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Why Does God Allow Us To Enter The Storms of Life?

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Why Does God Allow Us To Enter The Storms of Life?

Matthew 14:22-33

Take your Bible and turn to Matthew 14:22. 

Now after you have found Matthew chapter 14:22, look up here: 

            I stand here before you this morning by the grace of God.  I stand before you as one who should not be here, yet here by the very grace I stand before you. 

All of us have problems.  As a matter of fact, raise your hand if you are going through a problem.  You're the fortunate ones.  If you have a problem, you should consider yourself very fortunate.  Do you know why?  Because if you have a problem, then you are a candidate for a miracle.  Think with me for a minute.  Who in the New Testament received a miracle?  It was those who had a problem.  You see, the people in the Bible who received a miracle, received the miracle because they had a problem. 

            Now what is interesting in Matthew 14:22 is that Jesus actually led His disciples into a life threatening problem.  Look at Matthew 14:22.

MATTHEW 14:22

22 AND IMMEDIATELY HE MADE THE DISCIPLES GET INTO THE BOAT, AND GO

AHEAD OF HIM TO THE OTHER SIDE, WHILE HE SENT THE MULTITUDES AWAY.

     Now notice the word “MADE.”  Literally what Jesus is doing, is commanding his disciples to get into the boat. 

     I get the strong impression that the disciples didn't want get into that boat.  So Jesus commanded his disciples to get into the boat.  Now why wouldn't the disciples not want to get into the boat. 

     I think they didn't want to get into that boat because they saw a storm was coming.  The disciple were smart and savvy seamen.  They look out into the distant and they see the making of a storm.  So Jesus commands the disciples to get into the boat and head the other side of the lake. 

     And a very fierce storm did arrive.  Look at verse 24 & 25

MATTHEW 14:24

THE BOAT WAS ALREADY A LONG DISTANCE FROM THE LAND, BATTERED BY THE WAVES; FOR THE WIND WAS CONTRARY.

            Now here is the point:  Sometimes Jesus deliberately leads us into a storm.  Did you get that?  Jesus deliberate lead His disciples into a storm.  And sometimes Jesus allows us enter into a storm. 

            Now why would He do that?  Because Jesus wants to teach us a very important lesson.

FIRST – I WANT YOU TO SEE THE STORM THE DISCIPLES FACED.   

A.    NOTICE THE DISTANCE THE BOAT WAS FROM THE SHORE.

"THE BOAT WAS ALREADY A LONG DISTANCE FROM THE LAND…” 

            I take it that the boat is in the middle of the Sea of Galilee.  The Sea of Galilee is only 7 miles wide and right now the disciples are smack dab in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. 

            And right now if the truth were know you are in the middle of a problem.  And if you are in a problem one of two things are true.  Either God has led you into the problem or God has allowed you to be in a problem.  Whatever the case, and whatever the problem you are in, your problem has God stamped all over it. 

No problem is just an accident.  Remember, it was Jesus who led his disciples into the storm. 

Not only do I want you to:

A.    NOTICE THE DISTANCE THE BOAT WAS FROM THE SHORE.

But also:

B.    NOTICE THE PRESSURE PLACED UPON THE DISCIPLES.

     Look again at verse 24 it says the boat was,

“…BATTERED BY THE WAVES…”

Interesting word “BATTERED.” (NASV)       "BUFFETED" (NIV).

            It is actually a Greek medical word referring to torture.  It is translated elsewhere in the New Testament referring to labor pains. I don't know to much about labor pains.  But Carol Burnett said, if I want to know what labor pains are like, all I really need to do is stretch my upper lip over my forehead.

           

            Not get the point, the disciple were in a storm where the waves kept crashing and pounding against the boat.  I'm sure they were wondering if the boat was going to hold together.  As soon as the last wave smashes against the boat, here come another one.  And the disciples may be wondering , how are we going to survive the next one.

