Weathering the Storms of Life: Part 3

Weathering the Storms Part 3: Acts 27:10-25

 10, 11 And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.
Right from the start of where we pick up the story, I see some amazing truth essential to the lives of believers. The storm hasn't started; as a matter of fact, there is an opportunity for people to hear the counsel of God from a man of God.
Nevertheless, once the truth is spoken, then a choice is placed in the hands of the hearer. Since the beginning, God has placed man in this circumstance, creating him with a free will and the opportunity for making choice, reaching back to the garden incident, traveling through the annals of human history, the same choices have faced man along the way-- will you heed the counsel of God or obstinately go your own way?
…Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.
I just wanted to quickly review the last part of those verses again. Paul, through supernatural contact with the God of glory has been given revelation to spare all involved untold heartache and calamity; the centurion who is responsible for these prisoners refuses to listen to the Apostle Paul, rather listening to the business men who have selfish motives to expedite the sailing of the ship.
Child of God pray that the Lord give you wisdom when you seek counsel; pray that the Lord allow you to see the heart of those you seek wisdom from that God will show you whether their motives are selfless or selfish, whether they are pure or tainted with self seeking, or even bitterness.
12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west. And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.
This scenario is amazingly similar to how the enemy works in our lives. The warning from the Lord has been given, but certain people have refused to hear the counsel of God; furthermore, in the midst of this scenario, the atmosphere is seemingly conducive to the rebels' plans. The sun is shining and glinting off the crystal clear, rippling, blue waters of the Mediterranean as the soft, south wind gently disturbs the surface. There probably isn't a cloud in the sky-- now!
How often do the "world" (non-believers) and even carnal Christians for that matter make decisions about their lives solely on what appears conducive to their wants, desires, and the logic that surrounds the perception of their physical circumstances?
In other words, disregard what the man of God has said. Listen, "These people know why Paul has been arrested. He is going to Rome to stand before Caesar because he has been preaching Jesus and signs have been following him. His preaching nearly convinced King Agrippa to convert to Christianity; certainly, his reputation has preceded him; certainly, when he warned them about what lied ahead, the Holy Spirit witnessed the truth to their hearts; nevertheless, like the world and carnal Christians, they ignore the correction of God and make their decisions based upon what makes most logical sense, based upon what the physical circumstances paint most beneficial.
Then suddenly, Euroclydon sparks, which is a violent southeastern wind, and out of nowhere, completely unexpected, danger, turmoil, loss, and impending doom replace the soft, blue, rippling waters.
15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:
17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps [ropes], undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.

The word "quicksands" is misleading because it's actually descriptive of an area filled with sand banks upon which ships would run aground if not careful. So the scenario is that this violent storm has suddenly come upon them to the point that they are placing "helps" (ropes) under girding the ship trying to hold it together, while also pulling the sail down in order to prevent running aground.
Nevertheless, even with all their futile efforts, they were being tossed to and fro. Honestly, there is a lot of spiritual truth to be found here. Many times when people find themselves in a violent storm, they attempt to grab a hold of every idea and plan they can in order to prevent their shipwreck.
In the past, I've been tempted to "allegorize" the ropes as Jesus, you know, "Tie Jesus around your boat, and He'll hold everything together." Well, the problem with that theory is that the boat crashes and the ropes couldn't save anything.
No, the ropes, I believe, represent the feeble attempts we make to find solutions in our lives: the relationships, which help us pay the bills financially but are out of God's will for our lives, the psyche meds and ungodly counsel that contradicts the counsel of God, the addictions people cling to in order to numb their pain. Through all these feeble efforts we're tying ropes around a boat that's going to crash to pieces.
The only hope for them and us is the word of correction and hope given by God. Furthermore, God has a word for us to be remembered in our times of uncertainty, there is no other name under heaven by which man can be saved (Acts 4:12). Once saved, we've been translated from darkness into light (Colossians 1:13). Once in Christ, He is our help in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16). We can cast all our cares on Him because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). He is our fortress and high tower (Psalm 144:2).
18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.


