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August 27, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ see when you fill Ornelas and Areva 101 the lesson, the Lord Arjuna storm 40 no one answer and are so many people like that. There was some storm in your life and you offer them an edge in your life.
I'm not listening. I don't want to answer. I just want to tell you how terrible the wind is. I just like God terrible. The circumstances are. Don't give me an answer. The problem with that is if you don't get an answer in the storm.
I got there is at least a possibility about the probability there may be another storm in store for you for joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor broke your heart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana pastor will go for now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world is coming to the end of another hurricane season is almost here.
The joint sigh of relief always till next summer.
She given the choice, I think most of us would prefer to completely avoid hurricanes or any storms for that matter, but hurricanes when you live in New Orleans are storms where you live anywhere else are inevitable. Storms are sometimes frightening and they are the perfect physical representation of profound spiritual truth.
Maybe that's why they show up so often in the word of God this morning. What I like to do is survey some of the great storms of Scripture and attach at least one spiritual application to each storm.
This begin by opening our Bibles that acts chapter 27 verse 18. The book of acts chapter 27 actual start with verse 13. This is a storm that comes up when Paul is going from Jerusalem under arrest to wrong and he finally get him on a ship. They run into a storm and it turns out to be quite a doozy. When you want to see about the storm though verse 13 when a moderate South wind came up, supposing that they had attained their purpose. They weighed anchor and began sailing along Crete close ensure sometimes the storms of life come up like this just a moderate South one. Just something you something happens and there's no big storm yet, but something doesn't seem quite right.
The doctor says I really don't like the results of this test, but maybe nothing your spouse doesn't have the same relationship with you that they had before they they seem to have some other agenda on this case. By the way the storm becomes pretty fierce. Verse 18 the next day as we were becomingly violently storm tossed, they began to jettison the cargo that's always what happens. By the way, to freshen up for the we gotta get the weight out about and so they started jettison the cargo but notice it become violent, and on the third day, they threw the ships tackle overboard with their own hands and just trying to survive. Now, what's interesting about this is it's a special kind storm. It's the kind that I don't wish on any of you, but unfortunately some of you had to experience this is when a storm last long enough that it's easy to slowly but surely lose your hope notice with the next verse says, since neither son nor stars appeared for many days and no small storm was assailing us from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned all hope of being saved an amazing storm.
No son, no stars, no moon, just storm not three hours. But what we see here is three days. In fact, verse 27 says, but when the 14th night came 14 days, the storm to imagine that a storm you're on a small boat in the Mediterranean to the Adriatic in your storm for 14 days. You see when a storm last long enough. It's easy to slowly but surely lose all hope that's exactly what Luke wrote in verse 20. This kind storm often occurs when we have chronic health problems.
This is a kind of storm that I would associate to the C word. The battle of the storm. The cancer you see it doesn't just last for a day or two. It's not simply a surgery is a process.
The battle lingers for some months for some years but it's a storm in the middle of that kind of storm, it apparently is very easy to lose all hope happens to us all the time that was interesting about the storm is they have a solution. The apostle Paul was on board and he had told them right in the beginning there was going to be a storm and they lose all their cargo. But none of them would lose her life, but they didn't believe him. In the beginning and it kept the cargo and eventually got rid of a cargo and eventually what you find is they finally turn and believe called notice verse 24.
Paul says do not be afraid.
You must stand before Caesar and behold God has granted.
He says you all those who are sailing with you. He said therefore keep up your courage men, for I believe the God he says that it will turn out exactly as I've been told I know the truth here turns up by which a lot of people look at verse 37 all of us in the shipper 276 person is a lot of people in a ship at that time but notice Paul is been telling them was going to be okay in this long storm but didn't believe it and they were afraid when a storm last long enough.
It's easy to slowly but surely lose hope.
And there's a test and every one of the storms and the test in the storm is simple. The strength of your commitment to the truth with you're going through a long chronic storm. It's the strength of your commitment to the truth Paul was speaking the truth. There word of God speaks the truth was viewing a long-term storm. It's hard not to be afraid. It's hard not to lose hope.
The truth of the matter is we should over the years I have said over and over again I will say again, no. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ. The worst thing that could possibly happen to you. Cannot happen to you. The reason I tell you that is for storms, especially long chronic storms.
You see, I need to hold onto that if I'm in the middle of that kind of storm that's what I need I need this idea of the surety.
I need to have the strength of my commitment to the truth is not only that it will turn out well, but there are other truths about storms around Saber set on never leave you nor for sake you see that's important if you're one of these kind of storms so that the storms of last for very long time they have a tendency to suck the hope right out of us. Turn with me now as we go left, back to Mark chapter 4 Mark chapter 4 in a very famous storm and this one is going to be the Sea of Galilee small lake 13 miles long, 7 miles wide, surrounded pretty much by mountains and so what you have is what Eric coming over the mountains going down the leg creates enormous amount of wind and very quick storms and so on. Mark chapter 4 verse 35 we run into the storm is is on a day when evening came, he said to them let us go over the other side and leaving the crowd. They took him along with them in the boat. Just as he was in the other boats were with them.
