Part 2 - Growth Through The Storm
PART 2 - GROWTH THROUGH THE STORM
The imagery of the “storms of life” runs throughout Scripture: from floods to calming stormy seas, the Word of God reminds us that our Lord is with us in the storm.
THE STORMS WILL COME: THAT MUCH IS INEVITABLE.
• Christians are not promised easy lives, free from storms and trouble. Consider Job and Jonah, Hannah and Naomi. Consider the apostles, all of whom were martyred for the faith except John, who was exiled to Patmos.
• It’s not a question of will storms come but when — and what kind?
WE SERVE THE GOD OF HEAVEN, WHO CAN CALM THE RAGING SEA.
• One of the most iconic storms in Scripture is in the book of Jonah. God has commanded Jonah to travel to Nineveh—but he goes in the opposite direction.
Jonah 1:4-17 (WEB)
But Yahweh sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty storm on the sea, so that the ship was likely to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and every man cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone down into the innermost parts of the ship, and he was laying down, and was fast asleep. So the ship master came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God! Maybe your God will notice us, so that we won’t perish.”
They all said to each other, “Come! Let’s cast lots, that we may know who is responsible for this evil that is on us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they asked him, “Tell us, please, for whose cause this evil is on us. What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? Of what people are you?”
He said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear Yahweh, the God of heaven, who has made the sea and the dry land.”
Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, “What have you done?” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of Yahweh, because he had told them. Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may be calm to us?” For the sea grew more and more stormy. He said to them, “Take me up, and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will be calm for you; for I know that because of me this great storm is on you.”
Nevertheless the men rowed hard to get them back to the land; but they could not, for the sea grew more and more stormy against them. Therefore they cried to Yahweh, and said, “We beg you, Yahweh, we beg you, don’t let us die for this man’s life, and don’t lay on us innocent blood; for you, Yahweh, have done as it pleased you.” So they took up Jonah, and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased its raging. Then the men feared Yahweh exceedingly; and they offered a sacrifice to Yahweh, and made vows.
Yahweh prepared a huge fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
• This is such a popular Bible story for children that we often miss the lessons we can learn from it.
• What we see in this passage is the power of our God, who can control the raging sea — and make the raging stop.
• We also see a remarkable moment of repentance and faith — Jonah knows who controls the storm. And he is not afraid.
WILL YOUR ANCHOR HOLD?
• There’s an old hymn called “We Have An Anchor” written by Priscilla J. Owens —
Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
will your anchor drift, or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!
• Do we have the faith to face the storms head on? To sail into the storm anyway?
• “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within the veil.” Hebrews 6:19 (WEB)
LET THE STORMS COME: WE KNOW WHERE OUR FAITH LIES.
• God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we won’t be afraid, though the earth changes,
though the mountains are shaken into the heart of the seas;
though its waters roar and are troubled,
though the mountains tremble with their swelling. Psalm 46:1-3 (WEB)