And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.
Just as the Lord promised, everyone on board survived the storm. Following are four reasons why storms come into our lives ...
1. Storms of correction. Ask brother Jonah about these. When a storm arose and he was tossed overboard and swallowed by a great fish, it was because he was rebelling against the Lord (Jonah 1: 10). So too, sometimes when I’m in a place of disobedience or rebellion, the Lord will allow a storm to get me on track again.
2. Storms of perfection. After Jesus fed the five thousand, He sent His disciples across the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14). Midway through their journey, a storm arose around them. Why? For their perfection. You see, Jesus knew it wouldn’t be too many months before these same disciples would see another multitude of five thousand — not fed, but saved (Acts 4:4) — followed by another storm — not on the sea, but of persecution within the Church (Acts 8:1). Thus, Jesus was training His boys to endure the storms of persecution which inevitably follow the seasons of blessing.
Faith is not a pill we take, folks. It’s a muscle we work. Therefore, the Lord will send me into a storm from time to time not for correction, but for perfection because the way I react to storms internally will tell me where I’m at spiritually. Storms provide unique opportunity for me to see where I’m at, and to grow in my understanding that the Lord will come through at the right time, saying, ‘Be of good cheer. We’re going to make it.’
3. Storms of protection. Because ‘Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord,’ (Genesis 6:8), God sent a storm to drown out all of the carnality, sin, and iniquity which surrounded him. The storm raged for forty days and nights, but Noah and his family were not only protected in the storm — they were protected by the storm.
‘Oh, no!’ we cry. ‘My TV blew up,’ or ‘My stereo doesn’t work. What a storm I’m in.’ But, as in Noah’s case, it might be a storm of protection — protecting us from the carnality and iniquity which surround us continually.
4. Storms of direction. Knowing there was a group of people on the island of Malta in need of ministry, the Lord said, ‘Before you go to Rome, Paul, I’m going to allow you to be blown off course because of something I want you to do for Me — something you never would have thought of on your own, something that wasn’t part of your agenda. I have some people to whom I want to minister, so I’ll allow a storm to arise, which, although it looks like it’s blowing you off course, will put you in the very place I want to use you.’
‘How come I got canned?’ ‘Why did she dump me?’ ‘How come it’s not working out?’ we ask.
Don’t be blown away. Realize that the Lord is changing your direction because there’s something He wants to do that will ultimately be a blessing.
Storms of correction and perfection, storms of protection and direction — how can you know which one you might be in? Talk to the Father. Say, ‘Why am I in this storm, Lord? Is it correction — or are You perfecting me for what You see is coming my way? Is there a new direction for my life — or are You protecting me from something which would be very damaging?’
How long has it been since you got away to spend time with the Lord? Clear your schedule and seek Him — and you’ll be blown away by His goodness, rather than by the storm.