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I recently heard a sermon preached about storms. More specifically, it was about God ordained storms in our lives. I agreed with most of what this man of God was preaching but when he started talking about God sending storms into our lives to shape and mold us I just couldn’t say amen to that.
I’m not going to mention any names I disagree with because it’s not a fight against flesh and blood, it’s the thoughts and ideas that spread like cancer that I want to confront. These ideas infect people’s souls like a virus and they paralyze the church.
What Would (21st Century) Jesus Do?
The Jesus many preach today would have acted much differently 2,000 years ago. The 21st century Jesus would not have rebuked the storm. Instead He would have turned to the disciples and gave them a three point sermon about how those waves and the wind were going to humble them. He may even have closed His sermon by telling them that even if their boat capsized they would all go to heaven so don’t worry.
Well the real Jesus didn’t do that and I’m so glad He didn’t. Instead He took authority over the elements and commanded the storm to cease. The reason I’m talking about this one story about Jesus and the storm is because Jesus is a perfect reflection of the Father. He is the best image of God we have. And if Jesus did not bless any storms then why do we insist that Father God does? Is Jesus Christ perfect theology or not?
I’m not just talking about natural storms (the world calls them “acts of God” now because the church has done such a good job at pointing the finger at God every time a disaster happens). I’m talking about the bad things that happen in our lives – we call these things “storms”. But let’s take a couple real life scenarios and see if we see God’s fingerprints on them or not.
These are always good for an example. Let’s say Bob is 45 years old and facing some tough times. He is about to lose his home, his business and he’s on the verge of bankruptcy. Many Christians will say Bob is going through a storm.
But what many people don’t know is that Bob has lived beyond his means for 10 years. He never saved a dime and instead spent $120,000 a year even though he only made $90,000. He maxed out five credit cards and has two car payments on top of his mortgage payment and line of credit he took out on the home.
Now who caused this storm?
Obviously this was a problem of Bob’s own making. Nowhere in the Bible are we instructed to go into debt and live foolishly like this. The good thing about God is that He is faithful even when we are not and if Bob turns to God with his whole heart then God will show him a way out. But just because God is faithful even when we are not does not mean God brought this upon Bob.
When someone is sick many Christians immediately blame God. Now they don’t necessarily come out and point a finger at God but they will say things like “God is allowing this sickness for a reason” or the more popular “Everything happens for a reason.”
How reassuring. Someone is sick and instead of finding hope in a God who heals we find comfort in some worldly cliché? I’m sorry but that doesn’t sit right with me.
This example is not like the financial one. I’m not implying that if someone is sick it’s because they did something wrong. I want to emphasize the truth that God’s will is healing. Just like His will is love and salvation. And that all too often well meaning Christians think God is the one responsible for the sickness.
Is this what a Loving Father Does?
Now it would be one thing to wonder when God is going to show up to calm the storm. But it’s something altogether different when we accuse God of creating the storm and also of sending it to visit us. Is that what a loving Father does? Does He look at His children and say, “Little Jimmy is so cute. But he is getting an awful big head these days. I think if I sent someone to rob his house and also gave him cancer then he would be a bit more humble.”
Why Does it Matter?
It matters because if the enemy can convince us that God is the one who is stealing, killing and destroying then he gets to attack the people of God unchallenged. Satan is afraid of sons and daughters of God discovering who they are and what kind of power and authority they have been entrusted with.
If you can’t overpower them you must outwit them. The enemy knows this and is desperately trying to keep people from the knowledge of God. That’s why so little teaching is devoted to our authority and power in Christ. God has called us to steward these mysteries and to be ambassadors for Him on the earth.
It seems like these days more Christians are offended by God’s amazing goodness than anything else. We love stories of suffering but stories of deliverance, healing or provision have somehow been branded as being a little less spiritual. As if the suffering of our Savior was not enough for us. We think we can add to it and help sanctify ourselves through self-inflicted suffering.
May God give us all understanding in these things.
As always, feel free to leave a comment below. And if you disagree with me that’s perfectly alright too.
About Josh Monen
Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.
Thanks for your comments on “Does God Send Storms”
Over the past few weeks our new pastor has said that God sends storms. I just don’t believe that a loving God would do that. Thanks for your comments.
Hi Michelle. I know a lot of godly leaders teach that God sends storms into our lives. But I have to respectfully disagree with that teaching. For one, Jesus never blessed a storm… He spoke to the storm and calmed it (Mark 4:39). Plus, it is the devil who comes to steal, kill and destroy while Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Now will God use circumstances to accomplish His purposes in our lives? Of course. But there’s a difference between using those circumstances and causing those circumstances.
I believe that the heart of the matter is whether we really believe God is good or not. We say He is good but why do we attribute so many bad things to this “good” God?
Thanks for your comment.
God send a storm in our life not to destroy us, But to develop us.
Very well written and articulated sir. Scriptural clarity is greatly need in today’s church. I applaud your willingness to resonate this fundamental truth.
Thank you Bishop.
I agree somewhat God does not send storms in our lives but he allows them. What about Job? God gave Satan permission to touch Job’s life. Of a truth, people through bad choices bring storms into their own lives. But God can work through them to bring out His purpose in the lives of his children. But wait a minute. The Lord closed Hannah’s womb (1Samuel 1:5). Hannah face her own storm at the hands of Peninnah but God had his purpose.
Hey Marie, thank you for sharing. I do agree that God can, and does, work through storms and horrible situations. But I don’t think it’s a good idea to accept every storm or hardship as God ordained. I don’t pretend to have all the answers but I do know that God has all power and there are things in life that some Christians “accept” as being from God simply because they lack the power to change it.
The Bible says the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus came to give life and life more abundantly. And I still believe Jesus is the most accurate reflection we have of God’s nature. So sine Jesus never blessed any storms I conclude that storms are not from God. And Jesus never told a sick person that it wasn’t “God’s will” that they be healed. He would heal everyone. For this reason, and others, I believe sickness is not from God and it’s always God’s will to heal and do good.
So I respect your views and I do appreciate your willingness to share. But we do have different views on this. And that’s ok.
i don’t understand everything in my life. I have been serving god since age16 and i have served him with all my heart. I still don’t understand why we are constanly reminded of our wrongs. Praying with faith hope wondering why these things in our lives continue to break our hearts circumstances sometimes i shrink back. Angry sad hurt frustrated faith. I have been praying hoping to see my 4 year old daughter i have made mistakes but im tired most of all worned out.
thank you for this excellent sermon. I found this at the perfect moment, my professor has questioned me on this very topic. He is insistent that God sends these things to lead us to repent.