How To Prepare For Life's Storms
The storms of life will come, but God wants us to overcome!
Often the church swings between extremes; either being in denial about the storms of life, or being overrun by them. The truth is, we all will face storms in life. Jesus said so, and if Jesus said so, so you have to know it's true. Jesus also said that he expects us to be victorious in the face of storms.
'In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.' John 16:33b NIV
Firstly, it's necessary to recognise the source of all of life's storms. Jesus was clear about the source of destruction in people's lives. He said, 'The the thief comes but to kill, steal and destroy, but I have come that you may have life and have it in abundance.' (John 10:10 NIV)
The thief is the devil. If you are experiencing anything that seems like 'killing, stealing or destroying', you can be sure, one way or another, it's from the devil.
1. 'Stupid'- Is Of The Devil - Wisdom Is From God
Some storms in life come because we have been stupid. We can bring things on ourselves out of plain stupidity. But stupid is of the devil. Stupid is not our re-born Christian nature. It's our carnal nature. God gave us the book of Proverbs, and parents, and pastors, so that we can be wise- not stupid.
The Holy Spirit and God's Word will make you wise. The Holy Spirit and God's Word will make you look a whole lot smarter than what you are. Stupid is no excuse!
2. Obedience Will Protect You
In the parable of the Wise Man, Jesus identified how we are to prepare for life's storms.
"Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." Matt 17:24-27
As a general rule of life, if we are NOT believing and NOT acting upon the truths of God's Word, we are setting ourselves up to be victims of a storm. It's simple. It's not rocket science.
3. Disobedience Opens The Door For The Devil.
Once a truth of God's word is revealed to us, we are obliged to believe and to act on His Word. This can be in any area of life. It covers relationships, healing, finances and the plans and purposes that God has for our lives. Humble and willing obedience will shelter you from the storms of life.
'When tempted (tested), no one should say, "God is tempting (or testing) me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.' James 1: 13-15 NIV
4. Calling The Outcome During The Storm
Any crisis of life is not an end in itself. It is an opportunity to stand or to fall.
Abraham faced his share of strife, but the Bible said he 'believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness'. Abraham choose to believe God's promise in spite of life's storms. The Bible says that Abraham used faith, in the same way that God used faith- by calling into being those things that appear not to exist. (Romans 4:17)
In the face of all circumstance to the contrary, Abraham acted in obedience to God and called into being God's promises. In obedience to God, he changed his name from Abram to Abraham- Abraham means 'the father of many'.
In Mark 11:22-24, Jesus teaches us we are to 'speak' to mountains. Mountains are just a metaphor of things that oppose us in life- like storms.
David called the outcome of his fight with Goliath' "This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands" (Samuel 17)
But why wait for the storm? Why not start calling God's promises and blessings on your life before the storm?
'Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.' Psalm 103: 1-3 (NIV)
David was calling the outcome of his life. He called forgiveness, health, provision, love, and strength.
Preparing for life's storms involves acting wisely, believing and being obedient to God's Word and calling God's promises as outcomes for your life.