To the people finding this post who are in the path of hurricane or typhoon, here are some notes from a little over a year ago when Hurricane Harvey had just come ashore prepared for massive destruction. These notes are from my own pastor, from Pastor David Fleming's sermon, given by video from his home, on August 27, 2017. The complete teaching and words of comfort can be found in full in the video archives at championforest.org
Here are some notes and promises that helped us; that we'd like to share with you who are now facing a big, destructive storm:
God does have a purpose to every storm in life, and there is also a purpose and a plan beyond every storm.
Storms refine our faith. Adversity stretches us, and causes us to trust more and more in Christ for our needs and for our strength.
Trials are the “classroom” for our spiritual development.
Storms are not always due to disobedience. Sometimes we go through a storm because God has larger purposes for His kingdom plan.
God may take you to a storm, and He made take you through a storm; but he never leaves you in the middle of a storm.
Through the storm, God is always working. He is always there.
God will not leave us in a storm. God would not have led us to it, if it was His intention to leave us in it.
Promises from God in the midst of a storm:
There is no promise of a storm-free life; but we are promised His presence in every storm. Peace came to the disciples when they turned to Christ during the storm. Sometimes we just have to sit and watch the destruction happen, knowing there is nothing we can do. But we never sit there alone.
Somehow God will use this for His glory. We probably don't want to hear this now; yet it is a definite promise from God. Romans 8:28 tells us, "All things work together for good for those who love Him and are called towards his purpose."
He will use this storm, and all storms we encounter, in order to grow our faith. We will be able to use this experience as a future testimony. "He turns our tests into testimonies."
We cannot see it now, but God is using this to build a foundation for something that we cannot see.
Fear is the opposite of faith. We can be fear-filled or faith-filled, but not both.
We cannot control the outcome, but we can trust the One who does.
Storms in life can be of all kinds: financial, medical/health related, or family or job troubles.
God is the God of any and every storm.
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One year ago I shared these notes for those of us in Houston. As I wrote, the rain had picked up tremendously and we went to bed that night, not knowing what the morning would bring or what we as a city would be facing in the days ahead. We held on the the following truth:
We cannot control it. We cannot stop it.
We cannot even get out of it.
We have to go through it.
We don't have to go through it alone.
God is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the same comfort we ourselves receive from God.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
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