Thursday, April 30, 2020

On The Joyful Road In Suffering

Thursday, April 30, 2020  Submitted by Brad Martin
And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them…Acts 16:23, 25 (ESV)

On The Joyful Road In Suffering

If you have ever gone through a season of suffering, you probably know our natural response is to complain, gripe, or get angry. In Acts 16 we see Paul and Silas in the midst of suffering and they offer us a different response to suffering. Paul had recently experienced a serious and humiliating beating with their garments torn off of them, and orders to give to beat them with rods, and thrown into prison. 

What happened next was nothing short of a Holy Spirit movement of God! They didn’t complain, gripe, or even get angry. They prayed! They worshiped! They praised! They sang to God, with joy! God loves it when His people praise Him, and when we do, we experience His powerful presence who promises to never leave us or forsake us. 

If you keep reading in the text, it tells us “…and the prisoners were listening to them.” Joyful singing on the road to suffering isn’t what most people would expect. What most people would expect is for us to point out to others our problems, our suffering, our prison that we are in. But what if we could take on the response that Paul and Silas took? If you are on the road to suffering, sing praising the ONE who is greater than our suffering. Praise the ONE who brought you to this road of suffering and who will see us through to the other side! When we get to this point, people will take notice. Not of us, but to Jesus!

As Christ followers, I pray we can continuously get to a place where no matter what road we are on, we allow the ever-present Holy Spirit to fill us and help us. When that happens, He will use our situation and our response to Glorify Him, and to draw people to the ONE who holds all things together.

Press On,
Brad Martin - Worship Pastor
North Side Baptist Church

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Jesus, The True Vine

Wednesday, April 29, 2020  Submitted by Donna Lindquist
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing

Jesus, The True Vine
Jesus is speaking directly to his disciples and compares their relationship to the branches of a tree or vine. In these verses, he demonstrates the love of God as the gardener. He also affirms that as his true disciples, they must abide or endure in Him to become mature and produce fruit. 

So, let’s think about plants for a moment.  What do they need to survive?
1) good soil 2) light 3) water.

We all know that plants will die without these things.   So, think about what is necessary for plants.  First, good cultivated soil is either purchased or provided.  Then any weeds are removed, and rich soil is added.  The planted seeds or small plants are monitored for a time and any stems or leaves that become discolored or no longer look appealing are discarded.  Adequate light, and water are added while eagerly waiting for the plant to grow.

What else does the plant need to flourish?   Even if it gets all it needs to survive, it also requires the care of the gardener.  We have all seen plants that are not maintained and left to die.  They can’t support themselves but require specialized care of a knowledgeable person. They can absorb water and lean into the light, but somehow know their very survival, care and purpose depends on the heart of the gardener. The gardener’s desire is for the plant to flourish, thrive and produce blossoms or fruit.  

So now think about being a plant or vine in God’s garden. Jesus wants his true disciples to crave Him-- like plants crave water, soil and light!  Our true desire must be to abide in Him and be eager to soak up all the richness of His presence.  Because God knows our deepest needs and can provide beyond what we can imagine or think.   So, when we truly abide in Christ, we reflect His presence in our priorities, habits, hobbies, and relationships, and Christ flows in every aspect of our lives -- We produce fruit!

God wants us to have life abundantly. But it can take time to cultivate a healthy foundation, so just begin by leaning into the Light of the World (Jesus) and drinking richly from the refreshing Living water (salvation).  God cares for you and is waiting to grow your knowledge and faith in Him.  His heart if for you to be a beautiful blossom and be successful in all your work and relationships.  

Remember that sometimes God may need to weed out some areas of your life or cut away some dead or unsightly leaves.  This is not meant to be a punishment, but a method of discipline for you to grow and mature in Christ.  It can bring pain, sorrow, and even loss but ultimately will make you stronger to weather any storm.   

So, stay connected to Jesus, abide in His great love for you.  He is always with you and desires for you to flourish, thrive, and produce abundant fruit.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Drop the Expectations

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 Submitted by Lara Cook
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.  Psalm 37:5

When we lay down our expectations, we open the door for God to do amazing things in our lives. Expectations will keep us from experiencing the blessing of
God working in ways we don’t expect.