Eventually, things became so desperate that they threw out the precious cargo


{Acts 27:38
And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.,


When the storms of life are raging, eventually it becomes clear what the essentials are, and everything else must desperately be forsaken or else destruction will ensue!
In other words, they were desperately removing anything from the boat that would harm them in this situation. Things which previously were necessary (tackle of the ship/ the cargo) had become detrimental to their well being and survival.
Obviously, in peril such as this, the ship needs to be as buoyant as possible, the heavier the vessel, the lower it sits in the water, and the easier it is for the violent waves to overcome it.
Spiritually speaking, why is it that we, as Christians, oftentimes have to be faced with great peril, on the brink of destruction, before we're willing to remove the things in our lives that are putting our walk with God in danger? Just as this weight was detrimental to their well being, the Word of God says that sin and weights are detrimental to our walk with Him.
Weight is a burden to our walk with God:
Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight [weights and sin cause us to fix our eyes elsewhere—it happened to Peter Matt 14:30], and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking [to turn the eye away from other things and fix it on something else] unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I remember last week when I asked my friend John to share with the bible study his testimony regarding his coming to the Lord: how that he had been dying inwardly with everything perishing outwardly. The job was lost! The whole family on the brink of destruction! Not knowing what would happen, but experiencing Jesus for the first time at this magnitude and realizing this was more important than anything else right here right now!
You see, unless a man finds himself in desperate circumstances, he may take for granted his eternal soul! He may take for granted the love of the one who died in his stead. But let that man be touched by the finger of God, let his circumstances be brought into disarray with permission from God as they were in Job's life, and the result will oft times be:
Job 23:10
10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

You see right now, for some of you the storm is raging, but the storm is the trial, and the trial is the furnace; as the fire removes dross (impurities) from silver and gold, so the trial removes impurities from the life of the believer.
Just as Job said, "He knows the way that I take...," God knows where you are right now. He knows what you're facing. He knows what you have brought upon yourself as well as where others have done you wrong.

In times when we feel as though nothing is going our way, maybe we need to stop and question whether or not God could be bringing correction to our lives:
Hebrews 12:5-6
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Acts 27:20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.

This time-frame of the storm speaks of darkness, uncertainty, and fear of destruction. Anyone who has served God for any length of time has undoubtedly experienced times of great turmoil and uncertainty.
There have been times in my walk with God where I was so far from His presence because of my own choices that darkness and demonic waves of depression and bondage were overcoming me, being driven by my flesh towards sensual desires and further away from God's presence, the sky grew darker and the waves more violent.
But just as God showed up in David's life, He also showed up in my life and rescued me from destruction. Many times people are unwilling to cry out to God for rescue because they're too prideful to admit that they're sinking to begin with. I just want to encourage someone right now that if the skies are dark and the waves are overcoming your vessel, cry out to Him in the midst of your desperation. Hold on to His nail scarred hand and remember that He didn't quit on us, so we must continue on with Him. As David found out, He is the one who instructs the waves and tells the shores where to start and the water where to stop (2 Samuel 22; Psalm 18).
22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer:for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar:and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer:for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
There are two main points that I see rising from this verse:
1). God had a plan for Paul's life, and God has a plan for our lives. We need to be reminded that God is committed to getting us to the place where we are committed to His will.
The word of hope God gave Paul for these people through the angel was that Paul would make it through this trial because it was God's will that Paul go before Caesar, because it was God's will that Paul do ministry in Rome before he died.
2). A few weeks back we pointed out that having Jonah or (disobedience) in your boat with you results in you getting caught up in the mess of their storm. In this scenario, the storm is here, it touches everyone in the boat (in my eyes representative of everyone in the world), because we live in the midst of a fallen world, and Jesus promised there would be trials and tribulations; furthermore, God uses them to pull the dross out of our lives.
But contrary to the people who had Jonah's disobedience in their boat, these people in the Acts story have obedient Paul in their boat, and because of that their lives are going to be spared.
It's important for you, child of God, to be aware that you need to surround yourself with men and women of God-- that is if you want to live for Him. You need to find yourself a group of believer's that believe God's word for the way it's written, and they need to be who you have in your boat. Listen close, "I’m not someone who calls themselves Christian then passes you a 'doobie,' or talks you into a drink, but true men and women of God who are committed to the purposes of God.
I want to close by emphasizing the purposes of God. I'm tired of a lying gospel that focuses on people's problems rather than God's purposes. In other words, Jonah was in trouble because he was disobedient towards God's purposes-- allowing souls to repent. Paul and the others were spared because God had plans for Paul to preach the gospel in Rome. God spared David and David sang about it in Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22 because God had plans for David and plans for Israel, it's called the giving of Messiah to a lost and dying world.
Preachers who aren't telling the whole story and just focusing on people's mess are doing God a disservice. God has a plan! He is saving souls in the midst of this church age! He will soon bring untold ages of evil to an end. And we're going to be selfish and consume ourselves with our personal needs and the preacher is going to help us?