            It may be that you are in one problem,  that just seems to be crashing in on you.  And then as soon as you get out of that problem, another problem smashes into you. And you are wondering, how are you going to survive this problem.  

            But remember God has either led you into this or has allowed you to enter the problem.  Your problem has God stamped all over it.  You just can't see it yet.  

A.    YOU SAW  THE DISTANCE THE DISCIPLES WERE  FROM THE SHORE.

B.    YOU NOTICED THE PRESSURE PLACED UPON THE DISCIPLES.

Now notice in verse 24:

C.  THE DIRECTION OF THE WIND.  

MATTHEW 14:24

24 BUT THE BOAT WAS ALREADY MANY STADIA AWAY FROM THE LAND, BATTERED BY THE WAVES; FOR THE WIND WAS CONTRARY. (NASV)     

"...THE WIND WAS AGAINST IT." (NIV)

            It seemed like everything was against the disciples.  Here they were in the middle of a sever problem, the waves battering against the boat, and the wind is moving them in a direction they do not want to go. 

           

They were trying to go one way, but the wind was pushing them another way. 

            You can imagine how their backs are bent to the oars.  The wind is wiping their hair in their eyes.  And it seems like for every foot they gain, they lose two. 

            Is that how it is with your problems.  Your not making any progress.  You got the washing machine repaired and now, the car breaks down.  You got the car fixed, and then the kids get sick.  The kids get well, and the company announces a potential lay off. 

     It seems like you gain a foot, and you lose two feet.  Life just doesn't make sense. 

     You know, from the human perspective, life doesn't make sense.  Some times life is like the back side of a Persian rug.  There doesn't seem to be any pattern.  But if you change your perspective and turn the Prussia rug over, you will see a master craftsmen has been at work.

     You may not be able to see God at work, but He is, and remember it was Jesus who commanded his disciples to get into the boat.

A.    YOU SAW  THE DISTANCE THE DISCIPLES WERE  FROM THE SHORE.

B.    YOU NOTICED THE PRESSURE PLACED UPON THE DISCIPLES.

C.  AND YOU SAW THE DIRECTION OF THE WIND.  

Now notice the

D.  THE DARKNESS OF THE NIGHT.  

Look at verse 25:

MATTHEW 14:25

25 AND IN THE FOURTH WATCH OF THE NIGHT...

            Now the "FOURTH WATCH OF THE NIGHT..." is 3:00 AM in the morning.

     Can you imagine, the boat is being smashed by the waves, the wind was the against disciples, and on top of all that it's dark. 

     I don't even think the disciples knew which way to go. 

     But the whole point is, Jesus led them into this storm.  This problem has divine stamped all over it.

 

     Jesus knew high the waves would be.  Jesus knew how strong the wind would blow.  Jesus knew how hard the disciple would have to row.  Jesus knew that for every foot the disciples would gain, they would lose 2 feet. 

     And don't forget, the disciples are in the will of God.  You say, how do you know that?  Because the disciples are obeying Jesus.  Jesus commanded his disciples to get into the boat , and they obeyed. 

     I'll tell you something.  I would rather in a storm in God's will, then in a storm out of God's will.  

FIRST -- THE STORM THE DISCIPLES FACED.

SECOND -- I WANT YOU SEE THE SAVIOR THEY FACED. 

     Now what was Jesus doing about the problem while the disciples were struggling in their problem?

            Was he talking a walk?  Was he taking a nap?  After all it is 3:00 AM in the morning.  What is Jesus doing while his disciples struggling in their problem?

            Is Jesus ignoring His disciples in their moment of need?

            That's what many people think.  Some people think Jesus just ignores them while their going through their trail.  What was Jesus doing?

Look at verse 23.

MATTHEW 14:23

23 AND AFTER HE HAD SENT THE MULTITUDES AWAY, HE WENT UP TO THE MOUNTAIN BY HIMSELF TO PRAY...

A.  JESUS IS PRAYING.

 

            What was Jesus doing about the problem?  He was praying.  Jesus was ascended on a hill, praying!!!   So while you're going through your problem down here, Jesus is praying up there. 