What has gone the way you expected it in the last couple of months?  Not much has gone the way I expected it to, and I think most of us can say the same.  Birthdays, Easter, Anniversaries, and all the other things, have not gone off like we expected.  Even with the promise of re-opening our country, some things are still being cancelled, like vacations, mission trips, camps, and

Moms who are homeschooling now – how has it been for you?  Has homeschooling gone as you expected?  Even getting to be home altogether with our families bring all kinds of great expectations in our minds about how it will be, all the fun things we will do, and all the warm fuzzy feelings that go with that.  And then everyone wakes up.  Someone – or more than one of us – gets up on the wrong side of the bed.  Maybe the kids are fighting even before breakfast is served.  It is hard to concentrate with the noise of everyone else home and working. The kids are happy for a while and then they are bored. We get tired of going outside, tired of playing, tired of cleaning, tired of cooking.  
This is not what we expected. None of it.
If we don’t let go of those expectations, we dwell on what is not and miss what is.  And what is, no matter how messy it may seem, is right where you can find God.

It is not just a choice; it is a decision to lay down the expectations.  We don’t ever choose for things to not go the way we planned.  That’s the problem.  Even when I pray sometimes, I expect God to answer my prayer in the way I plan for it to be answered – the way I want things to work out in my life. So, I wait.  I watch.  I wonder why He isn’t answering my prayers when I am looking in the wrong direction.  Not to say that He doesn’t ever answer our prayers exactly the way we want Him to, but sometimes He wants to work a miracle where we don’t believe a miracle is possible.  And He ultimately knows what the very best thing is for us because He sees the whole picture and we don’t.  He does want to give us the desires of our hearts because He loves us so much, but He also wants us to trust Him and sometimes the desires of our hearts are not the best thing for us.  It is hard to let it go and trust.  We think we see the whole picture in our head of how things should be, but there are things we can’t see that He knows.  Wouldn’t you take the very best care of your child’s heart and do everything in your power to keep them from being hurt?  Imagine how much more our Heavenly Father loves us and how He is working to take such good care of our hearts. 

God gives us grace for today.  He gives us one step at a time, never the whole path or even the next step. He desires for us to trust Him and abide in Him.  Lay down your expectations and open your life for Him to bless you in ways you never imagined.

Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves,
for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.  Joshua 3:5

Monday, April 27, 2020


Monday, April 27,2020
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, Messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. Rename them "Oaks of Righteousness" planted by GOD to display his glory.  Isaiah 61:3  MSG

Everyone encounters discouragement in their life at one time or another.  Loss of job, failure in business, family or personal areas, lingering illness and a host of other life events can trigger a sense of hopelessness   This is the devil’s greatest tool for distracting us from the purpose God has planned for us.  Right now, many of us are experiencing discouragement. We have experienced much unexpected and forced change in our lives due to COVID-19. It seemed like we may be coming out of it and the hope of life returning as we knew it was hinted.  However, though it may be on the horizon, life will probably never be the same again for most of us.  And it sounds like things may open up again but extremely slowly.  We are all ready to get back to the swing of things - like work and church and visiting friends.  But the discouraging news is that it really won't happen anytime soon.  Loss, disappointment, and discouragement are three feelings we have become well acquainted with, among others like fear, sadness, and loneliness. 
DISCOURAGEMENT - when things don't happen the way WE think they should.

·         There must be an expectation for there to be disappointment.

·         The dictionary defines discouragement as; a feeling of despair in the face of obstacles; or a state of distraught and loss of sense of enthusiasm, drive or courage.

Discouragement is a disease that is unique to human beings.  It is real, universal, recurring, and everyone gets it.  It is also contagious.  Just hang around with discouraged people and see how it affects you.

Satan wants to lead us on a path of destruction using frustration, discouragement, disillusionment, depression, and defeat.  He wants us to be defeated by discouragement and therefore to lose our purpose and direction. 

But God promises to replace ashes with beauty, strength for fear, gladness for mourning and peace for despair.  We just have to look to Him and allow Him to lift us from the pit of discouragement.  We have to close our minds to Satan’s lies and accept God’s mercy and healing.  This is the first step to pushing past discouragement and moving on.