There arose a fierce gale of wind and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up, and Jesus himself was in the stern sleep on the cushion and they will come and they said to him, teacher, do you not care that we are perishing, and he got up and rebuked the wind and he said to the sea, hush be still, the wind died down and it became perfectly calm and he said to them, what are you afraid I was.
You have no faith.
You see, they had to problems they had a sinking ship and a sleeping Savior and those are two problems and they misinterpret as we often do when our ship appears to be sinking. This is when a storm is intense enough that we question the goodness of God. That happens to sometimes a sudden storm comes into your life is so intense that we question the goodness of God. No, we don't say that. That way we basically say where are you.
How could you let this happen to me why why why all those questions are simply another way of saying I don't really think you're that good, at least not to me. This kind of storm often happens when we face sudden intense loss, pain, death of a loved one, especially the sudden death of a child where you got, don't you care. Sometimes when a spouse suddenly leaves they had off work that morning. They don't come back that night.
You can read the tea leaves and had no idea you thought I was going to happen.
All of a sudden you find out that there's a phone call and they're not coming back sometimes were violated in certain ways mode rate robbed those kind of things. I don't care just terrible things happen to me. Look what happened to me. You see, this test is the nature of my faith is on my interpretation is the Lord's see what is the nature of my faith. Do I truly believe in him is an interesting thing because he's asleep on the cushion. He is told them in verse 35 were going over to the other side there going to the other side.
The storm comes up, and instead of asking even just for help.
There question is teacher do you not care that were perishing. Why are you afraid he said is a question you ask everyone of us were believers in the middle of the store is a question Jesus Christ is asking you why you afraid why I'm asleep right here in the stern while you afraid notice he tells us why. How was it that you have no faith, you see how is it that you have no faith.
This is a test of the nature of my faith.
The first was a test of the strength of my commitment to the truth long storms have a way of slowly but surely sort of suck in the hope out of us. But when a storm is intense enough to make us question. Sometimes the very goodness of God.
The third storm Matthew chapter 14 another famous storm. Matthew chapter 14 and this one's quite a set up. We can see it because of the first verse will look at verse 22 immediately Jesus he made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of them to the other side. That's pretty interesting. This is definitely a set up by way that tells me something.
Sometimes a storms of my life are just that way you can about you guys get up, got going it is getting with them this time. He said he had sent the crowds away and he said the crowds away. He after you done that, he went up to them on themselves by himself to pray. And when it was evening. He was there alone, but the boat was already a long distance from land battered by the waves and the wind was contrary there in the middle of a storm again is the fourth watch of the night. So now we know they been at this for quite some time. This is the final watch before daybreak on the fourth watch of the night. Any and notice he came to them walking on the sea.
You would think at that moment that even in the mother storm you would break out in the hallelujah chorus when you think that but no, that's not exactly what happened when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified and they said it is a ghost and they cried out in fear.
Notice fears and every one of these, but immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, take courage, and as I do not be afraid.
Peter said to him, love Peter Lord if it's you, command me to come to you. He said all the water looks so cool you know so was walking on water. If you can do what I can do it that you were thought Jesus would've said Peter God incarnate it out, but he doesn't quite say the Peter all he says them, and on the other disciple, are you crazy and Peter climbs right off jump right off about Peter got out of the boat walk on the water came toward Jesus then here's what happens to us in storm so many times, seeing the wind but we can see the wind you can see the results of Josie the wind, but seeing the when he became frightened and beginning to sink he cried out, Lord save me immediately Jesus stretched out his hand. He took hold of him and he said to them you of little faith to help. They got into the boat, the wind stopped and those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, you are certainly God's son. This is one us. The Lord sends a storm in your life and we fail to learn the lessons that he has for us.
He put them in that storm to teach them something.
That's why came walking to he was teaching them is capability. He was teaching them in a sense who he was and what he's capable of doing. He said them in the storm so that he could teach them something. This is often the case, by the way, when a sudden change comes into our lives and we become preoccupied with the wind, the circumstances of the change that, storm and voice so many this is common I see so many of you go through these kind of storms. It comes in all of a sudden and from your point of view, all you can do is become fixated on the wind and the circumstances, but not the Lord and I know that by the way, because see what he's trying to do here is he's trying to teach them a lesson. So sometimes when you come to me and you tell me about this terrible storm Erin. What I do and I've often talked of the other pastors about the same idea but what I do as I say that's just terrible, here's some things I think you could do one to three and here's the response I get to see the wind you see the circumstances. Don't you realize how terrible this is the one answer.
