Overcoming Storms in Life
We often face storms throughout the journey of our lives here on earth. Whether you are a Christian or not, each and every single person will face a storm in their life.
It is a time of crisis and is often something that is outside our control. When we look into the Word of God we can quickly see that it is full of characters facing storms and overcoming them.
There are many different types of storms that we encounter:
1 THERE ARE NORMAL STORMS (Matthew 5:5)
Matthew 5,5 says “that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
These are the storms that we face because we live in a world that has storms as a natural part of life. These are the storms that we can usually handle in our own strength and can get through them, accepting it as a natural part of life.
2 THERE ARE STORMS THAT WE ENGINEER (Jonah 1:1-4)
Jonah 1,1 – 4 “1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.”
From the above passage we see that God had a calling on Jonah and he was chosen by God because He had a plan and a purpose for his life. Not only did God have a calling on His life, but the Lord wanted to also save the people of Nineveh. God’s love for both was great.
The Lord could have very easily just picked up another person to do the job of taking the message to the people of Nineveh, but instead He did not give up on Jonah because of His unchanging love love towards them, He wanted to win them back to Himself.
3 THERE ARE STORMS THAT THE LORD SENDS US FOR GROWTH (Matthew 14:22-33)
Matthew 14,22-23 “22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.
Here we see Jesus sending His disciples away, and they went right into a storm. Notice that they entered the storm soon after they left Jesus, later that night. While the disciples were in the storm, Jesus was praying. This was a test of their faith.
These events are taking place, just after they saw Jesus feeding the 5000 with 5 loaves of bread and two fish. By now their trust in Jesus should have been solid, but as soon as they entered the storm, they trusted in their own strength.
Jesus in the meantime did not turn up straight away to rescue them from the storm, but waited until dawn (the fourth watch around 3.00am) in order to save them. God does everything in His perfect timing. Likewise we too might be going through a storm, maybe for some time now but be assured that Jesus himself is interceding on our behalf and will deliver is at the right moment. The storm will help us grow to completely trust in Him and Him alone, and not in our own strength.
4 THERE ARE STORMS THAT WE ARE DRAGGED INTO BY OTHER PEOPLE (Acts 27:10-14)
Acts 27,10-14: “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” 11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. 12 Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.
13 When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island.
The sailors on Paul’s ship made their decision according to their own wisdom and knowledge. We need to fully rely on the Lord before we can make a decision on anything. We must always seek Godly counsel and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in our decisions. God brought them through this storm and we can see that Paul in v25 says “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”
Our faith must be strong in the Lord no matter how we got into the storm or no. If we are in it, be assured that the Lord is always by your side.
So, in such situations what does the Word of God tell us that we can do and what Jesus Christ has done in order to for us to overcome the storms of life?
1 – Understanding that we are destined to overcome:
Psalm 73:24 “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory”
Jeremiah 29:11 “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.“
- God has a glorious destiny for each person
- Your current or past circumstance does not alter the fact that He has a plan for your life
- God gave you the right personality, talent, gift, passions, and designed you the way you are, with His purpose in mind and your destiny in mind
- God has a destiny for everyone, not just a select few. It is God’s desire for us to walk in it and that is why we are destined to overcome
- No storm can rob you of God’s destiny for your life
- God will use the storms in order to change us and redirect us. Sometimes we feel that we are being blown off course but in fact God is using the storm in order to put us on the right path
- Whatever you give to Jesus, he resurrects. Give Him all the pieces of your storm battered life and He will breathe new life into it. The storms may be strong but God is stronger.
- Always remember that you are destined to overcome
2 – Jesus came so that we could overcome:
John 16:33 “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 overcame in order to bring victory into our storms
Matthew 16:18 “18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” – No storm can destroy the work of the Lord. You are part of His work. Be a rock in the middle of your storm
Hebrews 2:14 “14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—“ -Jesus has already defeated the storms in our life, so let us claim the victory and allow the Lord to lead you through the storm.
- Jesus conquered our 3 enemies in this world: Sin, Satan and Death. These cause a lot of storms in our lives, but Jesus conquered them all by His Death, Burial and Resurrection
- Sin no longer has power to control you, the power of sin is broken for those in the Lord
- Satan no longer has any authority over us
- Death no longer has any fear or dread on us
- All the sources of storms are defeated by Jesus Christ, but that does not mean that there will be no storms in our lives, but the guarantee is that we can overcome any storm.
- Why, because Jesus overcame them
- In John 16:33 Jesus did promise storms, but He said take heart, I have overcome the world
- STAY CONNECTED TO JESUS through the storm and you will overcome
- Build your foundation on Jesus and you will overcame any storm
3 We’ve been forgiven so we can overcome:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.“
Psalm 32:5 “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”
- Jesus has already set us free from the past. Our identity is no longer connected to our past life, mistakes or storms. Now our identity is connected to what Jesus Christ has done for us. You are now washed, set apart and made right.
- How can you overcome if you tag you are still dragging your past with you, it will be heavy and bring you down. You must live in the present, with the forgiveness that the Lord has provided.
- You must stop thinking of yourself as a loser, a reject, you are no good, somethings wrong with me, unlovable, unforgivable etc….
- You are now in Christ, which means that you are God’s child, member of Christ’s body, a saint, complete in Christ, citizen of heaven, salt of the earth, God’s workmanship, Forgiven.
4 We are empowered to overcome:
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 “7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.“
Acts 1:8 “8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
- God places His power inside of us so that we can overcome – The Holy Spirit
- God does not expect us to face the storms on our own and with our own strength, but He places His Holy Spirit in us, His supernatural power in us
- God’s power in us is a witness to the world. 2 Cor 4:7 says that it is “to show that all-surpassing power is from God”, and that when you overcome the storm, the world will know that it is of God
- Many of you may already have many testimonies of how the Lord helped you overcome your storms
- Build your relationship with the Lord and have fellowship with the Holy Spirit, when you get closer to God, He will come closer to you. When you totally rely on Him, he takes over and on His command the storms will cease
5 We all have a choice to overcome
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” – Its your choice to allow Christ to take over, or keep battling in your own strength
John 5:40 “yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” – You know about Him but do you go to Him and know Him personally?
- Overcoming is a choice, not chance. Our life is not about chance, luck, fate or good fortune, but everything happens with a plan and purpose.
- We have 2 choice, either that we can overcome the storms in our OWN strength and wisdom, OR we can humble ourselves before God and allow Him to take over the situation. Choosing God is choosing life.
- If you are tired of your life and your situation, give it to Jesus and He will give you a brand new life. Overcoming storms will then become a reality. Jesus came to give us life, abundantly.
- Put God first in all areas of your life and you will see Him work mightily. Matthew 5:33 says “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.