So far in 2011, in addition to being riveted to news
of political uprisings, we have lived in or read reports on “Snowmagedon,” Australian floods, tornadoes in the southern USA, earthquakes in New Zealand, China and numerous other countries – each storm’s magnitude seems to break its previous record . As I write this, news is still unfolding from Japan’s earthquake and the impending tsunamis expected to hit American soil. It seems our world is being battered by one deadly, destructive storm after another. We grieve with those who have lost loved ones and weep with those who have lost businesses, homes, cars and keepsakes.
While the newspapers are filled with news of the storms’ terror, many other people across our nation and world are experiencing storms that are just as devastating, yet not as obvious: storms of divorce, disease or death; storms of betrayal, bankruptcy or blindness; storms of abuse, adultery or addiction; storms that leave shattered lives, broken hearts and shredded hopes; storms that turn dreams into nightmares.
My own ministry, home and extended family have not been exempt from storms over the years. We have been affected by all of the hurricanes to some degree-and we have been hit by the less-visible storms as well. The best shelter I know from the storm is God’s Word. So as I have cried out to God for help, He has reminded me of five things that I have in the midst of any storm-five things that never can be destroyed by wind, flood, fire, terrorism, enemy attack or anything else.
What storm has struck your life? If you are God’s child through faith in Jesus Christ, He also promises the same five things to you. Whether you’re new to God’s Word or a long-time Christian, I encourage you to join me in exploring the Bible’s promises to each of us as the storms rage around us.
Five Things a Storm Can’t Destroy
by Anne Graham Lotz
READ MARK 6:45-52
You Have His Purpose – Mark 6:45
- Give a phrase from Mark 6:45 that shows that the disciples were in God’s will when the storm struck.
- From these verses, list other storms that swept across the lives of those Jesus loved, who also were in God’s will. (John 11:1-3; Acts 4:1-3, 7:55-60, 14:19-20, 16:22-24, 27:1-44; Revelation 1:9.)
- Because storms come into the lives of everyone, what unique promise is given to those who belong to God by faith in Jesus Christ when they experience storms? (See Romans 8:28.)
- Would you ask God to give you a glimpse of His purpose for allowing a storm to sweep through your life?
You Have His Prayers – Mark 6:46
- What do you think Jesus was praying about in Mark 6:46? (See John 6:14-15 for help with your answer.)
- How is this same attitude a concern for prayer today?
- For whom do you think Jesus was praying?
- Give phrases from John 17 that reveal how Jesus prays for you and me, especially when we are in the midst of a storm.
- What does Hebrews 7:25 say about His prayers for you?
- Put into your own words what it means to you to know that Jesus is praying for you-now–while you are in the midst of your storm.
- Would you thank Jesus now for praying for you?
You Have His Presence – Mark 6:47-48
- After prayer, what did Jesus do?
- Give phrases that reveal that Jesus is not indifferent to our storms. (See Mark 6:47-48; John 9:1; John 9:35; John 11:33-35.)
- If these passages reveal that Jesus is not indifferent to our storms, why do you think He is indifferent to yours?
- Which of the following promises is most encouraging to you, and why? (See Exodus 33:14; Joshua 1:9; 2 Chronicles 20:15, 17; Psalm 23:4; Isaiah 43:1-2; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5.)
- Spend a few moments in quiet reflection on these promises until deep within your spirit you are reassured of His presence with you.
You Have His Peace – Mark 6:48-50
- What did the disciples have to do before they could experience His peace? (See Mark 6:49 and John 6:21.)
- Why do you think Jesus almost passed by in verse 48? (Relate this to Ezekiel 36:37 (KJV) and John 14:13-14.)
- What do you have to do to experience His presence and His peace in the midst of your storm? (Compare Hosea 7:14 with Psalm 18:3-19.)
- Have you called out to the Lord? If not, what are you waiting for?
- What do the following verses tell us about peace in the midst of the storm? (Luke 24:36-39; John 14:27, 16:33, 20:19-20; Ephesians 2:14; Philippians 4:6-7.)
- Describe an experience of supernatural peace in the midst of a storm in your life.
You Have His Power – Mark 6:51-52
- From the following verses, how was the power of Christ revealed:On the lake in Mark 6:51 and in Luke 8:23-25?
- Is this same power available to you and me today? (See Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Timothy 1:7.)
Storms can be sudden and fierce, raging until they suck the life out of us. When the storm comes – as it did in Isaiah’s life in the year that King Uzziah died (Isaiah 6:1-5)-don’t look back or around or ahead. Look up and ask God to give you a fresh vision of His purpose, His prayers, His presence, His peace and His power. It’s my prayer that when you have worked through this study guide, you will have fresh hope for your own life, and a fresh desire to reach out to comfort someone else by sharing the source of your hope – Jesus!