Married Life April 15th: Crazy Love April 22nd: Broken Vessels April 29th: The Little Things We Do May 6th: The Devil Made Me Do It May 13th: Prayer May 20th: Thunder & Lightning May 27th: You Make Me Crazy June 3rd: Journey With Purpose June 10th: Learning to Love
I. Seasons & Storms • The Odds of Dying from… • Lifetime odds of death for selected causes, United States, 2008* • Total, any cause: 1 in 1
I. Seasons & Storms • When crisis hits, we look for something to hold on to – to explain the crisis as it knocks us off balance • What do you define as a “storm” in life? • Why do storms come in our lives? • Who do we look to first? • Where do you look?
I. Seasons & Storms • POINT 1: Seasons of life include storms- Hard times come to every marriage- expect it- don’t let it throw you
II. Why? • There are generally 2 ways we respond: • As an “Anchor”… Or a “Bobber”
II. Why? Which are you? How has it helped you or hurt you?
II. Why? • POINT 2: How we interpret the hard times is crucial - my interpretation of what’s going on will shape my emotions, perspective, and decisions
iii. Making sense of the storm • Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are but, more often than not, God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go to next.Frederick Buechner (b. 1926)
III. Making sense of the storm • Scripture gives us a number of reasons why- each calling for a different response: • A. Character is forged through suffering- • (Romans 5:3-5; Heb.5:8, James 1:2) • God uses your marriage to forge your character • God will use hard times to expose our sin, and our spouses sin • Ask god, What is being exposed here? What are you after? Notice your inner thoughts. Notice what you intend to do
III. Making sense of the storm • Scripture gives us a number of reasons why- each calling for a different response: • B. There is spiritual warfare – (I Peter 5:8) • Are you making agreements with Satan? • Spiritual attack must be a category we think in, or we will not win at our marriages
iii. Making sense of the storm • Scripture gives us a number of reasons why- each calling for a different response: • C. We are broken people- we work to hide that truth-(Romans 3:23 ) • We cannot demand the broken live as whole... God uses troubles to flush us out of hiding- Like asking the one armed girl to swim the English channel
iii. Making sense of the storm • Scripture gives us a number of reasons why- • each calling for a different response: • D. There are seasons- • could the hard time simply be that? (Ecc. 3:1-8 )
iii. Making sense of the storm • Scripture gives us a number of reasons why- • each calling for a different response: • E. The worldly cares and worries- • We make our own mess (John 14:27; Matthew 6:4 ) • We build weak foundations (Matthew 7:24-27 )
Iii. Making sense of the storm • POINT 3: Storms Come for a Reason – • Our Task is to Ask: • “Why this Storm?” • “Why Now?” • “What is There for Me to Learn Here?”
Iv. Called to respond • "What we learn from God about Jesus should prove to us that suffering and bad things happening to us are not the father’s preferred way of dealing with us, sometimes necessary, perhaps, but never what he would, on the whole, prefer."Dallas Willard
Iv. Called to respond • Morgan Interview
Iv. Called to respond • A We are called to perseverance- • By Jesus example- by command- • Certain things you never discover about God or yourself without going through hard times
iv. Called to respond • Are there any true “victims” of hard times? • B. Own your own part of the hard times- • What are you doing to contribute to it? • What do you need to do to change it?
iv. Called to respond • C. Don't go it alone… • Be in community for the sake of yourself and your marriage- support and encouragement of others – maybe “storms” are meant to build community? • Live an example of relationships in community- You cannot force people to walk with God or repent, you can only walk with integrity and invite them to do so... Especially your spouse
iv. Called to respond • POINT 4: We are called to respond to storms in ways that shape our character
Personal questions • What’s it like to be on the other side of me? • Are the two of you going through rough times right now? Have you gone through hard times? What was it about? • Has the world crept in and stolen life from us? Lord, is there something about the way we live that needs to change? • How have you been interpreting the hard times? Can you relate to the “jumping to conclusions”? do you tend to blame, or go to fear, or speculation- or resignation? • What would perseverance address in your character?
Do something • Remember... When storms come... • I am loved- Jeremiah 31:3 • I am secure- John 10:28-29 • I am forgiven- Col. 2:13 • God is with me- Hebrews 13:4Write it on a card... Remember it...