            Jesus intercedes for us.

HEBREWS 7:25

25 HENCE, ALSO, HE IS ABLE TO SAVE FOREVER THOSE WHO DRAW NEAR TO GOD THROUGH HIM, SINCE HE ALWAYS LIVES TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM.

            How Much Does A Prayer Weigh?

There is a story of a man who tried to weigh one.  He owned a little grocery store.  It was the week before Christmas, shortly after WW 1.  A tired looking woman came into the store and asked for enough food to make a Christmas dinner for the children.  The grocer asked her how much she could spend.  She said, "My husband was killed during the war.  And I have nothing to offer but a little prayer.  The store keeper was not religious, so he said, half mockingly, "Write it on paper and I'll weigh it."

            To his surprise, the woman took a piece of paper form the pocket of her dress and handed it to the saying, "I wrote it during the night while I was praying."  The grocer took the piece of paper and he placed it on the weight side of his old fashioned scales.  He then began to pile food on the other side; but to his amazement, the scale would not go down.  He continued to put down on the scale, but the scale refused to god down.  Finally he became angry and said, "Well, that's all the scale will hold. 

            With trembling hands the women filled her bag with the groceries and expressed her gratitude and departed.

            After she left, the grocer examined the scales, and sure enough they were broken and became broken just

in time for God to answer the prayer of the women. 

            Jesus is praying for us in our hour of need. 

            And do you know what else Jesus is doing?

Turn to Mark 6:47 & 48

                        MARK 6:47-48

47 AND WHEN IT WAS EVENING, THE BOAT WAS IN THE MIDST OF THE SEA, AND HE WAS ALONE ON THE LAND.  48 AND SEEING THEM STRAINING AT THE OARS...

            Do you know what else Jesus is doing?  Not only is:  A.  he praying for the disciples,

B.  JESUS IS WATCHING OVER THE DISCIPLES.

     Jesus is watching over the disciples. 

     Here's the point, darkness is not a barrier to Jesus.  And neither is distance. 

     The disciples were never out of the sight of Jesus.  Do you know what?  The disciples never really were in any danger. 

     I'll tell you something, the devil can not kick up enough of a storm to take you out of the sight of Jesus. 

     Jesus may allow you to enter a storm, but he is praying for you and He is watching over you.  

But Jesus did a third thing.

C.    JESUS WENT UNTO THEM.

MATTHEW 14:25

25 AND IN THE FOURTH WATCH OF THE NIGHT HE CAME TO THEM, WALKING ON THE SEA

            You can be sure, if Jesus Christ sends you into a storm, you can be sure he will pray you through the storm.

PSALM 34:18

18 THE LORD IS NEAR TO THE BROKENHEARTED, AND SAVES THOSE WHO ARE CRUSHED IN SPIRIT

 

ISAIAH 43:1-2

1 BUT NOW, THUS SAYS THE LORD, YOUR CREATOR, O JACOB, AND HE WHO FORMED YOU, O ISRAEL, “DO NOT FEAR, FOR I HAVE REDEEMED YOU; I HAVE CALLED YOU BY NAME; YOU ARE MINE!  2 “WHEN YOU PASS THROUGH THE WATERS, I WILL BE WITH YOU; AND THROUGH THE RIVERS, THEY WILL NOT OVERFLOW YOU.  WHEN YOU WALK THROUGH THE FIRE, YOU WILL NOT BE SCORCHED, NOR WILL THE FLAME BURN YOU.

D.    HE SPOKE UNTO THEM. 

MATTHEW 14:26-27

26 AND WHEN THE DISCIPLES SAW HIM WALKING ON THE SEA, THEY WERE FRIGHTENED, SAYING, “IT IS A GHOST!” AND THEY CRIED OUT FOR FEAR.  27 BUT IMMEDIATELY JESUS SPOKE TO THEM, SAYING, “TAKE COURAGE, IT IS I; DO NOT BE AFRAID.”