Since we are somewhat isolated right now it is very important to be aware of things that lead to discouragement:

·         Fatigue - Physical and emotional exhaustion lower our defenses

·         Frustration  - Feeling overwhelmed by interruptions and unfinished tasks

·         Failure  - Deals fall through, a marriage fails, plans fall apart, a child on drugs

·         Fear – Fear of criticism, responsibility, failure

We need to remember to expect some disappointment in life and also to expect that God will use it for His glory.

We could definitely use some messages of joy today instead of MORE news of doom. During this time of waiting and social distancing ourselves, if discouragement creeps in, ask God to turn your ashes into beauty, to give you strength instead of fear, to give you joy to replace mourning, and peace for despair. 

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Facing The Unexpected

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Facing The Unexpected
Isaiah 38:1-22
Today we are going to look at the life of King Hezekiah as he faces a crisis. Something totally unexpected happened in his life and we are going to discover what God has to say to us, as we face this unexpected crisis that has come upon us.
Suddenly, our lives, that seemed so sure, so plannable, now seems so uncertain and vulnerable, and like King Hezekiah, we are in shock. 
When Hezekiah Faced an Unexpected Crisis, He Prayed.
·      Prayer changes the course of history.
·      God’s sovereignty includes the prayers of His people..  
When Hezekiah Faced an Unexpected Crisis, He Suffered Anguish.
·      Hezekiah feared separation from loved ones.
·      Hezekiah felt fragile.
·      Hezekiah feared being cut off.
·      Hezekiah felt anxious.
·      Hezekiah feared that God was against him.
·      Hezekiah felt weary.
Let your anguish lead you to the Lord.
When Hezekiah Faced an Unexpected Crisis, He Trusted the Word of God. 
·      God normally works through means.
·      We should use the means God has made avaliable.
Think of it this way: God works through means and that means you!
·      A crisis brings out the best and worst in people.
·      Pray, and never forget you are the church, and everywhere you place your foot, you take the kingdom of God with you

Friday, April 24, 2020

We All Need Each Other

Friday, April 24, 2020 Submitted by Donnie O’Fallon
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A chord or three strands is not quickly broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:12 
We All Need Each Other
The COVID19 experience has impacted all of us in different ways. For me, the above scripture was brought to mind, and it has reminded me and made me more aware of the statement we’ve all heard, “No man/woman is an island.” This experience has also made me realize that I need and miss being with my friends and my brothers and sisters in Christ. Brother Van has often said, “life is about relationships and if you can’t do relationships, you can’t do life!” We need one another. I have determined to do all that I can during this time, and beyond that, I will do all that I can do now to strengthen every relationship in my life.

Ever see a flock of geese in the Fall flying in that “V” formation? Scientists have determined that there is an aero dynamic that occurs in this formation, fighting a head wind. When the lead bird tires, he /she will fall back in the “V” formation and another takes the lead thus maintaining that aero dynamic, making it easier on all the flock. They need each other.

 As human beings, we’re created for community. We need each other physically and especially spiritually. Alone and isolated, we’re more vulnerable. We need relationships with each other for encouragement, refreshment, and growth. In 1 Corinthians 12:21 NIV, Paul reminds us as he uses the analogy of the human body, The eye cannot say to the hand, I don’t need you! And the head cannot say to the feet, I don’t need you!


I close with a final passage from Ephesians 3:16 NIV to encourage you:
I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Proof of Love

Thursday, April 23, 2020  Some material taken from God Pursues a Continuing Love Relationship That Is Real and Personal by Van Houser
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  1 John 4:7

Proof of Love

When God truly takes up residence in our lives, others will encounter His love, His patience, His gentleness, and His kindness in us. He will use us to demonstrate His love to others and God will send people—whether a family member, a colleague, or an entire organization—to demonstrate His love for us. There is no way we can be children of God and not love others.  God’s whole nature is love and our actions will be proof of our relationship with Him.  The evidence of love is loving. 

Loving as God loves is not natural, but supernatural.  We simply cannot love others the way He does because we are human, but His love comes through us to others.  

