Dr. E Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Sermon Series: After the Storm
Hurricane hunters fly into hurricanes so that they can learn about, or diagnose a hurricane. The more we know about the storm the better our ability to prepare for them. The mindset of hurricane hunters is that they refuse to ‘waste’ a storm – there is too much to learn from them.
It is important for us to be aware that we are all either we are heading into a storm, are in a storm, or heading out of a storm.
- Now that you’ve been through Hurricane Irma, what have you learned about your preparations and reactions that will help you the next time a hurricane is predicted to come our way?
Read Job 38:1-11 ‘Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
2 “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man I will question you, and you shall answer me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?’
- Many scholars believe that the book of Job is actually the oldest book I the Bible. If that is true, then what does this say about human suffering?
- Is God in total control of all things in the world? Or has He (by His own choice) chosen to limit His power in some way? Share your thoughts.
- Is humanity basically free? Or are our wills limited in some capacity? Share why you answer this question the way you do.
Three Questions We Can Ask Before, During and After Life’s Storms
- Think about the recent natural disasters (Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the flooding in Niger, the mudslides in Sierra Leone, the earthquakes in Mexico). Does asking the question “Why did these things happen?” bring answers that satisfy us? Why or why not?
Read Isaiah 55:8-9 – 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’
Now read I Cor. 13:11-12 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
- What do these passages tell you about why the ‘Why?’ question is not the best question to ask? Will we ever know the answer to the ‘Why?’ question?
A better question to ask God when we are either heading into a storm, are in a storm or heading out of a storm is “What do you want me to know about this storm, Lord?”
Read Psalm 119:71 ‘It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.’
- How can affliction (‘storms’) help us to learn and grow more than times of calm?
Read Romans 8:28 ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’
- What are your thoughts about this scripture? Please share with your group. If you have experienced this truth in your own life, please share your story.
Read Luke 15:20 ‘So he got up and went to his father.’
- What is required of us to be able to ‘get up and go to the Father’ when we are in life’s storms?
This is the very best question to ask as we encounter life’s storms.
- Go back to re-read Job 38:1-11 and circle the word “Who” whenever you see it. Answer the questions God is asking Job about WHO.
Read John 6:68 ‘Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’
- Can God be trusted, even amidst the storms of life? If you are willing, share a storm you’ve been through when you have NOT placed your trust in God. OR, if you’re willing, share a storm you’ve been through when you’ve experienced trust in God, and how that has shaped your faith.
Share in your group ways that you can support each other in asking and answering the ‘What?’ and the ‘Who?’ questions the next time there are storms in your lives, instead of getting stuck on the ‘Why?’ question.