Navigating the Storms of Life, Part 2
As a young boy growing up in the Midwest, I learned that storms occur—sometimes violent ones. When I was 8, a devastating tornado ripped through my parents’ hometown. The damage was shocking and frightening. Through this experience, I learned storms can occur quickly, often are unavoidable, and can be destructive. So are spiritual storms.
I began last week looking at three types of storms. The first one is the storm the enemy sends. The second, which I will cover today, is the storm circumstances create. And next week I’ll discuss the storm God allows for His purpose. Each of these storms builds and refines our character, strengthens us, and propels us toward destiny. Each storm is navigated differently.
Eventually, all of us experience storms in life. Learning how to discern which storm you are in and how to navigate it is essential for your wellbeing.
Remember, there are two spiritual kingdoms in play around us affecting humanity. There is God’s kingdom, full of light and love, revealed through Jesus. And there is Satan’s kingdom, which is one of death and destruction. But Jesus has defeated the powers of darkness through His vicarious death and resurrection! We need not fear the works of darkness!
That said, these evil powers oppose God’s kingdom and attempt to destroy humanity through wars, disease, human systems, and ruling powers. But the child of God, through faith in Christ, is joined in spiritual union with Jesus and His victory. We are living from Christ’s victory, from heaven toward earth.
While we want to avoid trials or storms, they are a part of life. However, God uses every circumstance in your life to strengthen your faith and trust in Him (Rom. 8:28). Remember God is always present, always watchful, and always helps us through the most demanding situations we face in life.
Recapping from last week, the storm the devil sends is an attack that is designed to stop you, overthrow you, and derail you from God’s purpose for your life.
In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus and the disciples encounter a great storm that threatens their lives. Jesus had given them a directive to go to the other side of the sea of Galilee—there were some people on the other side who needed to hear the good news and receive His healing touch. As experienced fishermen, this was a type of storm they had never encountered before. They were fearful!
But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Mark 4:38 NKJV
In the presence of chaos, Jesus is so confident in the Father’s promise and power He remains asleep on a pillow. The story contrasts the panic of the disciples. He was at rest—they were in distress.
The same happens to us at times. Lack of trust in God’s promises will cause us to think we are going under, not over! It is a wrong perspective!
In Mark 4:39, Jesus arose and rebuked the stormy sea, “Peace, be still!” Rebuked is from the same word used to describe casting out unclean spirits in Mark 1:25 and 3:12, suggesting demonic powers caused the storm. Yes, this was indeed a storm the enemy sent!
Jesus arose and rebuked the manifestation in the wind and the sea—there was an immediate calm. From a place of rest and trust in what He saw the Father doing, Jesus awakened and had authority over the storm.
Jesus’ internal reality, God’s kingdom rule, was greater than the storm they faced. God is in control of your situation, despite the schemes of the enemy!
Jesus challenged His disciples “where is your FAITH?” Jesus confronted their focus. He instructed them, “let’s go to the other side.” His Word was sufficient to give them leverage over the storm and enemy.
“Don’t you care, we are perishing!” Yes, but PRAY according to God’s Word and directive! Follower of Christ, you have His authority to stand against the powers of darkness—greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world! Know that disease, financial attack, theft, violence, and evil are works of Hell.
When the enemy sends a storm, find the Word God is giving you and speak to the situation—Jesus talked to the wind and waves. He talked to things, to trees that did not produce, and to spirits invisible to the human eye. Your words have power—the authority of heaven is on God’s word and upon the genuine follower of Jesus!
The storm circumstances create may be choices others have made or you have made that affect you. Or sometimes these storms are simply due to unrelated causes … stuff happens in this life beyond our control!
Every system designed by man is flawed to some degree. For example, engineers design, but nothing is perfect, machines wear out and at times are defective causing harm. Governments are created but have inherent deficiencies and flawed leaders who often make poor decisions affecting others.
The Apostle Paul was nearly drowned in a decision made by others to sail when they should have stayed in harbor. (Acts 27:9-12, 18-20) Paul was “trapped” on the ship by others and their poor choices.
Many Christians are “trapped” by the choices of leaders or those in authority. Perhaps in business, government, even in family. Often, like Paul, we can “perceive” that there will be “loss of cargo” and possible shipwreck.
Our government has made some poor decisions related to the pandemic, lockdowns, stimulus funds, and the economy. Now, we have historic inflation and gasoline prices have soared. Some of this could have been avoided with better decisions and policies. So, what do we do? Get angry and complain? It’s been said that complaining is the language of hell! Or is there something God would have us do?
Paul, in his storm that others created, didn’t get angry, resentful, and bitter. He didn’t complain about their bad decision or how corrupt the Roman government was. Rather, He went to the Lord.
Paul began to pray and fast, waiting on God for strength and strategy as to how to navigate during the storm—and God gave it. (Acts 27:21-26)
Paul’s tenacious faith and prayer broke through, and God sent an angel with a message and strategy! As a result, the ship was rerouted to the island of Malta. The ship was lost, but everyone was saved—just as God said would happen.
God then uses Paul on Malta to impact the entire island with the gospel! Paul eventually made it safely to Rome—just as God had originally intended.
Think of this: God added “new territory” (Malta) that wasn’t even in the original plan. God used the bad choices of people for his kingdom purposes.
God will overrule bad decisions by others to bring forth His purposes and get us where we need to be.
God wants to turn our current storm in our nation into an opportunity for the Kingdom of God to grow and advance! For souls to be saved and lives to be transformed by the light and glory of Jesus Christ! This is an opportunity to pray and seek God’s face for strategy and revival! What God did on Malta He will do again in our generation if we pray and believe!
Know this, the storm circumstances create becomes a storm God steers once you let Him take over the ship! Learn to trust God despite the wind and the waves—go with His flow—He will work all things together for the good!
I’ll continue next week by looking at the storm God allows.
For a deeper look at this topic, watch the Passion Church message “Navigating the Storms of Life, Part 2”