What to do with the Storms in your life

Many Christians today are scared, and rightly so.  In America Christians have enjoyed almost 400 years of freedom to worship.  It is ingrained in their inner character.  Many who fled religious persecution in Europe came to America with the stated intent to be free to worship God as they pleased.  And for 400 years they have been able to.

The current civil unrest in America seems to have many Christians now wondering what to do.  Many are lead to pray, and the bible does tell us to pray: 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 “be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”  But is that all we are to do?

There is a story that is chronicled in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  3 times it is repeated, which speaks to it’s importance.  I will give you the passage from Luke 8: 22-25;

Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake (Sea of Galilee).” So they set out.  But as they were sailing, He fell asleep. And a fierce gale of wind swept down [as if through a wind tunnel] on the lake, and they began to be swamped, and were in great danger.  They came to Jesus and woke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are about to die!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging, violent waves, and they ceased, and it became calm [a perfect peacefulness].  And He said to them, “Where is your faith [your confidence in Me]?” They were afraid and astonished, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the sea, and they obey Him?”

A lot of Christians pray, and they pray for the storms to be over.  But in this passage Jesus not only rebukes the storm, he also rebukes the disciples.  It is their lack of faith that troubles Him.  Knowing that Jesus was in the boat with them, they should have also known that they would be kept safe in their journey.

This same scenario is brought to test again with His remaining disciples, where the storm is raging and He is not in the boat.  It was only when they saw Jesus walking on water that, although they were afraid, they called out to Him to save them again.  In Matthew’s Gospel Peter actually walks on the water at the beckoning of Christ “Lord, if it is [really] You, command me to come to You on the water.” After taking a few steps the doubt sets in and Peter begins to sink and cries out for Christ to save him.  To which Jesus does and again asks why he doubted.

In today’s Christianity a lot of Christian’s have fallen into the idea that storms can be overcome by prayer, and they can with one caveat.  If it is the Will of God.  God’s Will is supreme, and it may mean an outcome we may not want nor like.  But as a Christian we are called to always seek for God’s Will to be done.  It may be the sinking of our ship at sea that God uses to call others to the faith.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 adds “Do not quench [subdue, or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit.  Do not scorn or reject gifts of prophecy or prophecies [spoken revelations—words of instruction or exhortation or warning].  But test all things carefully [so you can recognize what is good]. Hold firmly to that which is good.  Abstain from every form of evil [withdraw and keep away from it].”

The Christian should always seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in every action they take.  Aside from the body of Christ the Holy Spirit is the only thing we have to comfort, guide, and convict us in our everyday life.

Many years ago a movement arose asking “What Would Jesus Do?” The question Christian’s should ask the Holy Spirit is what does God want Me to do.  What Jesus would do in every scenario may or may not be different than what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do today.  Is Jesus our Moral Compass? Yes.  But Jesus also visited Lepers, healed the sick, and cast out demons.  He even died on the cross to save all mankind.  Those are some things only Jesus could do because He was God and had the ability to see them through.  We Christians are not called to sacrifice ourselves for the sin of all mankind, we already serve the One who did.  Instead we are to focus on our fruit and light.  What we are to do is show the world the Love that Christ gave us, that while we were still sinners He died for us, and share the hope so others may want it as well.  We are human, we make mistakes, we stumble, we sin.  The only difference between us and the lost is that we have the blessed hope in everlasting life with the Father, that has been promised to us in the Son Jesus, and we have been given a comforter who is the Holy Spirit.