Not Pride but Service
The evidence of God’s love is not spiritual pride but humble service to others. That’s exactly how our lives ought to be affecting those around us. It’s not that I love Him but that He loved me and sent His Son to make up the difference in my life and to bring me into a relationship with Him.  That grace and mercy and love extended to me moves me to have grace and mercy and love for others.  The love of one believer for another completes God’s love in us.

Pursued by the King of Kings
How has God showed that loves us?
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8  He saw our greatest need (sinners). Condemned in our sin, hopeless in our condition, separated from life. He met our greatest need (Christ died for us) and suffered for us. The King of Kings gave His life for us and still pursues us every time we get off track. That is love – that He would come after us, again and again, and draw us back while He patiently waits.

A major discovery for a believer is that blessing is based in obedience. Our obedience determines how God will manifest His love in our life. John 14:21 says Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. Obedience does not save us or sanctify us but positions us for God to bless us, and our obedience shows our trust and love for Him.  Jesus couldn’t have said it plainer than what He said in John 14:15 - If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

You cannot truly love if you do not first love God. It is His love in us that pours out to others. Have you truly been born again? Do your actions build up or destroy? Do they bring life or take life away? Do people want to be around you, or do they avoid you. Do you treat others as though Christ sent them to you? Whom has Christ sent for you to learn from and love? These are hard questions but right now is a good time for some soul searching. We are all living in close quarters, spending more time together than usual.  We are being tested in our faith and in our relationships too.

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the
world, so that we might live through him. 1 John 4: 8-9

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

God Is Here and He is Working

Wednesday, April 22, 2020  

…the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Matthew 4:16-17

God is Here and He is Working
If there was ever a time when God’s children needed to pray that we might know and hear the voice of God and follow the ways of God, it’s now. When we look at the events of the world and believe they are the result of the actions of men and not God, we get confused and afraid.  We tend to forget the beliefs we hold on the sovereignty of God, that even in this present crisis He is in control.  He saw it coming, He was prepared, and He is working through it.  We have already seen some great things happen that cannot be attributed to anything else other than His hand.

A lot of us have sat staring at the news with our jaw gaping open because we didn’t think this could ever happen.  We need to stop reacting and take action to be the hands and feet of Jesus as much as possible.  He is working and He wants us to be working with Him.  John 12:26 says If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. If we are truly His servants where will we be? Right beside Him serving however He tells us to serve.  There are lots of ways to do His work from where you are – maybe call a friend who lives alone or donate some items to a church or group that is putting together packages for those in need.  Some are sewing masks. These acts of kindness are displays of God’s love.

We Are Qualified For the Job
God uses ordinary people to do His extraordinary work, as He always has. the Bible is full of story after story of ordinary people that God used to do mighty things. Right now, the world is hurting and dark.  Our job is to bring the light. That’s our purpose—every corner of darkness exposed by the light of our presence so that broken families, sick people, people who lost jobs, those struggling with addictions, and others will know the light of God and His love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace.  He has qualified us with His sanctification and sacrifice on the cross. 

The Gospel Shared
There are more people seeking and looking for God and, ironically, there are more opportunities for people to hear the gospel.  While there are not a greater number of churches meeting than there were before.  already was, now most churches are online, so if someone were searching online it would be so easy for them to find a church service or Bible study to watch.  Lay people are also sharing the word more frequently in live videos.  He is working in hearts and touching lives and strengthening families.

We Are Less Distracted
Time has slowed way down for a lot of us.  All the dist    ractions and busyness have suddenly been shut down and we are left with a lot of time on our hands, and we are getting more rest as result also.  Our lives were packed with precious little free time for family and God.  Now He has our attention and we have the time. We are spending more time with family and we have more time for His work.

