesus Christ as such a reality in your life where you can say, "The storms may rage, but through the power of God, they can't destroy me." Amen? "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
Statements about storms:
1. Storms allow us to see ourselves.
Adversity has a way of introducing us to our real self. Folks, we live in a cosmetic world. People are bouncing through life, never willing to allow the storms to stop them long enough to get a real perspective of who they are and what they're encountering.
Every once in awhile, I'll run into somebody who'll say, "Well, you know, Pastor, I've really never had any storms in my life." And every time they tell me that I say to myself, "Self, you're looking at a very shallow person, who has never allowed the storms to let them see themselves as they really are."
Now, let me tell you something about storms, because if you've lived in Southern California all your life, you don't know anything about storms. I lived in Ohio. I know what storms are like. I mean, I'm talking about wind and lightning and thunder and rain. I'm talking about tornadoes, hurricanes. I remember back East, we knew what to do during the storm. One of the first things you learn about storms of life is that when you go through one, things aren't where they're supposed to be when it's over. One of the things God does for you and me when we go through the storms of life is shuffle the deck. He lets us see life, not in our cosmetic view, everything in the right place, and everything for a right reason with a right label on the right shelf. He blows it all around. Messes melancholics up. And He shows us our life as it is, not as what we had planned it to be or pretended to be.
That's exactly what He did with the disciples, in the upper room. Before the storm, Pete thought he had his act together. He had his testimony already written out, and it was a good one. Pete had his doctrine already stated, and it was good. But when the storm came in, it blew that sucker all over the place. He woke up and thought, "I don't love God as much as I thought I did. I'm not as faithful as I though I'd be. And I didn't follow through on my promise." The storms of life have a way of knocking the props out from under us and helping us see ourselves as we really are. And it's okay to come to this church and not be perfect. I learned a long time ago: storms take away all the cosmetic appearance of life. They clear the facade. They cut out all the junk.
2. Storms are times of restoration.
They are times, if I allow them to be, of renewal. They are times that allow me to draw real close to God.
Every parent will understand this illustration. Just think of your high-energy children. They may be full of a lot of mischief, but if they get sick, all of a sudden all that energy leaves their body and they become pliable and dependent. J. P. has always been our strong‑willed, independent, high energy, drive-you-nuts kid, but you know what, when J. P. got sick, he became the most compliant kid. I mean, he lost all of his energy. He lost all of his independence. In fact, if Margaret would be in one room doing some work, Joel Porter wanted to be real close to her. He'd be laying on the couch, and she'd go to another room, and he'd move right with her. He just wanted to be close to Mom.
I remember one time when we were still back East, we were going to drive to Florida. We always dreaded trips in the car with Joel Porter. I mean, I'm sorry, but it wasn't a vacation. It wasn't even good. He'd just about kill everybody before we got where we were going. Until we found out that if you put him in the trunk, it's a lot better. This one year, he got sick the day before we were getting ready to leave for Florida. And Margaret said, "Honey, let's change all the plans. Let's go right now. It's our chance." And we did. We drove all the way to Florida with him laying in the back seat just sick as could be, and it was the best trip we've ever had in our whole life. You know what I learned as a parent is that when your kids are sick, they’re dependent, they need you, they want you. You know what? When we go through the storms of life, we don't walk around independently and arrogantly and just kind of flipping life off. When we're really hurting in life, we want to get as close to God as possible. We want to sit at His feet..
3. Storms can bring spiritual growth in our life.
And I say, "can bring" because that's your and my determination. They don't automatically bring growth, but if we encounter the storm with the right mindset, we really grow from it.
A. They bring us into conformity with him.
B. They bring happiness in our Christian experience.
C. They yield the fruit of righteousness.
D. They glorify God.
E. They produce praise, glory, and honor to Him.
Look at Hebrews 12:11 with me. "All discipline, for the moment, seems not to be joyful..." Isn't that the truth?”Yet to those who have been trained by it..."Underline the next word, "afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."
Do you notice when the peaceful fruit of righteousness comes? After the storm. So the sculptor cuts, and afterwards there's a perfect image. So the potter presses the clay and afterwards, a beautiful vase. So the jeweler grinds and polishes the stone and afterwards, a beautiful gem. Now, I don't know about you, but even though I realize I'm being polished by God in the storm, I will honestly admit to you that I always think the storm should be done before it's done. Do you relate to this? I've never had a storm of life where when God was finished, I said, "Oh, I think I need a little more." Never have I thought, "God, could you put me back on the table and do a little bit more operating? No, about halfway through the operation I'm getting up and saying, "Thanks, God, we fixed it." And God says, "Get back on the table. We ain't fixed nothing yet. You're so far from being what I want you to be."
