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March 29, 2020

Storms of life series

The purpose of storms in our lives

1 Corinthians 3:10-15

As a call to worship I want to read from Matthew 11:28–29

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.d

Summary: Ever wonder why God allows hard times and difficult situations to occur in our lives?

The first day Jane and I came down to Mirror to stay overnight was Friday the 13th,there was no water in the trailer we rented and so we couldn’t use the wash room, or shower, two days late on that Sunday morning it was -28 degree, and then 3 days later the government asked all churches to close their doors.

 Talk about a difficult week, if ever there was a time I would start to wonder what God was doing, it would have been that week.
But that’s what Satan wants, he wants us to question Gods authority, question his plans.
But let me tell you something, we serve a good God who is always good even when things seem bad, no matter what we may be struggling with God is with us. 

I remind you of the words of Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  
Today I want to look at how God uses the storms in our lives to keep us close to HIM.
The Scripture we are going to look at today is- 1 Cor 3: 10-15
In this Chapter Paul says I want to teach  “On Division in the Church”
Now I am not saying there is division in this church, hear me on this.

But there is some important teachings we can learn from. 

LET ME PRAY AND THEN READ

Paul is talking about the foundation he has built through his teaching on Christ, He is talking to the church.
He  wants people to know they must continue to build their own Spiritual foundations.
To you young people listening, your parents are helping to build your spiritual foundation but someday, it will fall on you to keep building, you can’t always live on your parents faith, you have to make it your own. And you will face storms of your own as well to stay with me as we look into Gods word.
So Mirror Alliance Church being without a Pastor and dealing with Covid-19 both of these things can create some stormy weather in our lives.
There are three truths I want to look at this morning regarding the purposes of storms in our lives. These storms come through trials and hardships that occur, and they have a purpose, and the first purpose is to

I. Test our foundation, our spiritual foundation. 

Storms will let us see how firm we stand in our faith, how committed we are to Christ and how well we can stand up difficult times.
Storms of life pose this question to us-
Is my foundation built on Christ, am I learning and growing in Christ, am I sending time in God’s word or am I depending on my works my wisdom, my thoughts, and ideas, my fame and fortune?
When we have a weak spiritual foundation, that’s when we see people begin to Backsliding.
Backsliding is a church word that is used when we see someone slowly slide away from Christ, and the church.
Backsliders often leave when storms come into their lives.
They do not have a strong faith that God will handle the storm for them,
There own desires and  self-will becomes a stronger draw than their commitment to Christ.
We find ourselves in a storm and rather then moving closer to Christ our Saviour we move away from him and try to handle the storm on our own. 
We do that when our spiritual foundations is weak, when it’s not built properly.
So how do we build up our foundation, we attend church regularly, we read and study Gods word, we pray, we do devotions daily, we go to prayer meetings and bible studies, we ask others or the Pastor about things we don’t understand, we worship God even when we don’t feel like it, all of these things help to build our faith foundation.
Its called lifelong learning, you know 4 years of bible school and following Christ for 44 years and being very active in the church and I still have much to learn but my faith is stronger, I have been building my foundation, so I can weather storms when they come my way.
Health storms, Financial storms, relationship storms, all kinds of storms.
Do I always weather them well no, but I look at what each storm can teach me. I ask what can I learn from how I am handling this situation.
When God brings storms into your life It is not because he is angry with you or punishing you or judging you. It is because he loves you, he wants you to have faith in him to lean on him and he wants you to build a firm spiritual foundation that is built on his word.

That leads me to our next point, God allows storms- to get rid of those things that do not help us in our walk with HIM.

What kind of things does the world build its foundation on.

 RE-READ VERSE 12

III. Gold, Silver, or precious stones

All of these have something in common other than their value. They need special conditions in order to be truly useful.
For gold and silver, it has to be melted under a great heat, that’s done to draw out the dross which are impurities within the melted metal so that the finished product is purified and it shines brightly.
That’s what the storms of life do for us- it turns the heat up to expose the impurities in our lives.
When storms come on us and we are under pressure, when the heat is turned up our true character comes out. 
Diamonds are a precious stone that have a humble beginning.
How many of us remember using the old B,B,G.s which we had to put coal in and get the coal to burn.
Charcoal was  messy, dirty and  smelly.
Some people live their lives like that messy, dirty and a bit smelly.
But did you know, that every piece of charcoal has the potential of becoming a diamond.
Chemically speaking, charcoal is a large chunk of carbon. 
When you add Heat, plus pressure, plus time and this common piece of charcoal becomes one of the most sought-after stones, it becomes very valuable.
People are like that, when we apply heat and pressure and given time people  can also become very valuable.  
That is another thing storms do for us sometimes, it puts heat and pressure on us to purify us  and in time, we shine brighter than ever.
Then let’s look at my thirds point, verse 12 say

Gold, Silver, precious stones or 

And lastly verse 12 makes reference to

III. Wood, Hay, Straw, 

In the Old Testament the early Hebrews knew God as a pillar of fire.
God appeared to Moses in a burning bush.
In the New Testament when the Holy Spirit was poured out, he appeared as tongues of fire that came and rested upon the heads of every person in that upper room.
Fire destroys wood, hay, and straw. They are of little value to our lives
Many people spend way too much time and energy on things that have little or no value to the Kingdom.
Those things in our lives that we try to build our life foundations on.
Storms in life are meant to help us refocus our attention on what’s important in life…your relationship with Christ.
We can’t build our spiritual foundation on gold or silver or diamonds or on things that can be burnt up in minutes like wood, hay or straw.
There is a worship song that says it well-

The words are, 

Turn you eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

If you have surrendered your live to Jesus, then you are a child of the King of Kings. 
The King doesn’t want His children living in a condition that is beneath the high calling of being His child.
He will do whatever it takes to help you live in the fullness of His favour.
If the King wants you to building on the foundation He provided, and not waste your time with things of the world.
We will find ourselves in a  storm we need to look at our priorities and evaluate our walk with Christ. 
What am I doing, how am I doing, am I building my faith foundtion?
My wife has a little 3 pound dog named Meaghan, we have one of those retractable leashes for her.
I think sometimes God has me on a retractable leash and he gives me room to run sometimes and other time when I am at risk of getting in trouble he pulls the line in for my own protect.
I think God may let me head into certain storms in life to see how I will react and other times he wants me right beside him as we walk through storms together.
God may want to keep you on a short leash for your benefit.
You, I and God are in this life together and he doesn’t want us  running ahead and  getting ourselves into trouble.
He wants to walk right beside us during the storms of life.
We can’t build our lives on what the world sees as valuable.
What is most valuable to us is his word, and our relationship with him.
God gave us his word…..and it’s his word that will help us build our lives on a firm foundation.

So let me just say this….read your bibles, if you want a bible reading plan that will have you read the bible in a year let me know,I will get you a plan.

conclusion

God is still present when we face storms in life, storms are a time for us to check our spiritual foundation, to help us refocus on things of God and not of the world and to make sure we put our hope and trust in Christ and not in fame fortune or anything else that will just get burnt up in the end.
Verse 14 says  “If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames”.
Paul makes the point that those who build upon a foundation of Jesus Christ but then try to add the things of the world to it will suffer loss when Jesus evaluates us at the final judgment. 
In closing I want to read,  

2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.