One of Jesus' most famous stories concerns the optimist who opts for beachfront property and the pessimist who picks the rock-filled lot. It's been said that things don't always work out the way you plan them. The truth is that they never do. In life, there's a 100% chance of rain. How are you planning for the storms to come?
Blue skies, sunny, 80 degrees. There’s a good chance that the morning forecast in heaven is perfect. Here on earth, though, we get freezing rain and all sorts of calamities. Storms in life are inevitable. The first response may be to cry out in fear. But if we have ears, we may discover a surprising peace, a deeper wisdom, and a more binding love.
At first, Jesus doesn’t stop the storm. The disciples are out of their minds, thinking they might die, and want Jesus to rescue them. Instead, Jesus asks about their faith. Some things can only be learned in a storm. Discipleship is mostly on-the-job training. What storms are blowing in your life?
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 8:23-27
The story of Elijah tells us how kings and kingdoms chase after temporary security and pleasure. Living in such a world can be discouraging. But God is more powerful, and wants more for us than just our comfort and wellbeing. After revealing His presence in the storm, God recommissions Elijah to minister to the world in which he lived.
SCRIPTURE: 1 Kings 19:11-13
Sometimes life can feel stormy. The account of Jonah is one of the Bible’s most interesting storm stories, when the rebellious prophet is thrown overboard during a storm and swallowed by a great fish in whose belly he lives for three days. When storms break around us there’s a lot to learn.
SCRIPTURE: Jonah 1
As his life and ministry builds to the boiling point, Jesus feels enormous pressure and stress. So how does he respond? He goes to the garden and prays. Meanwhile, his disciples watch and wait with him. In the most heated moments of life, prayer is the practice Jesus most wants to teach us as his followers.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 26:26–46
Interesting things can happen at supper; engagements to marriage, business deals, professions of love, and even life-shattering betrayals. At supper one night, even in the face of betrayal, Jesus was glorified.
SCRIPTURE: John 13:21-31
Sometimes, when the night seems the darkest, all you can do is sing. Silly songs, serious songs, songs that give hope. And sometimes, in the midst of those songs, something amazing breaks through, and in the midst of it is God!
SCRIPTURE: Acts 16:25-34
In the morning, we're ready to take on the world. But it's at night, in our fatigue, that we take heed of our doubts and fears. Believing seems to take more than we have to give. It's at night when Gideon tests God's faithfulness, even as he pleads for mercy. Is God really present or are we getting fleeced?
SCRIPTURE: Judges 6:36-46
He wanted to believe. After he'd put Daniel and the others in with the lions for the night, the king couldn't sleep. He was anguished. He'd laid down the gauntlet, and he had to know the answer. Was Daniel right after all? Would Daniel's God come through?
SCRIPTURE: Daniel 6:16-28
Sometimes our relationship with God can feel like a wrestling match. We sense God's presence, but resist. We ask for God's favor, and when he doesn't respond, we keep on asking. The story of Jacob encourages us to keep on wrestling, even when it hurts.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 32:22-32