Two Types Of Storms-Part IV

Two types of Storms-Part IV
The Things we should know about them

But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
Matthew 13:20-21 (NKJV)

We are going through a devotional series titled, "The two types of Storms." These are storms - times of testing - that we will all face in our lives.  Even though there is many ways that these storms can be manifested, they will all fall into two categories, and they are:

a)    Storms of Correction
b)    Storms of Perfection

There were a few things we learned about these two types of storm so far and that was:

1.    "Storms" will happen to everyone
2.    There will be times when we are in the center of a storm - and God seems to be absent from us  
3.    Being a Child of God assures us that we will face Storms.

The next thing we need to know about "Storms of Correction," and the "Storms of perfection" is:

4.    Stormy times are times of DANGER

We need to be on guard when we go through the "Storms" of life, because they have a possibility to do two things - they will either drive us closer to God - to seek Him or be reconciled to Him - or they can tempt us to continue to look to the world for reason, provisions, or comfort, and even walk away from God.  Here's the thing we need to know though:

We are in control of our decisions and our path - we choose the direction we walk.  We either receive God's Word and we apply it, or we just hear it and neglect using it when the tough times come.  Jesus talked about this in a parable about the sower and the seeds as recorded in Matthew 13.

We must guard ourselves against the fiery darts of the enemy during these times, because we can be tempted take our eyes of God, and put them on the circumstances we are facing.  In doing this, we will become tempted to doubt God's promises and provisions, and may end up believing the lies that are popping into our head from the enemy.  

Often the storms that rock our lives seem to threaten the very foundations that we stand upon.  That's good for those whose foundation isn't Christ - But for those whose foundation is Christ, many times, these storms cause us to become discouraged and to want to give up. We may view ourselves as a victim.  When this happens we become disillusioned, bitter and resentful - our mouths can be poisonous as we spew out dissention and anger.  James talks about this type of person and the damage that their tongue causes.

Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.  See how great a forest a little fire kindles!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.  With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. James 3:4-6, 9-10 (NKJV)

And we're told straight out in James 1:26

If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless. James 1:26 (NKJV)

I like the example we have been given by Job.  When the Storm of Perfection came upon his life - when Satan tempted him to give up and curse God - this was his response:

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:  "Naked I came from my mothers womb, And naked shall I return there.  The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD." In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22 (NKJV)

Hey Christian, let's not miss the reason for the Storm.  Let's not let the worries and cares of this world crowd out the message of God's Word in our lives.  Let's choose to stay on the path and hold fast to God's promises.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about our reacting to tough times by the two examples contained with the Scriptures of James, and Job in this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Have you found yourself acting using your tongue for praise during affliction, or for complaining and murmuring, backbiting or slander?

APPLICATION: Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus.  If you do this, you will think about what you say before it comes out of your mouth.   Cast down, or get rid of those things that are not of God.

Father, Thank You for the lessons contained within the Book of Job.  Thank You that I don't have to experience this type of testing to learn of it.  Father, I want to thank You for the times of testing that I have endured, and I praise You for caring about me and for transforming me.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000