How to Weather the Storm
In sheer size and scope, a hurricane is considered the most devastating storm man can face. The combination of rains, winds and flooding, over an extended period of time, leads to large-scale destruction. Hurricane Sandy serves as an unprecedented example of how these destructive storms can impact a large area of our society. The pictures and video we see from the northeastern seaboard of the United States are catastrophic. Several million have been without power, water or heat. It is estimated that some 50 million people over 24 states have felt the effect of just this one storm. For many, the suffering continues. Reports are now coming in that the aftermath of the storm is far worse than what is being portrayed in the media.
God tells us why He allows these violent storms. These violent storms aren’t a coincidence or an effect of man-made causes. As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry recently explained, these storms and disasters are biblical. Along with that understanding, God provides a warning. These catastrophes are prophesied in the Bible. And God warns us that these storms will increase.
We have been warned that as a nation we have rejected God, and as a result He has rejected us (Hosea 1:9). God has removed our blessings and our protection because we have turned away from Him (Hosea 2:8). God reveals that it is too late for us as a nation—but God does show us how, as individuals, we can weather the coming storms!
As He concluded His “sermon on the mount,” Jesus Christ referenced the violent destruction of a hurricane-like storm: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27).
These scriptures support the fact that God is not a respecter of persons: No one escapes the storm, but those who hear Christ’s sayings and do them will weather the destructive storm. It is the doers of God’s Word who have their house—their life—built on a rock! (James 1:22-25).
Soon after He began His sermon, Jesus showed us why His sayings are important and how we can build on a rock. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19).
God’s law is a law of love (Romans 13:10) and is summarized in two great laws: love toward God and love toward our fellow man (Matthew 22:35-40). Practicing God’s law is what we must be doing if we are to weather the coming storms.
During His sermon, Jesus went into great detail about the relationship we need with God. This is the relationship we were meant to have with our Creator. Christ teaches us that God is our Father and we are His children—God is a Family! We are taught how to love and worship God. We are taught to exercise living faith—to trust God for our needs no matter the physical conditions. We are taught that there can’t be anyone or anything more important than God in our lives. Doing so transgresses God’s law of love, and we suffer when we allow that to happen: We can’t hold up to the rains, winds and flooding.
Likewise, in His same message, Christ taught us to love our neighbor. We are taught that God’s law of love governs the human relationships we share. Jesus Christ expands God’s law beyond our words and our deeds to include our thoughts. What is the attitude and intent in our relationship with others? Do we want to help or hurt others? Do we want to give or take from others? Are we treating others the way we would want to be treated? Are we willing to sacrifice for others?
These are God’s laws of love, and these are the words God expects us to live by (Matthew 4:4). When we do so, we build our lives on a rock. God is not a respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of righteousness. Character does count! Unfortunately, when the storms come, we see what evils we are capable of. As humans, our hearts—our thinking—are wrong (Jeremiah 17:9). We need God and we need His law of love to guide us.
God’s laws are unchangeable and eternal, and they lead to a happy, prosperous life! How important it is that we understand God’s laws!
“As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation” (Proverbs 10:25). Those who reject God’s law allow their lives to be destroyed by the storm, but the righteous—those who build their life on God’s law—have an everlasting foundation! No matter what our trial or test, the most severe, destructive storm cannot cause us to falter if God’s law of love is the foundation we’ve built our lives on.
Greater storms are coming! Not all will be physical storms, but the rains, the winds and the floods will come. How will your house fare? How important it is that we build our lives on God’s law and have an everlasting foundation!