Bethel Dallas Youth Message on Sunday 9/9/18
What is a storm? A storm is something that is out of your control. It is a set of adverse circumstances, series of trials and defeat, or a continual down pour of attacks. Storms seem out of our control and can produce times of uncertainty and instability.
Many times we run to Jesus because there is a storm in our life, it is out of our control, and we need rescue. In our moment of instability we come to Jesus hoping He will remove the storm from our life. We give our life to Jesus wishing that as we follow in His footsteps we would never have to face a storm again.
My question I pose today is:
Does Jesus promise us a storm free life or does He storm proof our life?
(….stop and ponder.)
One way to answer the question is to look at the life of Jesus Himself. Did Jesus, the Son of God, face any storms? I think we can all give a quick “Yes” answer here:
- Church- The religious leaders of the day wanted to continually undermine and even kill Jesus.
- Political- The Roman government sought to kill Jesus as an infant because He was the prophesied King and the death threats never stopped.
- Friendships- Jesus own best buds, the disciples, even turned on him. They all denied him when He was on trial and Judas turned him to be killed for a small bag of coins.
- Family- Jesus own brothers did not believe He was the Son of God. It wasn’t until after His Resurrection that his brother James believed Him as the Son of God. Theologians also believe his father Joseph had passed away at some point since on the cross Jesus told John to take care of his mother.
- Spiritual- As Jesus fasted for 40 days the devil himself came to destroy His identity as the Son of God and doubt His Father.
So yes, even the Son of God faced many storms in His lifetime. But did those storms rob His peace? Were those people and circumstances able to steal His joy? NO! What did Jesus have that made Him stormproof?
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
I believe that the key is the peace of God. According to this scripture the peace that Jesus has is very different from the false “peace” the world offers. It is a kind of peace that we cannot even wrap our minds around. It is a kind of assurance that all is well when God is on the Throne in our lives. The peace of Jesus is not created by positive circumstance or mere positive thinking but it is an unstoppable force of God’s goodness and mercy that settles our hearts and minds as we trust in Him. Worldly peace comes through being able to control your own circumstances and force your own outcomes…or so you think. Worldly peace could be a large bank account, yet even multi-millionaires have lost everything in one day. The peace of Jesus is letting God have control over your circumstances and trusting in His outcomes. Ask yourself “Who has their hands on the control panel of your life?”
So did Jesus say we would face storms in life?
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Strong’s #2347 defines the word tribulation as: pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing, distress. The word thlipsis was historically used to describe the crushing of grapes for wine and the pressing of olives for olive oil. Imagine the force exerted on an olive to press it to the point were it produces its oil. The first press is called virgin olive oil and then the olive is pressed again and again. This is the picture Jesus paints for His disciples when explaining the adversity we will face in this life.
However, don’t be overwhelmed by the adversity! It is important that we keep the fullness of the scripture in mind as Jesus promises His peace, His joy and the powerful fact that He has overcome the world!
There is a way to maintain your peace no matter what is going on in your life! Don’t let the devil rob your joy and your peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Anxiety knocks at the door and what do you do? Stress is boiling up in you and giving you a headache and where does it go? Fear and instability begin to shake you and what will happen? In Philippians Paul is reminding the church to give it to God in prayer and have an attitude of gratefulness. If you really want to guard your mind and heart then allow God to carry the weight of the world and your problems. Make a conscience decision everyday to receive God’s peace even if it means you literally put your hands out and ask out loud for God’s peace.
It’s time to fight for your peace!
“Everyone who hears my teaching and applies it to his life can be compared to a wise man who built his house on an unshakable foundation. When the rains fell and the flood came, with fierce winds beating upon his house, it stood firm because of its strong foundation. But everyone who hears my teaching and does not apply it to his life can be compared to a foolish man who built his house on sand. When it rained and rained and the flood came, with wind and waves beating upon his house, it collapsed and was swept away.”
As you evaluate your life can you see that you are building on sand or a solid rock? If you feel a constant instability in your life and an overwhelming anxiety then you may need to truly make Jesus your Lord and Savior. Give Jesus access to the control panel and take your hands off. It may not make full sense but the peace of God will wash over you and it will be the sweetest moment in your life. The only way to go to bed at night with peace and not anxiety is to receive the peace of Jesus.
- We all face storms, even Jesus.
- Jesus stormproofed His life with the peace of God.
- Jesus gives a different kind of peace than what the world knows.
- How am I responding to my storms? Anxiety/Fear/Worldly Peace OR Trusting God
- Is my life built on sand or a solid foundation in Jesus?
John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”