How to grow during a storm:
1. Learning from storms requires a decision.
A. The lordship issue. The lordship issue says, "God, I'm willing to let you have control of my life. I'm willing to let you run my life. I'm willing to let you be sovereign, God, and I'm willing to take my hands off my life. It is your life and now, you run it the way you want." Lordship means obedience. Lordship means, "God, no longer am I going to fight for control."
You need to make that decision before the storm of life because if you don't, then when you get in adversity, you will to scramble for rights and control. The inward fighting will be as great as the outward storm, because we haven't settled the issue, "who's going to run my life?"
B. Anything I encounter is for my benefit. Once I settle the Lordship issue in my life, from that point on, anything that happens to me is going to help me because I've already let Him take control of my life.
Now, let's go back to that first decision for a moment. If I have not made Him Lord of my life, I'm going to encounter some storms on my own. Good luck. Because if you're not in the center of God's will and you're not obedient, can I tell you what's going to happen to you? You're going to disobey and go the wrong way. You're going to have the Jonah problem in your life. God will say, "Go ahead." You're going to get into some storms, and those storms are because of you.
But the moment I tell God that He has control and give up my rights and obey him in every area, then when I encounter a storm, it's because that's exactly where God wants me. I'm not in the storm because of an independent stubborn streak in my life. I'm right where God wants me. When Jesus said, "Go in the boat and get out on the sea of Galilee," and the storm came, the one thing the disciples could say is, "We're right where Jesus told us to go." Now, when you obey God, then when you're going through a storm, the one thing you can be assured of is that God put you in that storm.
Therefore, you can say, "I'm in the midst of the storm, the waves are crashing in on the boat of life, the winds are howling, and God, you have a problem." And you can rest right there because you're right where God wants you to be. There are some of you going through some major storms in your life. I can tell you right now, it's okay, my child, because you're right where God wants you. Hold steady. He's doing a work. There are others encountering storms, and I can tell you right now, it's your fault, it's your problem. Good luck. Whenever we disobey God, we get out on our own. And when we get out on our own, it's a whole different scenario.
2. Learning from storms requires dedication. You see, God understands what is happening to me. Job 23:10, "He knows every detail of what is happening to me. And when he has examined me, he will pronounce me completely innocent, as pure as solid gold. God knows my load limit." I Corinthians 10, "You are tempted in the same way that every one else is tempted, but God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much. And he will show you how to escape from your temptations."
3. Learning from storms requires humility.
When I talk to Christians about humility, I get the sense that they think it is given to them by God. Can I tell you something? God doesn't give you humility. It's a choice. There's a passage of Scripture you just want to write it down. You don't have time to look it up. But I'll read it to you. It's I Peter 5:5-6. Here's what Peter says: "God gives grace to the humble...," Now, watch this next phrase, "Therefore," he said, "humble yourself." You know what Peter said? Peter said that it's our responsibility to humble ourselves. And he ought to know.
You know what Peter's saying? Peter says, "When I was a disciple of the Lord when he was on earth, I had all kinds of times and experiences where I could have been humbled. But let me tell you the day I was humbled. After the resurrection when Jesus met me on the beach and started a breakfast and had a fire and he said, 'Peter come here. Let me ask you a question. Do you love me?' He asked me that three times. Cut to my heart. That is the day I began to humble myself." You see, the storms of life can cause us to be like Pharaoh. They can harden our heart. The Bible says, "Pharaoh's heart was hardened." When he had storms, instead of being humbled, he chose to have a hard heart. It's a choice.
4. Learning from storms requires living with a sense of destiny.
Storms are just a part of our life. They aren't the only thing in our life. We have to have the big picture. And the only way that we can ever endure the storm is to realize that something comes after it. Just as Jesus endured Calvary, because He realized that on the third day there would be a resurrection, there would be Easter.
We've got to go through the storms of life. We've got to go through a death before we have a resurrection. So many Christians want to have resurrections and sunshine and laughter and a wonderful life, and they don't realize that they never can have that until they come through the storm first. It's death and then resurrection. There has to be a good Friday in your life before an Easter.
5. Learning from storms requires the prayers of saints and the help of the Holy Spirit.
Here's what Paul said in Philippians about his imprisonment: "I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance."
We're going to do a test, so don't look at me; get your pens out right now. You may flunk, but that's all right; take it. Remember if you flunk, it's because you have a bad teacher. It can't be your fault. Are you ready? Very simple test. If you answer yes, give yourself two 2 points, and if you answer no, give yourself 1 point.
A. Do you think that there is any storm that touches your life that God doesn't know about?
B. Do you think there is any storm that touches your life that God cannot handle?
C. Do you think that there is any storm that touches your life that doesn't have a purpose?
D. Do you think that there is any storm that touches your life that shouldn't teach you something about you?
E. Do you think that there is any storm that touches your life that shouldn't teach you something about your Lord?
If you're all done, look at your yes's and no's. Remember, you get 1 point for the no's and 2 points for the yes's. If your score is over 5, you don't trust the Lord enough. Now listen very carefully to what I'm going to say. The Psalmist said concerning God, "You have been a shelter for me." And Isaiah, when referring to the Lord said, "You are my refuge."
