Have you ever been in a serious thunderstorm. . .or maybe even a hurricane or tornado?
I’ve never been in a tornado but I have been through some dangerous hurricanes and many serious thunderstorms.
During our time in Texas. . .it was not unusual to have thunderstorms with 60-70 mile-an-hour winds and frequent lightning strikes. I remember one storm where there were over 1,000 lighting strikes in an hour.
When serious storms come up. . .we’re looking for a safe place.
How would you react if you were in the middle of the sea when a violent storm arose?
Mark 4:37 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled.”
The disciples and Jesus were crossing the Sea of Galilee when a violent storm began to rage. The disciples were frightened, fearful and faithless in the midst of what they perceived to be a potentially, deadly situation.
Here are seven keys when facing the adversities of life.
1. When trouble is headed your way . . . do what Jesus did.
When the adversities of life rise up against you. . .seek to be at peace.
When troubles come your way. . .do you find yourself having sleepless nights? Maybe tossing and turning. . .worrying about what may or may not happen.
Don’t you think Jesus knew there was a weather pattern forming. . .about to churn into a dangerous storm?
We should follow His direction as found in Mark 4:38 in the New King James Bible which says:
“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?”
The disciples had done exactly as Jesus told them to do.
They shoved off from the shore to cross over to the other side.
The storm came about so quickly that the disciples were swamped.
I must admit this sounds far too familiar. We have lived this experience.
We have been simply going about our business doing what we knew to be the will of God.
In the one moment things were fine. In the next moment we found ourselves surrounded by a storm...and taking on water.
How do we handle the storms. . .the adversities when one comes upon us suddenly?
Matthew 6:34 in the Message Bible offers some great advice:
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
I love reading about the faith and spiritual exploits of Smith Wigglesworth. How do we handle the adversities of life and attacks of the enemy?
Listen to how Brother Wigglesworth handled one encounter with the devil.
"We were sleeping one night, when the manifestation of evil filled the room and the spirit of fear gripped both of us. Polly was so frightened she could not open her eyes. I suddenly sat up, in the bed, and saw the devil. I rubbed my eyes to be sure, it was him. I said, ‘Oh! It's only you.' I then turned to Polly and told her to go back to sleep, it was nothing of consequence, and I laid my head back down. Suddenly an overwhelming sense of peace and love filled the room and we had the most blessed sleep ever."
In the middle of the storms of life. . .purpose in your heart to learn to let Jesus be your peace factor. If He did it for Smith Wigglesworth, He will do it for you.
2. You gotta know God will never tell you to do anything dangerous without providing a way of escape.
Mark 4:35 in the Amplified Bible says:
“On that same day [when] evening had come, He said to them, Let us go over to the other side [of the lake].”
Do you believe the Son of God knew what was going to happen to that boat . . before it ever happened?
We know He knew this much…He was getting to the other side!
Acts 2:23 in the New Living Translation says:
“But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him.”
If Jesus knew He was going to be betrayed and crucified. . .He could have known about a storm on the Sea of Galilee.
And if He didn’t … He knew His Father had an answer to the problem …the same way we are to know God always has an answer for us even though we don’t know it.
Since Jesus knew the storm was coming. . .do you really think He would have put the disciples. . .those closest to Him … in a position to drown and die? Of course, not!
In everything you face in life. . .even when facing a great temptation or seemingly insurmountable the problem may be. . .God has made provision for you and provides a way of escape.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says:
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
When you’re facing the storms of life. . .God is not in heaven wringing His hands wondering what is going to happen to you next.
In Numbers 11 we read where the Children of Israel were hungry for meat and whining about how good they had it ‘as slaves!’ God heard them and told Moses he was going to provide for them.
