It is not unusual that each year will have it’s number of storms. Whether it be tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, etc. we can be sure that with time, they will come. However, not all “storms” are the same. True, there are natural storms that rage and bring destruction, but what about the “storms” of everyday life? Jesus once taught, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great” (Luke 6:46-49).
Of course, any lesson from the Lord is wonderful and useful. However, are we sure that we have learned this lesson? Jesus did not teach that life will always be easy! On the contrary, He taught just the opposite. There are two different men described in His lesson. The first one is indicative of the person that hears the Word of God and obeys it. Please notice that this man had to withstand a flood just like the other. Even the most devoted and loyal Christian will have days when it seems that “the flood waters” are rising. Paul informed Timothy, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). That is correct, even if we hear God’s Word and obey it, the “storms” will come! When writing about the work of Paul and Barnabas, Luke mentioned, “And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:21-22). Christians cannot depend on life always being easy.
Paul indicated to the Thessalonian brethren that “storms” would indeed come. “Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know” (1 Thess. 3:1-4). With all of that being said, no “storm” can ultimately destroy a faithful hearer and doer of the Word of God. A man like that should have no doubt that he can withstand “the storm” and still be “standing” when it is over. Conversely, Jesus taught that there is such an individual who will fall due to “the storms” that come his way.
Too many people refuse to hear God’s Word and do it! Day after day, they try to endure the situations of life, but truthfully they are not prepared. Sadly, there are also many of them that blame God for their own lack of preparation and application. Their falls are immediate and catastrophic. How much are we listening to the Word of God? How obedient are we to what we learn? Those things will determine just how many “storms” we will be able to weather. Let me conclude with the following truth: “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:23-26).
~ Corey Barnette