Jonah 1:1-17; Mark 4:35-41 The storms of life are inevitable but they are not inescapable. Storms that come as a result of disobedience can be avoided for they are like the harvest of sin. The saint that refuses to go the path of rebellion will be spared such kinds of storm.
However there are storms we have no control over whether they come or not because they do not originate from our decision or as a result of our action. It is our arch-enemy that directs such towards us for the purpose of destroying us, undermining our faith and making mockery of God.
We can survive such fiery storms and triumph in the face of such satanic adversity.
REASONS FOR STORMS
All storms may have the same characteristics but all storms do not have the same roots. There are basically three types of storms that can confront the believer. The nature of each determines how we handle it:
This storm is born out of God’s love for His erring children. It is the kind of storm sent to bring a runaway prophet like Jonah back home to the path of duty. It is the thorn that makes the path of the backslider hard and dangerous. It is like the angel sent to prevent Balaam from going astray (Jonah 1:1-17; Proverbs 13:15; Numbers 22:21-34).
This storm is the result of Satan’s hatred for God’s people. Such a storm is meant to stop us from getting to the other side where there is deliverance, abundance, peace, joy etc. (Mark 4:35-41)
It is the kind of storm that Satan sends to hinder (1 Thessalonians 2:18; Romans 1:11; 15:22,29).
It is like the furore that Sanballat and his allies created for the purpose of stopping Nehemiah from rebuilding the broken walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:18-20; 4:1-6; 6:1-15).
It is like the accusation of Portiphar’s wife that ensures that Joseph is incarcerated in prison, destined to languish there without the possibility of even reaching the palace (Genesis 39:1-23).
Many times as believers, we relax and neglect God when things are going on fine. This type of storm keeps us from sleeping at our ship’s helm. It helps us to keep praying, focused and dependent on God.
REPENTANCE FROM SIN
Jonah 1:1-17; Isaiah 55:6,7; Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 107:17; 1 John 1:7-10; Acts 2:38; 17:28-31; Mark 1:15
When God sends a storm across our pathway, no amount of prayer can remove it. Nobody can pray it off. Only God can remove the storm when He pleases.
Repentance and forsaking of sin is the only way out of this kind of storm. Abandoning the path of self will and rebellion and returning to the path of duty is the only solution to this storm. Calling upon God or idols in prayer will not bring a respite. Throwing your wares in the sea will not eliminate your storm. Except Jonah is discovered and thrown in the sea, the storm will continue. This was what Jonah’s colleagues found out (Jonah 1:1-17).
Is your way like a hedge of thorns? Repentance and forsaking of sin will bring divine pardon and mercy (Isaiah 55:6,7; Proverbs 28:13)
REBUKING THE STORM
When the storm is Satan-inspired and Satan-engineered, we must rise up in faith and exercise our God-given authority, we speak to the storm to be muzzled. We pronounce calm in the situation. We command the mountain to move or to be levelled or to be burnt up (Mark 11:22-24; Zechariah 4:6-10; Luke 3:5; Jeremiah 51:25)
We rebuke the devouring storm and stop the actions of the devourer. We quench the fiery darts of Haman and silence the mouth of the devourer (Esther 7:3-10; Malachi 3:11; Psalm 107:29; Ephesians 6:16)
We pull down every Satanic stronghold erected to stop us from passing over into our God-given inheritance (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). We command every Jericho wall to crumble (Joshua 6:1-20).
When Satan comes like a flood, the spirit of God within us should lift up a standard against the Devil (Isaiah 59:19). We can’t afford to give up and give in to the planned destruction and attack coming from the enemy.
We must follow the footsteps of Jesus our Lord and rebuke the storm in the name of the Lord.
RIDING THE STORM
Some storms serve as wake-up calls to sleeping saints. We get so comfortable and prospered that we forget how to seek God. These storms keep us alert so that we don’t sleep at the ship’s helm. The storms keep us praying, depending upon God, relying on Him for victory.
This kind of storms will not necessarily go away. God might even be interested in allowing them for our own good. The best we can do is to ride these storms.
Occasionally, God allows Satan-engineered storms in our lives in order to further His purpose in our lives. Rebuking will not eliminate these storms. God wants the wrath of man to praise Him (Psalm 76:10).
The persecution of Joseph, Daniel, the three Hebrew children all fall into this category. Balak’s curse turned into blessing for Israel (Daniel 3:1-28; 6:1-28; Numbers 22:6-12; 23:19,20; 24:10; Deuteronomy 23:5).
Are there storms that God has allowed to persist in your life? Ride them to victory and dominion. Mordecai rode the storm to eminence (Esther 8:1,15).