Numbers 11:19-20 in the New Living Translation says:
“And it won’t be for just a day or two, or for five or ten or even twenty. You will eat it [meat] for a whole month until you gag and are sick of it. For you have rejected the Lord, who is here among you, and you have whined to him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’
Now this miracle promise was so amazing that even Moses, who had faithfully believed God in every instance, had a hard time believing it… for He said to the Lord in Numbers 11:21:
“There are 600,000 men alone … yet you promise them meat for a whole month! If we butcher all our flocks … it won’t be enough! We would have to catch every fish in the ocean to fulfill your promise!”
Verse 23 in the Living Bible gives us God’s overpowering response to Moses’ doubt. One that is so powerful, we need to take it to heart in a very personal way:
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “When did I become weak? . .
Our God is not weak! He never has been and He never will be. It is not only His will… but He wants to show Himself mighty on our behalf. However … we must trust Him for it to be so.
Romans 4:20 in the Amplified Bible says:
“No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God.”
Not only is God not weak. . .He will show Himself strong on your behalf.
Psalm 68:28 in the New American Standard Version of the Bible says:
“Your God has commanded your strength; Show Yourself strong, O God, who have acted on our behalf.
2 Chronicles 16:9 in the New King James Bible says:
“For the eyes of the Lordrun to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf ofthose whose heartisloyal to Him….”
3. God is not moved by the adversities we face. . .and neither should we be.
Let me give you an absolute fact. . .if you’re doing what God has called you to do . . . fulfilling His vision for your life. . .being obedient to His divine direction. . .stuff is going to happen.
The enemy will not sit idly by. He wants to do whatever he can to render you ineffective for and to the Kingdom of God.
The disciples were with Jesus 24/7 yet fear made them forget who they were traveling with. Even the disciples had to learn to trust Jesus by the doubt-creating circumstances they faced.
I remember one airline flight where a violent thunderstorm was in the distance as the plane leveled off at its cruising altitude. As we drew closer and closer to the thunderstorm. . .the lady sitting next to me became increasing nervous and fearful about the storm.
I listened quietly until she commented she didn’t want to die in a plane crash. I confidently told her that our plane was not going to crash. . .that we were going to arrive safely at our destination.
When she asked me how I could be so sure. . .I said: “because I’m on this plane and God still has a lot for me to accomplish in my life.” Then I told her He had plans for her as well.
That’s when I discovered she loved the Lord and was a Christian, but her faith was weakened because of facing fear without faith.
Isaiah 41:10 in the Message Bible says:
“Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you."
Even in the midst of your personal storms. . .God has a firm grip on you.
4. When in the midst of the storms of life. . .call on Him and quote the Word.
When trouble comes. . .who will you call on for help? Not Ghostbusters. . .
but the Holy Ghost.
Psalm 86:7 says:
“In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.”
If you need the peace of God in your life. . .if you need deliverance from the storms of adversity. . .heed the words of Jeremiah 29:12-14 in the Amplified Bible:
“Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will release you from captivity. . .”
Now here’s the problem. You can’t quote what you don’t know.
Matthew 22:29 in the New Living Translation says:
“Jesus replied, `Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.’”
All professional athletes go to training camps before playing in games that count.
We all need spiritual training. . .so when we encounter the storms of life we can be victorious. Or else, you fate will be worse than having a bad season. Your Bible is your training manual for every season of your life.
Spiritual preparation always precedes victories over the storms of life.
5. When you rely on the Word. . .your fears will leave.
The best reason not to be afraid. . .is because the Word of God tells you not to. If you’re already counting on some of the Word … why not count on all of the Word?
I could give you numerous scriptures but I’m only going to go over four. The truth of the matter is. . .one could be enough.
First, Isaiah 41:10 in the Contemporary English Version says:
“Don't be afraid. I am with you. Don't tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories.”
If you’ve been unsuccessful. . .don’t worry or fret. . .the Word says that God. . .not your relatives …not your boss. . .co-workers. . .best friend or anyone else will make you victorious.
God brings you the victories you desire.
Second, Psalm 118:6 in the Message Bible says:
“God's now at my side and I'm not afraid; who would dare lay a hand on me?”