 Let’s go back to Jonah. Should we focus on Jonah’s financial distress because he disobediently spent money on a ticket to Tarshish, finding himself in a great fish’s belly, spat upon the shore likely robed with clothes tattered and torn, or should we focus on what’s really happening, his failure, his need to get back up? Get up man of God; return to the point of your disobedience; upon arrival, there will be a fork in the road, take the right path, go the right way, true repentance demands it!
No! Let God's Word and plan prevail! Let man's plans and his lying mouth be shut. If you want God moving in your life, then find out what He's really doing, get on board with that, and watch Him do spiritual miracles in your life. 

Weathering the Storms of Life: Part 2b

Ephesians 4:8-14 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;...

Over the last couple weeks, we have been discussing the idea of trials, tribulations, or storms in the lives of believers.   In the first week, the point that was most pressing was the fact that when we the believer finds himself in the midst of a storm, he is instructed by God to ask for wisdom.   Once again, wisdom is more than just knowledge about God; rather, wisdom is the ability to properly apply the word of God in the everyday circumstances of life.  

Last week we started on this passage out of Ephesians, taking the position that the wisdom of a mariner would be the ability to properly plot the needed coordinates on a navigational chart in order to reach the intended destination. In a similar fashion, the believer must be able to properly apply the wisdom of God in daily life in order to reach the intended destination.   Last week we spoke of the importance of doctrine for the body of Christ. If wisdom is the proper application of God's word in everyday life, then doctrine is the specific coordinates or instructions regarding God's word that allow a believer to properly understand what the word is saying to begin with.   Without a proper understanding of justification, sanctification, atonement, righteousness..., which are some of the extremely important biblical doctrines, it is impossible for a Christian to understand where to properly place their faith; simply stated: these are the coordinates, from which Godly wisdom is plotted through the course of life.   Sadly, people in the modern church have shunned doctrine and wisdom for what they call "experience," some "goose bump" entertainment show that focuses on signs and wonders (review what Jesus said about that generation-- Matt 12:39) instead of a proper understanding of God's word.   An atmosphere like this moves people away from the centrality of the gospel towards emotions and experience; furthermore, when the people of God, over the years are conditioned to move from the importance of a proper understanding of the Gospel to seeking a supernatural experience, they became inept in the scriptures, which leaves them unprepared and vulnerable to the deception of false doctrine and the sleight of cunning men, resulting in a tossing to and fro upon every wind of doctrine.  

In the midst of a raging sea, the believer is thrown off course because he has no Godly wisdom, because he has no understanding of doctrine. Where are the teachers? Where are the men and women of God that would properly dissect the scriptures and feed the sheep instead of preparing some sweet tasting truffle I mean trifle that destroys the soul.   Here lies the transition point to finish this Ephesians passage, discussing the fivefold ministry that Jesus gave as gifts to His church, we will realize that God's plan involves using others to teach us the principles needed in order to navigate properly the journey of Christianity, and more specifically, needed to navigate properly in the midst of the storm, so we’re not blown off course and lose our way.  

My brother- in- law used to have a marine navigation school business where they taught AB seaman to plot coordinates and various other aspects of the mariner's trade for the purpose of ultimately passing the test to become a licensed captain.   In the part of the Ephesians passage, we will cover tonight; we could see the fivefold ministry as the instructors giving us the needed understanding (with the help of the Holy Spirit of course) in order to properly interpret the word of God for ourselves.   Some would pull a passage out of first John saying, "I don't need a teacher. I have an unction." Ok, that's between you and Jesus, but I hope you're right because the Bible says He gave you gifts, which included teachers. While we're here I should point out that just because someone calls themselves a teacher or a minister doesn't mean that they are telling the truth, or even know the truth for that matter.  In the last class, we covered the fact that it was false doctrine, taught through the sleight of cunning man that resulting in a wind of false doctrine blowing believers off course. I probably have skirted around this issue for too long, so let me say what I really feel.  I believe that much of what we call "Christian" television is under the influence of a demonic anointing. If you can't wrap your mind around that, buy my book Occult Exposure it may help. (see link below to purchase)

If you're saying, "This guy is crazy. I don't want to hear this." Just quit reading, but don't say no one ever warned you that there was great deception in the church. Had we read and been taught the Bible properly, we would have known that the mystery religions (terminology for Satan's false religions and lies) had entered Judaism and the early church, which should have ultimately made us aware that it would have been still alive today.   Anyway, the point is that if you're following after deceitful teachers, you're under the influence of false doctrine, and this could very well be the reason that the storm rages.  

