Faithlife Sermons

Seeing God Amidst The Storms

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To consider how to trust God and serve Him and others amid natural disasters and trials.

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INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION
1. Over the past several months we have witnessed many trials and tragedies:
a. Hurricanes that devastated Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico.
b. Wildfires that continue to burn across California.
c. The deadly church shooting in Antioch, Tennessee and another mass shooting in Las Vegas.
d. The racial tension and violence in Charlottesville and other cities across our nation.
2. Whenever we face loss and grief from natural disasters or tragedy we often struggle to understand why these things are happening if God is truly good and truly in control.
3. Many of us have weathered the storms of life with God and have contentment and peace even during the worst of times.
4. Many of us take great comfort in knowing that God understands our struggles and that He cares for us ().
5. Let’s consider some things we learn from God’s words that will help us to be assured that God wants to be with us and bless us even amidst the storms of life.
DISCUSSION
I. SEEING UNCERTAINTY AMIDST THE STORMS
A. It is not uncommon for many to wonder why God allows natural disaster and tragedy.
B. But the reason why these things happen is not always evident or understandable.
C. This uncertainty troubles the faith of some.
D. It is true that God did use the forces of nature to punish sin in the Old Testament but that wasn’t always why such things happened (; ; ).
E. By faith, we know God is not the cause or the source of all tragedies.
i. Job’s friends thought God was punishing him.
ii. However, they were wrong (; ).
F. Many of the storms of life we face come from living in a fallen world ().
G. Most natural disasters are the results of the laws of nature and many tragedies are the results of the freewill choices of human beings ().
H. However, since God is the absolute sovereign of the universe there is no doubt that if He wanted to stop them He could, yet He doesn’t choose to.
I. Considering God’s loving and just nature, there must be some reason He allows them.
J. Instead of seeing uncertainty, seek to see what God might be teaching us when these things happen.
II. SEEING BLESSINGS AMIDST THE STORMS
A. What does God expect us to learn when the storms of life assail us?
B. Times like these remind us of the brevity of life ().
i. So many of us wake up thinking that each day will be like the last.
ii. Job and his children did but they were mistaken ().
iii. But times like this remind us to look up and look in and consider where our soul will spend eternity ().
C. Times like these shake our confidence in this life and in our own wisdom and might.
i. Again, so many think they are in control of their lives, that they are the master of their universe, but they are not.
ii. When the storms of life assail us, they should humble us and make us look to God for strength ().
iii. They should remind us that this life is fleeting and we should not become too attached (; ; ).
Colossians 3:1 KJV 1900
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Matthew 6:19–20 KJV 1900
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
D. Times like these prove the strength and power of our faith.
D. Times like these prove the strength and power of our faith.
i. Just as with Job, the storms of life can draw us closer to God ().
ii. Trial builds character, trust, and hope ().
E. Times like these accomplish God’s desire for humanity to love one another.
i. Notice how all the issues that divide humanity seem to melt away when a disaster strikes and people stop arguing and start caring for one another.
ii. As Christians, we are to be lights in the dark of this sinful world.
iii. In the New Testament, we read how tragedy moved brethren to help one another (; ).
Acts 11:28–29 KJV 1900
28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
iv. Such times give us the chance to be both a blessing to others and to be blessed by others (; ).
iv. Such times give us the chance to be both a blessing to others and to be blessed by others (; ).
Acts 20:35 KJV 1900
35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
F. The challenge for us is to continue to practice these things after the storm is past.
F. The challenge for us is to continue to practice these things after the storm is past.
G. To continue to see that God can use the storms of life to help us.
H. To continue to see that He is always there, ready to help us and bless us even amidst the storms of life.
III. SEEING GOD AMIDST THE STORMS
III. SEEING GOD AMIDST THE STORMS
A. It is natural to wonder, “God are you there?” when some tragedy strikes.
B. But remember, God knows and sees and cares for all (; ).
C. As Martin Luther said, “When you look around and wonder whether God cares, you must always hurry to the cross and see Him there.”
D. God has shown us that He wants what is best for us in Jesus Christ ().
E. God is the giver of every good and perfect gift ().
F. God can be trusted even when we don’t always understand why something is happening to us or to others (; ).
Isaiah 55:8–9 KJV 1900
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts.
G. We must learn to look to Him amidst the storms because He is always there to walk beside us and guide us ().
G. We must learn to look to Him amidst the storms because He is always there to walk beside us and guide us ().
CONCLUSION
1. Trial and tragedy are something most of us are going to encounter sooner or later ().
Ecclesiastes 9:11 KJV 1900
11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
2. The question is how will we face it?
2. The question is how will we face it?
3. Will we let the “Why?” cause us to doubt and despair and curse God ()?
Job 2:9 KJV 1900
9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
4. May God help us to look to Him and trust Him and walk with Him amidst the storms of life (; ).
4. May God help us to look to Him and trust Him and walk with Him amidst the storms of life (; ).
Job 1:21 KJV 1900
21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return thither: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Romans 8:28 KJV 1900
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
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