            That phrase occurs at least 7 times in the Bible.  That's one for every day of the week. 

            We live in a storm tossed world.  Do you know what will comfort me?  The Word of God.  Jesus said,  “BE OF GOOD CHEER, IT IS I.  BE NOT AFRAID.” 

Illustration:  Shara in a parade.  I just keep telling her, “I’ll be with you.  I’ll be with you.  And through the whole parade I stayed right near by her.  And she won first place. 

            God may arrange a storm for you.  You may be tossed about the storms of life, and everything may seem contrary to you, You'll be in your darkest hour.  Yet, the Savior will be praying for you, the Savior will be watching over you. And the Savior will be there with you.  And the Savior will be speaking to you.  

FIRST:  THE STORM THE DISCIPLES FACED.

SECOND:  THE SAVIOR THE DISCIPLES THEY FACED.    FACED.

THIRD:   THE STEPS YOU NEED TO TAKE

     What are you supposed to do when the storms of life descend upon you?

A.  SEE JESUS. 

MATTHEW 14:25-26

25 AND IN THE FOURTH WATCH OF THE NIGHT HE CAME TO THEM, WALKING ON THE SEA.  26 AND WHEN THE DISCIPLES SAW HIM WALKING ON THE SEA, THEY WERE FRIGHTENED, SAYING, “IT IS A GHOST!”

AND

 

                You have got to see Jesus walking in the midst of your problem.

 

Matthew 28:20

 

                What was Jesus walking on when he approached the disciples?  The water. What was troubling the disciples?  The sea. What threaten to swamp the boat?  The water.

 

Here's the point.  The problem that threatened to swamp the disciples was already under the feet of Jesus. 

 

                That's what you need to see.  What ever problem you have, what ever is treating you, it is already under the feet of Jesus.

 

                Now Jesus is walking on water.  Is Jesus doing some cheap Mickey mouse trick?  No, Jesus is teaching a great lesson.  Jesus Christ is over any problem that might be drowning you.

 

 

JOHN 16:33

33 *THESE THINGS I HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU, THAT IN ME YOU MAY HAVE PEACE. IN THE WORLD YOU HAVE TRIBULATION, BUT TAKE COURAGE; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.)

 

B.  HEAR JESUS.  Matthew 14:27-29

 

27 BUT IMMEDIATELY JESUS SPOKE TO THEM, SAYING, *TAKE COURAGE, IT IS I; DO NOT

BE AFRAID.”  28 AND PETER ANSWERED HIM AND SAID, “LORD, IF IT IS YOU, COMMAND ME TO COME TO YOU ON THE WATER.”  29 AND HE SAID, “COME!” AND PETER GOT OUT OF THE BOAT, AND WALKED ON THE WATER AND CAME TOWARD JESUS.

            I notice that it was not until Peter heard Jesus that Peter started out. 

ROMANS 10:17

17 SO FAITH COMES FROM HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD. 

C.  OBEY JESUS.

MATTHEW 14:29

29 AND HE SAID, “COME!” AND PETER GOT OUT OF THE BOAT, AND WALKED ON THE WATER AND CAME TOWARD JESUS.

            Most of us see Jesus and we hear Jesus. but that's where we stop.  We often fail at obeying Jesus. 

     Someone has said, that faith is belief with legs on it. 

     You see the Bible is not just a book to be believed.  But its a book to be obeyed.

     Simon Peter heard Jesus and he saw Jesus and he obeyed Jesus.  And he walked on water. 

MATTHEW 14:29

29 AND HE SAID, “COME!” AND PETER GOT OUT OF THE BOAT, AND WALKED ON THE WATER AND CAME  TOWARD  JESUS

            Now every church needs a Simon Peter, but we can only stand just one. 