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers..."

Let's take them one at a time:


There has been arguments back and forth on whether the office of the Apostle still
exists today. It should be made clear that the Bible speaks of the fact that the New
Jerusalem (when the new heavens and new earth descend from God-- O' happy day!) will have a wall made with stones. Contained within that wall will be the names of the twelve original apostles; obviously, these apostolic positions are taken. There are only twelve, and God won't be scratching out any of their names to put any of ours.

The word 'apostle' itself literally means "a sent one."

When a man is called by the living God, it’s quite clear that he's been called. If you remember Isaiah's calling, God touched the coal to his lips. The result of his ministry was that the word of God would go forth, and those that refused to receive God's word would have their hearts hardened, which would further result in their refusal to repent and be healed. 

A sent one is an ambassador. He represents the God of glory, and he speaks forth the oracles of God not man. A sent one is not voted on by religious man. As a matter of fact, more than not, he will be shunned by religious man. 

The Apostle, sent by God, speaks the words of God, and signs will follow his work. It's my contention that most of what we hear about today regarding signs and wonders are lying wonders with more to come. Let it be known that there is a time coming upon the earth where God's sent ones will speak forth the word of God with power like never before, and true signs and wonders will follow them. 

It's important that people understand that there is a difference between the gift or "office" of the prophet, which is what we are speaking of here and the gift of prophecy. 

In other words the Prophet is a gift given by Jesus to the church for a specific purpose; whereas, the gift of prophecy is a gift of the Spirit of God. 

The gift of prophecy is a word given by a man or woman regarding the work of God, and many times it foretells some event that will take place in the future. 

The Prophet of God many times operates in the gift of prophecy, but his main purpose is to bring a word of correction to the people of God. Just as Israel of old (Isaiah), and during the time just before Jesus' ministry (John the Baptist), God used the prophet to awaken His people from their slumber in sin. 

This office is needed more now than ever before. We live in the midst of a time frame where the so-called church is fulfilling the prophetic word of the Apostle Paul:

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4

...itching ears-- desirous to hear pleasant words.

Well, let me tell you something there are liars that are lulling Christians to sleep. The seeker sensitive movement is more concerned about "church growth" than the preaching of the gospel, and they pretend that the masses sitting on the pew are saved; yet, they have never heard a sermon on the severity of sin, the Christ of the cross, or the need for repentance of sin. 

They sit in their happy place, hearing happy words, but God help us! Send us a prophet Lord that will tell us the truth about Your Word, and please give us a hungry heart to receive. 


The word for evangelist is built upon the same word in the Greek as evangelize and in some places the word translated in English is preach. 

Essentially, an evangelist is a herald of the gospel message. If you've ever seen a movie taking place in medieval times, you may have visualized a scene where the man unrolls the scroll and speaks forth the edict of the king. That man is a herald. An evangelist is a herald of the king proclaiming the salvation message of Jesus Christ. 

Sadly, I have personally had conversations with multiple pastors who somehow found others in a chat room somewhere, convincing themselves that a true Evangelist has no place in the church. Instead, his place is only in the streets, or some other outside venue—meaning outside the four walls of his church. 

Let me say this, "A true evangelist will preach the gospel everywhere his feet trod, but anyone who attempts to proclaim that the office of the Evangelist is not a gift given by Jesus to the church is refusing to submit to the scriptures."

The text is clear: Jesus is giving these gifts to the body for the purpose of equipping His saints, so they can do the work of the ministry. Sadly, we live in an era where Christians are so apathetic regarding the truth of the gospel, they believe the faith is a key to a safe deposit containing their blessings, like the religious of the parable, they cross to the other side of the road leaving the beaten and down trodden of life to be taken care of by the next passer by-- the good Samaritan. 