I love watching movies where it seems that all is lost. . .the good guy is about to go down to defeat or perhaps, even death. . .when suddenly the cavalry shows up and the good guy is saved.
Third, Deuteronomy 20:1 in the Message Bible says:
“. . . In a few minutes you're going to do battle with your enemies. Don't waver in resolve. Don't fear. Don't hesitate. Don't panic. God, your God, is right there with you, fighting with you against your enemies, fighting to win."
Don’t waver. . .don’t doubt. . .don’t fear. . .don’t worry. . .don’t hesitate. . .don’t panic because your God will bring you the victory.
Fourth, Psalm 139:5 in the Message Bible says:
“…You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence.
“I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too—your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful—I can't take it all in!”
I’ve written extensively about how to deal with fear and worry. I strongly suggest you visit our website www.haroldherring.com and search for “fear” or “worry.” You’ll find lots of spiritual as well as practical encouragement on how to overcome these mind games of the enemy.
6. When facing the storms of life. . .tell your circumstances and those in your boat to be still.
Sometimes you don’t even have to tell your friends. . .more properly, known as acquaintances to be quiet. . .because at the first sign of adversity. . .they’re gone faster than a snow man in 80 degree sunshine.
However, for those who either comment before bolting or hang around. . .never let the second voice distract you from what you know to be spiritual truth and your ability to allow God’s power to work through you.
Mark 4:39 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm (a perfect peacefulness).”
When Jesus got up. . .He assessed the situation. . .then He rebuked the winds and the waves.
The literal Greek translation of be still is “be muzzled” or “be gagged.”
This next point is very important. It’s critical to note Jesus did not pray about the storm He was facing.
Jesus spoke to the storm and commanded it to stop causing trouble.
One other point. . .
Have you ever thought about how you want others to perceive you. . .what you want them to say or think about you?
Truthfully, I can think of several ways I’d want to be spoken of. . .but none more satisfying than what’s found in Mark 4:41 in the Message Bible which says:
“They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?" they asked. "Wind and sea at his beck and call!"
You’re probably thinking. . .yes, but that was Jesus. I understand that but what about John 14:12 in the Classic Amplified Bible which says:
“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father.”
7. Always be willing to learn in every situation.
Philippians 4:11 in the New Living Translation says:
“I’m not saying this because I’m in any need. I’ve learned to be content in whatever situation I’m in.”
This scripture is most often misunderstood. . .it’s not a scriptural admonition to ‘settle for’ in life.
Go to www.debtfreearmy.org and search for “The Difference Between Contentment And Complacency.” The teaching is definitely a game changer.
I’ve gone through some things in my life. . .and I’ve wanted to learn everything I could in those situations. . .so I would never have to experience them again.
Philippians 4:12 in the New Living Translation says:
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”
God clearly wants us to learn how to live blessed, full of joy and content in every situation, circumstance, problem and adversity that we face.
Meditate on Philippians 4:13 in the Message Bible:
“Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”
The only way God can make us who He wants us to be. . .is by our willingness to learn from every situation we face.
And God always wants us to share what we’ve learned dealing with the adversities of life.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 in the Message Bible to my remembrance which says:
“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”
In the year after, I had breast cancer surgery in 2015. . .God allowed me to witness and encourage over 40 people who were about to have or just had cancer surgery.
I vividly remember a lady who had driven about 30 miles to position herself to hear what I had to say to her though she had no idea that’s why she made the trip. Her heart was encouraged and her faith strengthened by our visit. God is incredibly faithful.
Since last October I’ve been able to share dozens of times a miracle I received after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. I don’t have time to share this on this program but I’ll do so again soon.
Someone recently asked me about being a two-time cancer survivor. I smiled and said “I’m a two-time cancer overcomer.” Glory be to God.
Your Heavenly Father is not only waiting to shield you from the adversities of life He’s ever ready to empower and enlighten you to achieve your destiny.
And the best part. . .He’s available 24/7.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS