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I spoke to a lady this afternoon that was going through a major crisis.

Bankrupt business.
Failed marriage.
Wayward son.

But she came to me not asking for counseling. Neither did she come to seek help regarding her situation. She came to me to ask how she can serve in church.

It was impressive what kind of perspective she had… that though she was going through difficulty (which is a huge understatement), she wanted to look for opportunities to get the focus off herself and onto serving God through the church.

I remember what Pastor Jim Laffoon said many years ago that stuck with me. He said,
“When the devil attacks your camp, launch an all out war against his.”

Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:12, “Fight the good fight of faith.”

While we live by the grace of God, we concurrently need to wake up each morning in fighting mode.

We don’t march toward victory, but we march from victory. And as we do, we march out fighting.

Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them…” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

We are saved by grace and we live by grace. But somewhere in there, we fight and work with all our heart because of the very grace that’s been bestowed.

I can’t believe I’m in this situation!
Whoever thought I’d be in this problem?
Why is this happening?
If God is really in control how come He allowed this?

Joseph the dreamer was in a similar situation.

His brothers were upset because he was daddy’s favorite.
They were upset because he got the funky coat.
They were mad because while they were laboring in the fields, Joe was with Pop relaxing.

Because of that, they took Joseph and threw him in a pit.

In the pit, Joseph called out to God.

God’s response?
Silence…

You may identify with Joseph. You call out His name, no reply.

Has He gone deaf?
Is He no longer listening?
Or has He turned His ear away from me?

All that happened in chapter 37 verse 24. But lest we forget, God gave Joseph several promises in verse 5.

You may be in verse 24 today. But don’t forget verse 5.

The point?

Don’t doubt in darkness what God has shown you in the light.

Remember, God is always on time. He is a promise-keeping God.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. (2 Peter 3:9)

What do you do when storms hit?

I’m not just talking about the storms we experience in Manila around July, August and September.

People react in many different ways.

Some try their best to stop the storm from happening.
Some just go through life as if nothing happened.
Others wade through life in their own coffin hoping to skirt death.
A few just hit the panic button and whatever response they get, they live with.
There are those who just jump it and make the most of the situation.
While others are caught stuck, problematic and unprepared as the flood waters arise.

I’ve realized that a lot of life is responding not just reacting.

It’s not what happens to you that’s important; but how you respond to what happens to you.

It is inevitable that things will go wrong – some inadvertent, others self-inflicted.
Jesus even said that “In this world, you WILL have trouble.” (John 16:33) 

But pain is inevitable while misery is optional.

Mark 4:25-31 tells us a story when Jesus and the disciples when through a storm. On their way to the other side of Lake Galilee, they encountered a squall.

Here are lessons we can gather from their experience.

1. STORMS WILL COME.

Though the disciples were experienced fishermen, this squall got them terrified.

Expect it. Know that it will come eventually.

Some come as a test.
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart… (Deut. 8:2)

Others come as a refiner.
These (trials) have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:7) 

But as Peter said, ultimately it is for the praise, glory and honor of God.

2. STORMS EXPOSE WHAT WE ARE REALLY HOLDING ON TO.

Jesus said, Let us go over to the other side.” (Mark 4:35)

He said “Let us” not only Peter and John.  He said, “Let us” and not only I will get through.

The other thing is that He said, we will “go over to the other side” not “go under”. I know it’s simple semantics but listening to the statement and directives of Christ can mean life and death.

When the storm hits, remember the last thing He told you… AND HOLD ON TO IT!

He later asks where is your faith? Our faith can begin to get anchored on many other foundations – career, friendships, family, ministry, bank account, portfolio, business… you name it.

All other foundations are faulty. Jesus is the only SURE FOUNDATION.

And remember, as we go through life, Jesus didn’t promise us a STORM FREE LIFE but a STORM PROOF LIFE.

3. STORMS ARE ACTUALLY OPPORTUNITIES.

It is an opportunity to see God move!

I remember Joseph Bonifacio tell me the story of his dad. He was still in elementary when he was watching his dad having a conversation over the phone.

After his dad put the phone dad, he was shouting at the top of his voice saying, “Yeah! C’mon God!”

He asks his dad, “What’s up dad? Do you have an answer to your prayer?”

His dad then replies, “No. The business is actually millions of pesos in debt… BUT I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE HOW GOD WILL MOVE AND GET ME OUT OF THIS SITUATION! Whoa!!!! C’mon God!”

Joseph thought his dad lost it. He wondered what he’s been smoking at that time. Haha. But it displayed faith in a God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.

You and I serve a supernatural God. If He wants to still the storm, in a snap of His fingers, He actually can. But for some reason, He has allowed you to go through it.  He’s trying to accomplish something in your life.

It takes faith to believe God to take us out of the storm. It does take faith as well to go through the storm and trust He is in charge.

My prayer is that we will see God in the middle of the storm.

Remember, it is so natural for Jesus to move in the supernatural. 


There are moments when God tests us with the very provision He’s given.

Take Abraham for example in Genesis 22.  God told Abraham to take his son, his only son, to Mt. Moriah and sacrifice him up there.

Tests are necessary.  We don’t like it.  Some actually hate it.  But we need it.  It shows what’s really inside.

You want doctors tested and take their board exams.  You want cars tested for safety.  You want computers tested so they work well.

Tests are there to bring to surface what’s really inside.  For a medical student, the test shows what’s inside their brain.

Tests are not punishments but preparations.

They prepare us for future promotion. Grade 2 students take their final exams to get promoted to Grade 3.

For many of us, God tests to bring promotion – because He DOES have something HUGE in store for the future.

God tested Abraham with the very provision given.  The very thing that was promised was now the very thing being taken away? It didn’t make sense.  However, at the end, it all did.

When God tests us with the very provision He’s given, He wants to see if…

We’re so focused on the provision that we miss the Provider.
Or we seek His hand rather than His face.
or we pursue the blessing rather than the Blesser.

Tests bring up what’s really in there.

After everything, God’s verdict “NOW I KNOW…  that you fear God…”

“NOW I KNOW…”

When God looks inside our hearts, what will He find out?