You see when you fill to learn a lesson or even want to learn the lesson.
The Lord has you in a store for you. You don't want an answer and are so many people like that. There was some storm in their life and you offer them an answer.
You realize I'm not listening. I don't want an answer. I just want to tell you how terrible the wind is high just like how terrible the circumstances are.
Don't give me an answer.
The problem with that is if you don't get an answer in a storm.
I got there is at least the possibility about the probability there may be another storm in store for you. The next one and the next one and some of you are chronic storm goes you're in storms all the time your whole life is a chronic long list of storms and wonders because I never want to learn anything.
I just want to tell you how terrible the wind is still how great the Lord is seen this with people see a young person or dating somebody very questionable whether they should been dating in the first place.
The person breaks up with them was unfaithful to them in a devastated is the worst thing possible to see them two or three years later, in the right persons in the life the more protective of that person is a good thing going on in her life as a lesson to learn using the test here is the measure of my teachability when I'm in a storm.
I have to measure my teachability borders or something here you'd like to teach me see really you want to teach me something and he always does.
He wants to teach us something about himself. He went to teach us something about ourselves. Well, one more storm it's go to Jonah chapter 1 Jonah chapter 1 and this is a storm of completely different nature. Jonah chapter 1, right after Obadiah so there should be no problem. The word of the Lord comes to Jonah verse two. Here's what God says to Jonah arise, go to Nineveh, the great city and cry against it for their wickedness is come up before me. Here is Jonah finds himself in Judah God calls him says okay Jonah your profit is and what you do want to go east and north. I want you to go to the Syrian capital, Nineveh clear clear clear instructions by the Lord. But Jonah rose and went as far east as he could possibly go mean far west as he possibly go God says go east Jonah says that's it, I'm getting up on one West is itself working ago Wesley said well the end of the worlds of Tarshish right there in Spain. The Gibraltar best the end of the world.
Let's go there then I want to goes for the opposite direction of where the Lord wants me as possible. So Jonah rose the fleet of Tarshish from the presence of the Lord and say went on the job from the ship, which was going to Tarshish paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish, the presence of the Lord now, the Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm in the sea, so the ship was about the breakup and then the Sabres became afraid and Everyman cried to his God shining through their cargo. Same thing, which is on the shipment of the Cedar like that for them.
But Jonah had gone below in the hold of the ship, lay down and fall in soundlessly that everything that repeats in one, you have the Savior sleeping in this when you have the center sleeping as he Jonah didn't care I don't care what the storm is I just know on the can do what God wants me to do. I'm going the opposite direction. So the captain approached him and said how is it that you were sleeping. He says get up and calling your God. Perhaps your God will be concerned about us so that we will not perish. Each man said was made, let us cast lots so that we may harm whose accomplice calamity instructors so they cast lots and by the way don't think this is a coincidence. The lots fell in Jonah and he said to them, tell us now on whose account has this calamity struck us. What is your occupation profit. I am to be a prophet, and what you come from, what is your country from Israel for your people. I'm Jewish. He said of them will come Hebrew and I fear the Lord God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land, but not enough to obey him, and then the men became extremely frightened and they said how could you do this for the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord because he told them, and so they said one what should we do that the sea may become calm to us for the sea is becoming increasingly stormy.
He said of them look pick me up throw me into the sea and then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm is coming to you is a completely different kind of storm. This is when the Lord sends a storm in your life to bring you back to him. This is when the Lord sends a storm in your life to bring you back to him. This often is the case when we realize that we have been willfully disobedient to the Lord completely just going to completely different direction.
I like a lot of you've gone through this kind of storm I think is relatively rare and it's not easily interpreted by way was easy for Jonah interpret was a kind of storm, one that because God told directly the least. He said no going West so we know what disobedient he was for us it's a little harder sometimes the test here is this the test is the healthiness of my attitude toward the Lord see him so many times in our life we just decide I know the right way to go on not going. I know the right thing to do and I'm not doing it just got to go my own way.
I'm just telling you something.
If your child of God. The writer of Hebrews says it's a terrible thing to fall in the hands of the living God.
You may not take him seriously but he takes you very seriously and you might find yourself in a storm. He prepared just to bring you back to him. There's always a deep personal conviction like Jonah had here. I know it's me that's important for you to understand this kind of storm is not pronounced by others. Don't forget this this kind of storm is not pronounced by others. I know you're well-meaning but so many times Christian parents, friends, spouses were last wondering life you want to know why you're going through what you're doing. I'm telling you why because your message wanting to doing what you should be doing.
By the way, that's exactly advice. Job's friends gave him the wrong to be very careful. By telling someone else. That's why the storms of life. But if you're in a storm, you got ask yourself the question is this is put in my life. Pastor Bill Gilbert on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world.
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