Many things have closed temporarily, but God never shuts down, and just because the doors of the church are shut, that does not mean He is not working. Nor does it mean that we are not to be working.  He never stops working and when the world needs Him the most, He is there, always accessible. He wants us to spread the news, get the word out – He is the way maker.  He is working even when we don’t see it.  He is working even when we don’t feel it – yes even in a world crisis.  He is faithful and keeps His promises – no matter the circumstances. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Grief In The Midst Of A Global Pandemic

Tuesday, April 21, 2020  
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27
Grief in the midst of a Global PandemicRight now many of us are dealing with emotions that we cannot exactly identify.  We feel… afraid.  We feel…angry.  We feel…shock.  We feel…lonely.  We feel…sad.  What we may be feeling is grief. Loss of life is the loss most often associated with grief, but in truth, all loss can bring feelings of grief.  
We have all experienced a lot of loss.  Many have lost jobs.  Some have lost close friends or family, and the world in general has lost a lot of lives. We have lost contact with some of our family and for some, that means they haven’t been hugged or had a physical touch in over a month.  We have lost fellowship somewhat even though we are still communicating online and watching our churches online.  We have lost security.  We have lost normal life as we knew it.  And we have lost time while simultaneously gaining time - lots of it - at home. More time at home great, depending on your home. The time lost with family, friends, etc., is gone forever.  We have lost traditions as well. Some of us are anxious over what losses are still to come, which is called anticipatory grief.
I am not trying to focus on everything we don’t have, but just want to highlight the fact that we have lost a lot in a short amount of time and some of us are bound to feel grief over it, and it is a very valid feeling. Some signs of grief are trouble focusing on normal tasks, sleeping much more or less than usual, feelings of anger and irritability, headaches and digestive issues, no energy or feeling fatigued, and of course overeating, online shopping, drinking, and avoiding thinking or talking about your feelings. 
If you are feeling any of these things, it doesn’t mean you don’t have enough faith.  It means you are human, and God made you and understands. We understand that we are in temporary circumstances, yet we also understand that things have changed and some of them will never be the same again. It may be insignificant things, like always having a supply of toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizer on hand, but it is still uncomfortable to us. It is hard when we step outside on a beautiful sunny day and then we remember there is a global pandemic going on.  
The excerpt is from an article in Harvard Business Review published about grief during COVID-19:
Understanding the stages of grief is a start. But whenever I talk about the stages of grief, I have to remind people that the stages aren’t linear and may not happen in this order. It’s not a map but it provides some scaffolding for this unknown world. There’s denial, which we say a lot of early on: This virus won’t affect us. There’s anger: You’re making me stay home and taking away my activities. There’s bargaining: Okay, if I social distance for two weeks everything will be better, right? There’s sadness: I don’t know when this will end. And finally there’s acceptance. This is happening; I have to figure out how to proceed.
Fear is also playing a major part in the chaos in our hearts.  We hear the worst-case scenarios on the news and social media, and it stirs up everything we have been fighting down. What can we do when we are overcome with these feelings?
Reach Out to Family and Friends - You may want to turn inward and not talk to anyone because of how you are feeling.  Reach out!  Sometimes just a conversation with someone who loves and cares about us makes all the difference.
 Listen to Podcasts or Sermons that are Uplifting and Positive - Nothing can lift a heavy heart like worshipping.  Just the very act in itself can completely change our feelings. 
Pray! - God knows how we feel, and He understands. He wants to take the burden from us and He wants us to lean into Him and find the peace that fear has stolen.  
Get Help - If you feel like you need to talk to a pastor, don’t hesitate to reach out to your church. 
These are unprecedented times, which adds another layer to our whirlwind of emotions.  Who should we listen to, because this pandemic is unprecedented. But this is nothing new to God.  He was not taken off guard and surprised that this virus has caused such an upheaval. He knew and He has been through the whole thing and knows how it looks on the other side of it.  He will lead us but only one step at a time.  We can trust Him to heal our land and our hearts, and He is the only one that can do it. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

“Re-Opening” Our Lives

Monday, April 20, 2020
Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.  1 Samuel 12:24

“Re-Opening” Our Lives
As we have been through these past weeks of quarantine, many of us have realized that there are a lot of things in our lives that we can and want to live without.  It seems like we may be on the decline of the virus and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It has been hard, but in many ways, it has been a nice break from the real world.  I think the question that we all need to ask ourselves is What is the takeaway from my personal experience during this pandemic.  In the weeks ahead we may be re-emerging into the world.  It is time to think about what you want to do differently.  How has God changed you during this time, or have you let Him work on and through you during this time?  Or have you grumped your way through every day, missing the blessings and lessons?  It is true, perspective is everything. 

