Tuesday, March 11, 2014
THE BLESSING OF THE STORM
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Divers- composed of different or various parts, characters, or kinds. This tells us everyone will not deal with the same temptations or trials. Many times our temptations are self inflicted such as drugs, alcohol, or some other substance we chose to try, then it took control of us. Other times it is things we have no control over at all. It is just part of life. Some of the things we face are affliction, sickness, losses, calamity, adversity, or persecution.
The bible tells us we are going to face persecution and affliction.
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
Look at the life of Joseph. He was his fathers favorite son, but the most hated brother. Everything he done seemed to be blessed and prosper. His brothers sold him into slavery after he had a dream. In his dream he had authority over his brothers, and they bowed to him. After being sold into slavery he was sent to prison for something he didn't do. His masters wife falsely accused him if being immoral because he would not give in to her lusts.
After all he had gone through, what could he have been thinking? This was not the way he remembered the dream. Could his brothers have been right? Was it only a meaningless dream? Still yet he stayed true to God. He did not let his storm beat him.
Eventually he interpreted a dream for Pharaoh. Then Pharaoh put him in charge of all Egypt. This was the dream he remembered. His dream did not show his storm that would deliver him to his destination, it only showed his destination. If he had gotten focused on his storm it probably would have tore him apart. Instead he stayed focused on God.
Throughout the bible men are referred to as trees.
Psalms 1:1-3 A godly man is like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth fruit in its season. Whose leaves shall not wither, and whatever he does prospers.
Matt 7:17-19 Good tree = good fruit, bad tree = bad fruit.
Matt 3:10 Trees not bearing fruit are cut down and thrown into the fire.
Matt 13:31-32 Mustard seed is the least of all seeds, but becomes the greatest of all herbs, and becomes a tree.
Jer 17:5-8 A man that puts his trust in man is like a juniper in the desert, but a man that trust in God is like a tree planted by the waters.
In 1987 Biosphere 2 was built in the hills outside Tuscon, Arizona. The biosphere simulated five areas of this planet: rainforest, ocean with coral reef, mangrove wetlands, savanna grassland, and a desert. Over the next twenty years the plants grew.
Expectations ran high and they were largely met. Yet, fell short when it came to the trees planted in the biosphere. They expected the trees to grow tall and strong. The conditions were perfect. There were no storms, drought, heat, or difficulties to bear. The trees however looked like no trees ever seen.
Instead of growing straight and tall, they drooped down. They bent over and grew parallel to the ground with their tops facing the ground.
What they have found is the storms of life is what makes them strong. The winds and storms caused the wood to grow hard. The whipping caused the wood fibers to grow strong enough to hold itself up. The storms of life is what causes them to stand straight. Without the storms and difficulties a tree is not much of a tree at all. Without the storms of life a tree is not strong enough to hold itself up.
In 1994 hurricane Opal struck southeast Alabama. The very next week my family and I went on vacation to see some more family in Illinois. I remember that trip very well. On that road trip we had seen trees down occasionally all the way across the Tennessee border, but there would only be one tree down in the midst of many trees still standing. The trees still standing grew stronger from the same storm that took the fallen trees down.
If you let the storm get to you, It will beat you. You have to focus on your source of strength in the midst of your storm.
The storms in life are what keep on our knees, and speaking to God. They are what God will sometimes use to get our attention. Without storms we would not be strong enough to hold ourselves up. We would give in to any and all pressure that comes our way. Thank God for the storms you have faced, for they have made you stronger. Don't let your storms tear you down. Find God and you will find strength.
Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Heb 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Psa 30:1 A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David. I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
Psa 30:2 O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
Psa 30:3 O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Psa 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.