In the last couple weeks, I've gone through the Psalms, and I'm finding out a lot about God. And if you'll just listen, I'm just going to share with you very quickly what the Psalmist says about the God that is our Father. He says that God is my King. He's the Glory and the Lifter of my head. He's righteous, and He is my Lord. He's my Strength. He's my Rock. He's my Fortress. He's my Deliverance. He's my Shield. He's my Stronghold. He's my Support. He's my Savior. He's my Redeemer. He's my Shepherd. He's my Light. He's my Salvation. He is my Help. He is my Hiding Place. He is my Delight. He is my Refuge in time of trouble. He is my Lover. He is my strong Tower. He is my Deliverer. He is my Father. He is my Portion. He is my Comfort."
I want to ask you a question. How do I know God is my Fortress until, with arrows flying around me, I have to run to his open gates? And how do I know that He is my Hiding Place until I hear the enemy crashing around me, his breath on my back as I cry out for refuge? And how do I know that He is my Portion until the treasure that I hold very dear to myself is either threatened or taken from me? And how do I know that He is my Father until I feel orphaned, abandoned and left alone? And how do I know that He is my Deliverer until I step outside the boat, like Peter, and try to walk on the waves?
I believe that storms have a way of helping us know our philosophy of life. Back East, you'd be out and the sun would be shining, and all of a sudden a storm would blow up and it would start raining. And a lot of times, people just kept their umbrellas with them. And as soon as the rains came, the first thing you'd do is grab your umbrella and open it up. I believe the storms of life force us to literally open up the umbrella of our philosophy of life. It's during those tough times that we find what we hang on to in life. And so, during the storm, some people eat, drink, and be merry. It's the best they've got to look forward to. Some people look at the things of life that they've accumulated and say, "Well, you know. The one that dies with the most toys, wins."
Remember I told you that last Monday I spent an hour with Gary. And there was a philosophy that just oozed out of his life to me. When I got my daughter Elizabeth in the car, before I pulled out of the driveway I stopped to do a little mini sermon. I said, "Sissy, did you hear what Gary was saying? The storm of life has got his umbrella up and his philosophy's coming out." And you know, Gary's philosophy is one that I want to have: "For me to live is Christ, but to die is gain." I spent an hour with a dying man who taught me more about life than most people who are living.
God, as we walk out of this place today, regardless of the storm that we are encountering, regardless of the darkness of the hour, help us get the fat out of our life, remove the dross, cut out the non-essentials and get grounded. May our song be "On Christ the Solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand." In a cosmetic world, God, filled with froth, there is One that we can go to that's the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hallelujah. And God's people said, "Amen." I love you.
How Jesus prepares us for the storm:
1. He lets us see the ________________________________ (vv. 1-5).
A. So that our ____________ will be __________________(v. 1).
B. So we will be ___________________________ in Him (v. 4a).
C. Because the ____________________________ is right (v. 4b).
2. He assures us that He has our ________________ in mind (v. 6,7a).
3. He sends the ___________________ to ____________ to us (v. 7b).
The Holy Spirit will...
A. Reveal the truth about sin, judgment and God's justice.
B. Guide the believer in full truth.
C. Bring joy to God.
4. He gives enough ______________ for ______________ (vv. 16-18).
5. He reminds us of His ___________________________(vv. 31-33a).
6. He gives us _______________ in spite of our ________________ (v. 33b).
Statements about storms:
1. Storms allow us to ________________________________________.
2. Storms are times of _______________________________________.
3. Storms can bring ________________________________ in our life.
A. They bring us into conformity with Him.
B. The bring happiness in our Christian experience.
C. They yield the fruit of righteousness.
D. They glorify God.
E. They produce praise, glory, and honor to Him.
How to grow during a storm:
1. Learning from storms requires a ___________________________.
A. The Lordship issue.
B. Anything I encounter is for my benefit.
2. Learning from storms requires _____________________________.
3. Learning from storms requires _____________________________.
4. Learning from storms requires living with a sense of ____________.
5. Learning from storms requires the prayers of _______________ and the help of ___________________.
THE STORM TEST
Answer the following questions yes or no. You may give yourself two points for a yes answer, one point for a no answer.
Do you think there is any storm that touches your life that God doesn't know about? Yes No
Do you think there is any storm that touches your life that God can't handle? Yes No
Do you think there is any storm that touches your life that doesn't have a purpose?
Do you think there is any storm that touches your life that shouldn't teach you something about you? Yes No
Do you think there is any storm that touches your life that shouldn't teach you something about the Lord?
All done? If you scored more than five points, then you probably are not trusting the Lord as completely as you should when it comes to your fears.
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