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The Joy in Your Storm
Stats: 3,719 words / Reading Time: 18.60 mins

Published: Monday, 22nd June 2020

By: Apeh Francis Abah

The Joy in Your Storm is read 2.5K times on CentreNDL.org 2.5K
  

THE JOY IN YOUR STORM

How to Handle Any Storm That Comes Your Way

“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

Mark 4:37-40

 

From the Scripture we read, we could see that Jesus initiated a journey. He told His disciples; “let us cross over to the other side.” In other words, let us shift a little further to a higher spiritual threshold, let us go and have another spiritual experience, there is something you need to learn. So, while they journeyed, He fell asleep. Then the Bible says; “a great windstorm arose” What is a windstorm? A windstorm is a storm with very strong wind but little or no rain. This means that there could be a storm accompanied with rainfall and there could be a storm without any rain at all. So, the Bible says; “a great windstorm arose.” The question is: Where did it come from? So, the first thing we must note about storms is that it has a source. It has a point of origin, and it also has an aim. It could produce a blessing and it could also destroy. While the storm that comes with rain could produce a blessing, the aim of the other is to prevent you from reaching your destination.

 

As you journey in leadership, always know that storms never come as your friend, they come as the opposite and its aim is to either make you float or make you sink. Its aim is not just to drawn you in the oceans of life, but to also elevate you. If anyone of this will become your experience, it ultimately depends your resistance and how you handle any storm that comes your way. So, a great storm arose and the Bible says; “and the waves beat into the boat” At this point we now know the kind of storm that rose up, it was not accompanied with rain. How did I know that? See what the Scripture said; “it beats the waves into the boat.” It didn’t bring rain but beat the waves of the sea into the boat. So, there are some storms that arise in your life that may not come in the conventional way because we always believe storms come with a rain. Storms are peculiar to individuals, depending on the lessons God wants His child to learn. While storms could come as a chastisement, it may also come as a consequence of our choices.  The aim of this storm is to throw external factors in our mind which begins to cause fear, panic and anxiety.

 

If the waves can enter the boat then the boat can sink. Why will the boat sink? Because the water that comes into the boat increases the weight. Most times what we see as storms are series of external activities or turbulence that affect our inner mind. This is why peace is always very important. If you can guard your heart with the peace that comes from the Holy Spirit, you would be able to rise above every storms of life. What storms do is to trouble your waters, affect your marriage, your finance, your ministry, or your leadership. When you begin to think of what will I eat, what will I wear, how will I pay my children school fees. These are factors that trigger storms, they are the waters that get into your boat to sink you. Jesus said “is life not more than these things?”

 

There are two basic factors that trigger storms. The storms of disobedience or rebellion which is calmed by repentance, submission, restitution and yieldedness, and the storm triggered for faith test, which is calmed by peace, patience, endurance and engaging the word. And it is important that these two should never be misinterpreted or mixed-up together. However, there is no storm that has the capacity to destroy you. How you handle your storm determines whether it will sink you or lift you. This incidence was a storm that arose as a test of faith. How did I know that? Jesus said: “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” So, Jesus expects us to guard our hearts against fear, because that is what most storms do. When the element of fear creeps in then the leader, man/woman is defeated.

 

Often times we have come to believe that when we go through a hard time it is as a result of the sins we have committed and a product of God's judgement for our errors and mistakes. Some may say “the law of karma”, others would say “His/her cup is full and the wrath of God’s displeasure is poured upon him/her.” As true as this assertion may sound it may not also be true in all cases. Some difficulty or storms come your way to test your faith and how rooted you are in the word. When the disciples of Jesus Christ were sailing together with Him, the Bible says while Jesus fell asleep, “a great storm arose.” Was it because they were not righteous? No! Was it because they were not in the will of God at that moment? No!

 

It wasn’t even because God was not on their side. As a matter of fact, the Bible says in the book of Isaiah 43:2 says; when you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.”  So, He was with them right in the midst of the difficulty. So, they were leaders who were in proper alignment with the will of God. But they failed to see who was with them in the fire and in the waters. And then the stretching of faith came. So, while the storm was afflicting these leaders, they were in jeopardy, they cried for help, they panicked, not knowing what to do. They thought they could salvage the situation on their own, did their best but to no avail.

 

Did their fear still the storm? No! Did their anxiety still the storm? No! Even if they were to be crying from now till tomorrow would it have made any difference? That is to show that nothing else can still that storm you are going through apart from the word; Jesus Himself. I wonder which of the disciple thought it wise to engage the Master. He said; “teacher do you not care that we are perishing” and the Bible says; “He rose up and rebuked the wind.” Any time you encounter storms in your life, rebuking the wind by the word is the last and wisest option you have.  In such times, you must self-introspect and understand why you are going through what you are going through.

 

If it is a mistake you have made correct it, if you realize you had been arrogant repent and retract your step. Your understanding at this point determines if you will continue in that storm or come out triumphantly. You can’t continue to walk in disobedience to the word and expect not to encounter storms, Jonah also found Himself in the same situation. It will be foolish of Him to exercise faith and keep praying while the world is crashing down on you.

 

The book of Romans 10:8 says; The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” until you confess it you will never be saved. That word is the word of faith. (emphasis mine).  The word is beside you “The teacher was sleeping” the word is beside you but lying dormant. If you will not sink then you must not be ignorant of the word that is beside you, it is not far from you, confess it, believe it and you shall be saved. Activate it, engage it, wake Him up and it will work wonders. The reason why you will continue to battle with that problems and manage that storms is because you haven't engaged the word. It is not because there is no word; the word has since been spoken. Have you heard and discerned it? Find it, confess it, engage it, believe it and you will be saved.