            But every time you have a Simon Peter you also have a doubting Thomas.

            I've wondered that if when Peter put his foot over the boat that if old doubting Thomas ran over and grabbed peter and said, "Peter sit down!  You're going to make a fool of your self again. 

            You know every time someone wants to try something new, old doubting Thomas steps up and says, "It won't work!" 

            Why did Jesus tell Peter to walk on water?  Maybe it was because Jesus would rather see somebody get up and try something new---than never try anything.

     Don't you think that the Lord Jesus gets tired of people who just sit in a worship service, Sunday after Sunday and they don't do anything new for Jesus? 

     Some Christians are stuck in a rut, they have just a humdrum existence.  They have lost the excitement about being a Christian.  There is no launching out to try something new. 

     I'll tell you something, I would rather be a Simon Peter, wet as a drowned rat, than a doubting Thomas sitting there dry and board and stuck in a rut.

     May I share with you how you can walk on water guaranteed?

     All you have to do is to get Jesus' permission.  If Jesus tells you to walk on water, then obey and you will walk on water.

A.  SEE JESUS

B.  HEAR JESUS

C.  OBEY JESUS

D.  CALL OUT TO JESUS.

MATTHEW 14:30

BUT SEEING THE WIND, HE BECAME AFRAID, AND BEGINNING TO SINK, HE CRIED OUT, SAYING, “LORD, SAVE ME!”

            Do you know what some of you are thinking?  Peter tried something new and there he is drowning.

     But wait a minute----Did Jesus attend Peter's funeral?  No.  Well, did Peter drown?  No.

MATTHEW 14:31-32

31 AND IMMEDIATELY JESUS STRETCHED OUT HIS HAND AND TOOK HOLD OF HIM, AND SAID TO HIM, “O YOU OF LITTLE FAITH, WHY DID YOU DOUBT? 32 AND WHEN THEY GOT INTO THE BOAT, THE WIND STOPPED.

            You may have a sinking spell, but your not going to drown.  Your faith may fail you, but Jesus Christ will not fail you.

            And neither will you.  I want to tell you something, Peter may not have walked very far, but he walked

furthe

PSALM 37:23-24

THE STEPS OF A MAN ARE ESTABLISHED BY THE LORD; AND HE DELIGHTS IN HIS WAY.

WHEN HE FALLS, HE SHALL NOT BE HURLED HEADLONG; BECAUSE THE LORD IS THE ONE WHO HOLDS HIS HAND.

            Did you know that you are safer on the waves with Jesus, than you are in the boat without Jesus?

            I guarantee you that when Peter got back into the boat that old doubting Thomas said, "I wish I had done that!" 

            I would hate to stand before the Lord without have tried something for the glory of God, than to have just sat in a pew twiddling my thumbs. 

            I would hate not to have stepped out on some of God's precious promises and put them to the test and let God do something unusually glorious, than to sit in a boat that is go

            I tell you it is more glorious on the waves with Jesus, than it is in the boat without Him.

            But, then came a waive, a problem, and Peter thought, "This is impossible!"  And Peter took his eyes of Jesus and he started to sank.

            Listen to me, and do not forget this, the storm that they thought was so bad, was actually the storm that brought them to worship Jesus.

            Do you know what a storm is?  A storm is just a pathway to bring you to the Lord Jesus Christ.

A.  SEE JESUS

B.  HEAR JESUS      

C.  OBEY JESUS

D.  CALL OUT TO JESUS

E.  WORSHIP JESUS

MATTHEW 14:33

33 AND THOSE WHO WERE IN THE BOAT WORSHIPPED HIM, SAYING, *YOU ARE CERTAINLY GOD'S SON!

            Do you remember the first time that disciples were in a boat and there was a storm? 

Matthew 8:23-27

            They flunked the test.  So Jesus take them through a storm again.  But Jesus comes to the boat this time and says, "Are you ready for graduation?"

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