Transformation or change rarely happens in calm circumstances.  It is the test of faith that turns us to our Heavenly Father more than ever and in these tests, we seek so earnestly, desperately.  Our eyes are wide open, and our hearts are exposed and raw.  These are conditions that God can work with.  We don’t always allow Him to transform us when we think nothing needs to change.  We don’t seek so desperately when everything is stable and certain.  Often when we are pressed, we surrender without resistance and gladly lay it at His feet asking Him to fix it.  And we wait.  During this suspension of time is usually when transformation happens.  It is easy to quickly forget what has changed in our relationship with God when things go back to normal.  If we want the very best God has for us, we will take the transformation that happens in our heart and keep it when it is time to move forward.

We can all start now thinking about how we want to “re-open” our lives.  This is the perfect opportunity to start over for many.  We will begin letting things back into our lives in coming weeks and we have control over what we choose to pick back up or leave out.  Don’t give up the changes that God has made in your heart, life, and family.  Leave the idols.  Leave the thieves that have robbed you of your time.  Leave the busyness.  Leave all the things – all the things that have kept you exhausted, distracted, beat down, and feeling completely worthless.

God uses every second of our lives and there have undoubtedly been some lessons learned and some revelations made since mid-March.  As you think about getting back into the swing of things, be intentional about these things:

·         Priorities – Make God first and your family second and don’t let anything creep back in between you and this goal.

·         Get Back Into Worship – Most of us can’t wait to get back to fellowshipping with our church body but, let’s face it, lazy Sunday mornings – snuggled up – watching church in PJ’s - we have all enjoyed it.  It will be harder to not turn off the alarm when we have the opportunity to come together again.

·         Remember What You Have Gained – Don’t throw away the good things that have happened.  Maybe a family relationship was mended.  Maybe your kids found out they really enjoyed spending time as a family instead of always going somewhere or engrossing themselves in social media.  Maybe you have found new hobbies to do together like biking, or hiking.
As we “re-open” our lives, we should be very careful what we re-open them to. I can promise you that Satan is not happy with the good things that God has done through this crisis.  Hold tight to what you have gained because he will be on the prowl trying to take back what he has lost.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Till The Storm Passes By

Till The Storm Passes By
Mark 4:35-41
Seeking a break from the demand of the excited crowds that had begun to follow him, Jesus took a boat, and with some of his disciples, drifted off for some rest and relaxation.  But suddenly their leisure day was disrupted by a violent storm. From this experience we learn some things that can help us in the light of sudden devastating circumstances that come in our lives.
·      Although the Son of God is on the boat, it is no guarantee against a sudden storm. 
·      The fact that we live in a fallen world with fallen people means we will deal with trouble in life.  
Storms Bring Waves of Doubt. Mark 4:38a
·      Panic overrides reason and perspective.  
·      When God does not act as we think He should our initial reaction is to question His power.  
The Doubts of the Disciples
·      They Doubted His Concern
The disciples were looking at situations and not at the Savior.
When I cannot trace His hand, I can always trust His heart.
·      They Doubted His Commitment
Jesus did not save you to abandon you when the going gets a little tough.
·      They Doubted His Course
If they had believed His words, they could have shouted in the face of the storm.
·      Storms Force Us to Choose; Fear or Faith?
·      When fear comes, faith is challenged.
Fear and faith coexist.
·      When the storms comes into our lives, the Savior is looking for us to look to Him.
Storms Cannot Cover the Sound of Our Cries  
Isaiah 59:1
·      Though the storm may cover the sound of our voices, it cannot silence the cry of our heart to God.  
Storms Don’t Last Forever – Mark 4:39
·      Every storm loses its power; especially when the Creator calls for it to cease.
Storms Affect More Than Just Us – Mark 4:36
·      I love to hear a good testimony, but I hate to make one.
Storms are Subject to the Soverign – Mark 4:41
·      The boat could not sink because God’s plan for the world was on it.
·      God’s purpose for our lives is not affected by whims, accidents, circumstances, illnesses, and evil.  God works through these to bring about His will.

·      Fear  turned to awe at the work of the Master. 

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