 

Storms that arise as a result of rebellion, disobedience and stiffness of the neck can only be calmed by seeking wisdom from the Lord, and discernment. You cannot fast it away neither can you pray it away, you just need to open your eyes to see the level of access God has provided. The word is beside you. There are also times were the turbulence we go through requires that we are faithful and endure more, knowing that it is a phase that we must necessarily have to pass through in order to gain promotion in the spirit. This is one of the most difficult turbulence or storms that a lot of people never go through.

 

When it first begins, they may pray, fast engage the word but then it seems as if nothing is happening, they begin to question God and eventually give up. Some storms require a dogged and mega faith with resilience. There are storms that come to test your faith to see how much you love, trust and how you can be vulnerable without God. Jobs wife said “curse God and die" but he knows that his redeemer lives, even though his situations were not palatable he cannot stop trusting God. Though He slay him; yet he will continue to trust Him, nothing shall separate him from the love of God. He believed that what you going through is a phase that will last just for a moment.

 

Have you wondered why the righteous fall seven times and yet rise again? If the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord why does he have to fall a countless number of times? It is because each time he falls it is a stepping stone to greatness. I am not saying you must err to fall so that you will rise again. No! what I am saying is this: sometimes there are certain pathways that have been preordained for you that you must necessarily have to follow in order to see the goodness of God. And those pathways could be very rough and uncomfortable for you. Remember I said it is not only sinners that experience hard times, as a matter of fact the righteous man experience even worse. It may not happen once or twice it may even be up to seven times.

 

Apostle Peter fell 3 times in the same situation in one night, perhaps somebody might be saying how can I fall like that; wont I learn my lessons? See the statement Jesus made to him before the denial in Luke 22:31. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat”  You must remember that Peter’s intention was not in rebellion, it was a harmless love for his Mater if I may put it that way. He said I will go all the way with you. Are we seeing now that this same conversation happened between God and Satan over Job? Its repeating itself here also? The king James version puts it this way; “Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.” How comes a Peter that loved Jesus begin to deny Him. How comes an aggressive Peter that slashed someone’s ear now retreat with denial. Satan must have had his bet, Satan; the enemy came to sow a seed.

 

Does Peter love You for nothing? “Satan has asked for you” does it not look like a permission? Give me Peter let me handle him a little, allow me to shake his faith a little. Allow me to sift him like a wheat. But Peter didn’t end up like judas Iscariot, rather than hanging himself he repented. That is a way to calm your storm, just like Jonah he pleaded for mercy, just like the disciples they cried out “do you care that we perish? What is the storm you are facing? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you can rebuke your storm. But I want you to remember this; you can’t pray it away, neither can you wish it away, you must take deliberate actions.   Now this is the point I have been trying to make. Jesus said; But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

 

The sifting was a storm and the reason is that he may comfort the brethren with the same comfort which he was comforted. Jesus was specific about His faith not failing, he should draw strength from this experience, he should not go into self-pity and give up on the faith. He must endure all things for the sake of the elect. The reason why we go through these kinds of storms irrespective of the reason is because we must come to a place where we must acknowledge the grace and mercy of God.

 

The reason why we must be strong to overcome our storms is because, there are people, destinies and generations that are depending on your grace and you can’t afford to fail them. You owe them a debt you must pay; to whom much is given, much is required. Your story will become their strength, your mistakes becomes a word of wisdom for them. The marks and scars you get will become a trophy for them tomorrow. The Bible says; “By His strips we are made whole.”  The stripes were His; but the healing was ours, the infirmity buffeted by Satan was a torn on Apostle Paul’s flesh but we learnt that grace is sufficient and that it will abound even much more, the devil sifted Peter so that we may learn that repentance is the way back to the Father.

 

Jesus said to Thomas: "Put your finger here; see my hands, reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." It is so that we may know that we will be blessed when we believe without seeing. Without the scars nobody will believe, without the infirmity we won’t be quoting “My grace is sufficient for you”, without the sifting we cannot weep in repentance. The name of the Lord is a strong tower the righteous run into it and they are saved: the name of the Lord is the only refuge you can run to for safety in order not for the storms of life not to toss you to and fro. I want to encourage you today; He who endures to the end shall receive the crown of life. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

 

It doesn’t matter how long the night has been, God will show up for you, it doesn’t matter how far you have strayed you can still return back to the Father; it doesn’t matter how much time you have wasted He said “I restore the years that the swarming locust, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust has eaten.” Be strong you will surely overcome. Psalm 34:19-20 says; “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. See that?” You are not exempted from troubles because you are righteous, you overcome the trouble because you are righteous.

 

Don’t be afraid of the storm because the storm is only but a process, and that process is to make you know God better, makes you stronger, wiser, and more anointed. Thanks for the Gift of your time.


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Apeh Francis Abah!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.

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Storm Leadership Discipleship JesusJune2020


Understanding that God is intentional about our lives despite all odds will keep us at peace in life's storms and uncertainties.


Published: | Monday 21st June 2021


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Understanding that God is intentional about our lives despite all
  Understanding that God is intentional about our lives despite all
  Understanding that God is intentional about our lives despite all
  Understanding that God is intentional about our lives despite all
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FrankAbah on CentreNDL
Apeh Francis Abah

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My Name is Apeh Francis Abah. I am a writer, a disciple modelling after Christ and a Kingdom Expander. You can contact me via the following means: +2348032289322, email: frankabah46@gmail.com, Facebook: Apeh Francis, Twitter: Francis_Apeh


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