Everyday somewhere in the world there is a storm either coming up or going on. Storms like tornado’s, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, sandstorms, thunderstorms and hail storms. These storms can last a short time or a long time. But in all these storms one thing we do know is that they will eventually end and that they don’t last forever. Just like these storms, people every day face their own storms in their lives. Some of these storms consist of addictions, relationship issues, health issues, and some personal issues. Some of these storms last a long time and some last a short time. Some of these storms are not because of us; it is because God is trying to do something in our lives to get us to a point where he can use to display his glory. In the midst of these storms in Christ we can overcome any storm we may face. The bible provides us stories like our on that we will look at that can be encouraging to us as we go through our storms. Some of the people we are going to talk about are Joseph, Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and some stories in the New Testament. As we go into these stories I want you to embrace the outcome of each one.
When we look at the story of Joseph, we think about how much he had to endure during his life. He suffered for many years but he never let go of his faith. He embraced the storms that came before him. It took him 13 years after he was enslaved to become second in charge of pharaohs kingdom. So he embraced his storm for 13 years. Joseph had to go through the storms in order for God to use him the way that he did. With every obstacle he faced he took something from it which allowed him to be who he was at the end. God used him to not only be the deliver of his people, but also to save the world from starvation. He knew that what he endured was not because of his brothers but because of his God. Genesis 41: And all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world. Genesis 50:20- You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
When we look at the story of Moses and see all he endured. Just like Joseph it was all purposeful. From being taken away from his family raised by the Egyptians all was for a purpose. Even though Moses fled to Midian that also was for a purpose and I will show you how. It is during this time that Moses in exile found God and the route he would later use to lead the Israelites out of Egypt which is very profound. Exodus 3:1-4- Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight-why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him within the bush, “Moses! Moses!.
Jeremiah a prophet of the Lord endured a lot of pain and suffering because of the bad news he brought. It caused him so much pain that he wanted to give up. He was beaten on multiple occasions. But in the end he was freed from captivity and was able to go to what ever land he pleased. God allowed him to receive his benefit from all of his suffering. Jeremiah 20:1-2- When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the official in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, 2 he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the Lord’s temple. Jeremiah 20:8-9- Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the words of the LORD has brought insult and reproach all day long.9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,”his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. Jeremiah 37:12-16-12 Jeremiah started to leave the city to go to the territory of Benjamin to get his share of the property among the people there. 13 But when he reached the Benjamin Gate, the captain of the guard, whose name was Irijah son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah, arrested him and said, “You are deserting to the Babylonians!”14 “That’s not true!” Jeremiah said. “I am not deserting to the Babylonians.” But Irijah would not listen to him; instead, he arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. 15 They were angry with Jeremiah and had him beaten and imprisoned in the house of Jonathan the secretary, which they had made into a prison.16 Jeremiah was put into a vaulted cell in a dungeon, where he remained a long time. Jeremiah 40:4-6-4 But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.” 5 However, before Jeremiah turned to go,[a] Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the towns of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please.”Then the commander gave him provisions and a present and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah and stayed with him among the people who were left behind in the land.
Then we have Ezekiel also a prophet of the Lord who himself had to endure pain and suffering to be an example to Israel and Judah of what was to come of them if they would not be obedient to God. Ezekiel 4:4-74 “Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself.[a] You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. 5 I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel. 6 “After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year. 7 Turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her. Ezekiel 24:15-18- 15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 “Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears. 17 Groan quietly; do not mourn for the dead. Keep your turban fastened and your sandals on your feet; do not cover your mustache and beard or eat the customary food of mourners.”18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I had been commanded. So even though Ezekiel suffered it was all for a purpose which was to bring Gods people back to him. And in the end Ezekiel received his reward.
There are many more stories like this in the New Testament. In the Book of John chapter 9 of the man who was blind from birth and everyone wanted to know what sins he or his parents committed that caused his blindness. Jesus said in verse 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, “said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. Or the story of the woman in the Book of Mark who had suffered bleeding for twelve years but was healed at the touch of Jesus cloak. The story of a woman in the Book of Luke who was crippled by a spirit for eighteen years that wouldn’t allow her to stand straight up until Jesus put his hands on her and healed her and she praised him. Or the story of Acts chapter 14 when God uses Paul to heal a crippled man who had been crippled from birth. Acts 14:8-10- In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!!! “At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. Wow in all these stories one thing they all have in common is that they endured for a long time, but they finally received their blessing through faith. All miraculous are great and testimonies are but which ones bring more power. The sufferings that last a day until deliverance? Or the suffering that lasted as long as these did above until they were delivered.
I will close on something that I believe God is trying to show all of us that he showed me in the Book of Joshua. In the Book of Joshua God walked with Joshua and the Israelites and they defeated many kings thirty-one in all. They battles they faced where long. Joshua 11:18- Joshua waged war against all these kings FOR A LONG TIME. When you analyze their victories you will see that when they concurred a city destroying it taking everything away from it that God gave them. They moved on to the next battle and to the next battle concurring thirty-one kingdoms in all. They did not leave a city before they moved on to the next one until that one was done. Now here is the most important thing that God want you to get from this whole blog. What God is trying to say to us in this is that we must concur one battle at a time in our lives. We must stop trying to concur multiple battles all at once. If you’re dealing with any type of addiction, anger, greed, unforgiveness, envy, bitterness, lack of patience and so on. Take care of them one at a time concurring one then move on to the next battle and the next battle then you will begin to see exactly where God has brought you from clearly. When we try to take care of all ten battles at the same time, we get tired, frustrated, and we end up quitting losing the all the battles in the end.
So embrace your storm in faith tackling them one at a time and watch God work through them bring out a blessing. James 1:2-3- 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Lord I pray that we embrace the storms in our lives with faith and that we become focused on taking care of one struggle at a time so that we can come out victorious. Lord I also pray that who ever read this blog who is struggling with faith as they endure their storm that you give them comfort and peace as they go through. I pray that if someone who reads this doesn’t have a relationship with you, that they ask you to forgive them of their sins and confess with their mouth that you are Lord and believe in their heart that God raised you from the dead and that they be saved in Jesus name I pray Amen.