No! The evangelist is an integral part of the gifts Jesus has for His body. The passionate message of the evangelist preached under the anointing of the Holy Spirit is a reminder to the people of God that we're here for a purpose-- to seek and save the lost. 

Charles Spurgeon known as the "prince of preachers" said, "One of these days you will want a microscope to find a grain of evangelical doctrine in a dozen sermons."

Brother Spurgeon (1834-1892), you we're not only a soul winning, evangelistic preacher, but I believe that you were a prophet and operating in the gift of prophecy, for your words have come true. 

I probably should take a moment to explain, once again, that these gifts given to the body are for the purpose of equipping, building up, and preparing the body of Christ to engage the work of the ministry. 

While some ministry takes place in the walls of a church, true ministry occurs on a daily basis in the lives of people you encounter. God wants to use us in people's lives. He wants to use our testimony to give hope to the hopeless, but the modern day message has communicated the opposite spirit of the scriptures. 

We sing songs like, "... I'm gonna get my blessing right now.." And we perceive our whole existence and whether we are doing the right thing for God based upon the numbers and the material blessings. Yet, in Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and even Jesus' ministry, the people either turned a deaf ear or left and
went away when the truth was spoken. 

Once again, we've been conditioned to believe that if we are blessed materially then we are blessed of God, but Jesus said, the birds have nests, the foxes have holes, but the Son of Man has not a place to lay His head. 

Why can't we see that we've been overtaken by a false gospel that has literally changed our perception of the truth? Part of the reason the storm is raging is because we are so consumed with ourselves and our situations that we can't even see that there is a bigger issue at hand. 

God hasn't called us to preach a message constantly catering to people's felt needs (their mess)! God has called us to preach and teach the truth of the Gospel, proclaiming with power the victory Jesus purchased on the cross to set us free from the bondage of sin, so that we could live above our stinking pity party and realize that there are people hurting and dying and going to Hell. 

Don't tell me God doesn't want an evangelist preaching in the church! But in the midst of  an atmosphere cultivated by the seeker- sensitive lies, the gospel has been changed to a feel good social club where the undiluted truth presented by an evangelist from God may release unwanted surprises, moving the congregation into a place of unrest, an uncomfortable challenge to live their lives out loud for the Jesus, who died to purchase them with His blood. 

The literal word would probably be better translated as shepherds. The word pastor comes from pasture as in shepherding a flock.

Ultimately, the pastor is the overseer of a congregation. He will be held responsible for the spiritual well- being of the flock that he has been allowed to oversee. The truth that every pastor should keep on the forefront of his mind is that the sheep in his congregation aren't his sheep. Instead, they are the sheep of The Lord Jesus Christ who purchased them with His own blood.

The ancient shepherd wasn't like some aristocratic, gentile king wearing silken robes and lording over his people. Rather, the ancient shepherd walked with the sheep, talked with the sheep, and even slept with the sheep. That's why the sheep know the voice of their shepherd because they have been with him enough and heard him speak enough that they know his voice when they hear it.

It's said that the ancient shepherd would build a stone enclosure at night to encircle his flock, leaving an opening where his sleeping body provided the only entry or exit. In order for a wolf to harm the flock, it would have to go through him first.

This brings added meaning to the concept of a hireling who would flee in the face of danger. A hireling isn't responsible for the sheep; instead, he's simply paid a wage for a specific task; whereas, the shepherd has a vested interest in the sheep.

Sadly, the modern church is filled with "pastors" who are hirelings rather than true shepherds. Many of them recycle a message written by a friend or somebody else off the Internet. Not really studying the word for themselves, they regurgitate some diluted poison that causes Jesus' beautiful bride to wallow in a miry mess of mud, causing her garments to be stained with the lusts of the world while all the time saying, "God is love. His grace endures through the night."

Well, of course God is love! And of course His grace endures through the night! Jesus hung naked on a cross and paid the penalty for our sin;  therefore, shouldn't we be sober- minded? Shouldn't we awaken from our sinful slumber and walk in the victory wherewith Christ has made us free?

A true shepherd will be willing to hook a sheep's hip with his staff, dislocate it so it can't walk, and tote it on his back while teaching him a lesson.


