Preparing for the Storms of Life

After a storm has hit …


1. Natural temptation:  Give up and go back to old ways

John 21:3  "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.


Proper response:    Remain faithful and wait for God’s deliverance

Ps 37:34  Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.


Ps 130:5  I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.


2. Natural temptation:   Escape or drown sorrows

Jonah 1:3  But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.


Isa 55:1  "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2  Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.


Proper response:    Remain faithful to duties, and burrow deep into God for security

Ps 62:1  For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David. My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. 2  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken … 5  Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. 6  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.


3. Natural temptation:    Anxiety, fret, fear, and worry

2 Ki 6:14  Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. 15  When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked. 16  "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 17  And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.


Proper response:    Trust God and enjoy the peace which passes understanding

Phil 4:6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


4. Natural temptation:    Anger, resentment, and vengeance

Gen 34:1  Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. 2  When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and violated her … 25  Three days later, while all of them were still in pain, two of Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting city, killing every male.


Proper response:    Give out the mercy the Lord has given you

Eph 4:32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


5. Natural temptation:    Grumble against life or God

Num 11:4  The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat! 5  We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost--also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. 6  But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!"


Job 10:1  "I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. 2  I will say to God: Do not condemn me, but tell me what charges you have against me. 3  Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the schemes of the wicked?


Proper response:     Accept the limited storm as from the Sovereign hand of the loving God

Job 1:21  and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."  (Also Phil 2:14-15) 


1 Cor 10:13  No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (Also Rom 8:28; Jam 1:2-4)


6. Natural temptation:    Self-pity and self-exemption  

Job 19:21  "Have pity on me, my friends, have pity, for the hand of God has struck me.


Proper response:     Repent of self-pity as a sin, and do what is right

Job 42:5  My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6  Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."


7. Natural temptation:    Self-reliance 

John 18:10  Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.) 11  Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"


Proper response:    Choose to look only to God

Ps 9:10  Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.


Ps 118:8  It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.


8. Natural temptation:  Consumed with guilt and shame 

Mat 27:5  So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.


Proper response:    Remember the Truth – Jesus’ death covered all your sins

1 Pet 3:18  For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God …


9. Natural temptation:    Survive, endure

Mat 25:15  To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey … 18  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.


Proper response:    Allow the trial to work godliness in you

1 Pet 1:6  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7  These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.


Excerpted from a 2-part message entitled "Preparing for the Storms of Life"