First I want to say Happy Fathers Day to all of the Dads out there. I am praying that we all continue to do what is right and pleasing to God. I will admit that there will be some tough times ahead but, with His help, He will see us through.
I was called by my Pastor to speak on this Sunday. Normally he calls us at least a week in advance but, this time, I got the call on Wednesday. This week has been one my longest and this sermon that I am about to share is, for the most part, very VERY personal. Now I don’t mean to suggest that any other time that I am tasked to preach that the Word that God has given me is irrelevant. I’m simply saying that this one was dear to me because it was preached TO me. Make no mistake, when you are sharing the Word of God, it is not just intended for those in the congregation. Sometimes, the very sermon if preached by you so that YOU can hear what it is saying. This is one of those times. I had never preached while going through my own personal storms until today. I ask that we contine you to pray for each other as we continue to walk in this life on our way to glory.
Storm Warning: Why Not You? Job 1:6-12 8And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Before I begin this message, I want to confess that even preachers go through storms. Some of you sitting here today dressed in your Sunday best are probably thinking, “How can a preacher, a man of God, a man that was set apart by the Most High ever go through storms?” Well, I’m here to tell you today, we do. In fact, some of the same waves of the storms that have rocked your soul to its core, have been the same waves that beaten down the preacher, almost to a pulp. I’m also here to tell you that those same storms have and will continue to have purpose. The nature of your storm may be the same as someone else’s but the purpose of the storm may be totally different. In other words, the storm in your life that God has allowed is intended to show and prove to you that God is still in control and the sooner we realize who is in control of the storm the sooner we will realize that the storm is not designed to last forever.
When we look at the book of Job, you can already begin to remember the story of this righteous man. God had blessed him with everything he had ever needed and a lot of what he wanted. Job was on top of the world, if you will, and had no reason to think that anything would ever happen to him. Then, one day, Satan comes along from wandering the earth. He’s on a mission as much as the day is long. He is looking for someone that he is able to devour. Without finding anyone to feast upon, the Lord asks him has he taken a look at Job. Satan replies to the Lord that yes, I’ve seen him. He’s definitely one of your children because God’s hedge is around him, his family and everything he owns. I still believe that, if the hedge were removed, he would curse God to His face. That is when the Lord said to him, fine. I’ll remove the hedge and you do as much damage as you want but DO NOT touch his life.
There are a few points that we need to consider. The first thing we need to consider is that, whether you know it or not, and whether you like it or not, you don’t ever have to worry about looking for trouble because trouble WILL come looking for you. How many times have we gone through life without a care in the world and all of a sudden disaster strikes? How many times have you gotten up to start your day and all of a sudden you realize that the storm clouds in your life are starting to gather? How many times have you been so caught up in what you were doing that you didn’t even see the storm in the first place? Well I’m here to tell you today that all of those instances are happening because trouble has found you. Job was not looking for anything devastating to happen in his life, in fact he knew God was always there to take care of him yet, and still, trouble seemed to rear its ugly head and, now, Job was in for one serious storm. We have to realize, brothers and sisters, that there will always be some trouble in your life. As long as you are on this side of Heaven, as long as you are able to breathe the air God has place in the earth, as long as you are able to say good morning, and even after you have tarried in your prayer closet, trouble is waiting outside your door. When you consider the trouble and storm it rode in on and when you realize that it is headed your way, you come to the conclusion that not even a child of God is exempt! This scripture is the perfect example that no matter what pew you sit on, what section you sit in up in the choir stand, no matter what district you have and how many members you have in it, no matter whether you’re Pastor or Associate, no matter if you’re trustee or “just me”, as long as you are child of God, your exemption to going through a storm is invalid but it’s necessary,
It’s not fair, but it’s just. It may not be warranted but, in some cases, it’s deserved. It’s always inconvenient but, it’s supposed to be that way. So when you’re asking yourself “why you?” God is saying “Why not you? He sees you, giving Him praises on Sunday and you’re probably even doing a little witnessing on your job Monday through Friday. But don’t think you’re all that and a pot of grits and don’t you think you’re too holy to go through a storm because, trust me, while you’re saying “why’, God is surely saying “why not”. One thing is certain, trouble will find you. No, you are not immune to storms just because you are a Christian. But you must remember that even though you are in a storm, and even though you find yourself in the midst of more trouble than you can handle, always remember that you are never alone. As you read the rest of this chapter and, more importantly, the rest of this book, there isn’t one time that was mentioned that God ever left Job. We have to realize that even though the storm we’re in is looking inescapable, and even though the storm that we’re in looks like there is no end in sight, and even when we think that we are about to drown in the rains that are coming as well as drowning in our own misery, God has never left us. In fact, God is standing right there waiting to take you into his arms and shelter you from your storm. Jesus said in Matthew 11, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I WILL GIVE YOU REST…For my yolk is easy and my burden is light…” He’s standing right there. All you have to do is come. When you are about to go down for, what seems like, the final time, COME: When you are at the end of your rope, COME When everybody has counted you all the way out, COME When there are more bills than paycheck, COME When you’re being told, “I can’t help you”, COME When your family isn’t acting like family, COME Proverbs 3:5-6 says to Trust in Him with all your heat and to not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways and realize He is the only one that can help you, so let Him direct your path. But you can’t do this unless you COME!!! Here is one more thing to consider. Maybe, while you’re in this storm, the boat you’re in may not be able to sustain the damage that you are facing. Maybe the boat has too many holes and has been beaten down to the point where it’s useless to and unable to steer through the treacherous waters that your storm is creating. Well maybe it’s time to trade in your boat so that you can get on a ship. A boat can be useful but, when the waters of life get rough, you need to get on…a ship. I’m talking about a ship that has been seaworthy and storm tested for a long, LONG time. A ship that is able to withstand the storm in your life. A ship that doesn’t have a need for unnecessary cargo like…Heartache, misery, trials, tribulations. All of those things are tossed overboard. This ship has landed many a thousand and its captain is Jesus. I’m talking about the Old Ship of Zion. If you are in the deepest part of the storm, if your boat is capsizing, if you’re sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore, get on board this ship! It was built before the world took its form and was commissioned on Calvary. Its maiden voyage was on one Sunday morning when the Captain stood on resurrection ground with all power in His hands. Yes there will be some storms in your life but, when you’re in the ship, you will get through it… Amen