Lastly, we have the teacher. Many Greek scholars believe that a proper translation would have been "teaching pastors."
I don't know about that completely, but I do know that Pastors better be able to teach because the people will rarely be able to rise above the level that they are taught by their pastor.
Therefore, if the sheep are tended in an environment void of the teaching of God, they will be easy prey for the ravenous wolves sent by Satan with false doctrine to destroy the people of God. And with a hireling pastor unwilling to expose that which is contrary to sound doctrine, which he can't even recognize-- well-- you do the math!
Lastly, regarding the teacher, the word in the Greek is didaskolos, coming from the same root we spoke of in the last class didache, meaning instructions regarding God's word.
Essentially, the teacher is an instructor of the truths of God's word.
"For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;..."
Once again to remind you, the purpose if these gifts:
1). Jesus gives the gift to the church for the purpose of giving the church to the world.
2). The gifts are used to perfect, bring to a place of completion or maturity the body of Christ.
  A. So that the church "body of Christ" would do the work of the ministry-- reach a lost and dying world with the gospel of Jesus.
  B. Edification-- the idea of structure. A building is only as strong as its structure will hold. God desires that we be structurally sound, so He can bring us to a place of maturity.
  C. Unity of the faith. God desires that His people would be able to walk in unity on what it means to be in the faith. If we don't know what that means, then I'm fearful we may not really be there at all.
3). To the measure of the stature of Christ. The idea is that we are growing to Christian maturity, speaking of adult height, specifically, our walk is looking more like Jesus and less like self.
4). Lastly, God's desire is that the five fold ministry would prepare His people, so that they no longer have to be tossed like a vessel that is lost in a sea ripped by the winds of false doctrine.

As this series about storms progresses, I am seeing God persistently warning the hearers about being driven off course. Like a vessel without rudders, a captain without skills to plot (wisdom of God) or coordinates (doctrines of God) that are askew, the believer deceived is tossed on a tumultuous sea, risking violent shipwreck any moment.
God has once again brought the following passage to my heart in reference to these thoughts.
Hebrews 3:8-10
Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

The word "err" in the above passage is communicating the fact that Israel went astray from God in their hearts.  They tempted or "put God to the test" through their persistent rebelliousness while wandering in the wilderness. The crazy thing is that people can't see their rebellion while they’re in it; rather, they think, like Israel, that the golden calf, constant murmurings, and desire for Egyptian finery were perfectly normal.
The passage is clear: Israel erred or went astray in their hearts because they did not know the ways of God. Now, this should be a sobering message for any New Testament believer. The very people that God had birthed for Himself through one man named Abraham out of a sea of heathen nations did not know His ways.
The very people of whom he said:
For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life:but teach them thy sons, and thy sons 'sons; Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. Deuteronomy 4:7-10
The very people who had been created by Him and been given the word (judgements and statutes) by Him and should have known His ways-- didn't!
Some people would say, "Yeah, but that's the Old Testament man-- now we have Jesus!"
Sadly, the same occurs today-- people don't understand the ways of God in the New Covenant. They don't understand how to properly access His grace through faith in the sacrifice of His Son. They think the cross is some moment in history to be moved beyond so they can move towards what they call the "moving and operation of the Spirit," which is beginning to look more and more like the moving and operation of a spirit, but it's not the Holy Spirit. People are so hungry for an "experience" that they laugh and roll and bark and crow, even shake and fake but never stop to review the text to ask if He ever did this before in His Word.
Instead, they say, "He's doing a new thing. There is a paradigm shift occurring, a new order of things, a new manifestation of the presence get on or get left behind," and the gullible and unlearned err in their hearts by the thousands, no, by the millions!
Can I speak to you for a second Christian? There is a paradigm shift taking place, but it's not the shifting of God. Instead, it's the shifting of the New Age influence and occult upon the church of Jesus Christ. God has already done a "new thing." It's called the New Covenant. He sent His Son to die on a cross, so that His presence could abide in believers as the temples of the living God. He poured out His Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and those that seek the gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, will be filled, will speak with other tongues, and will be endued with power from on high wherewith they will be witnesses to the salvation message of Jesus Christ.
The next new thing will be chaos and confusion unlike the earth has ever seen, men's hearts will fail them. Those times will be shortened for the elect's sake. I believe God will remove His church from this earth before His wrath is poured out undiluted upon unrepentant man. How I long to be in the presence of the one who loved me enough to give His life for my sin.
But let me warn the reader the plans of Satan are much more organized than what we have ever given him credit for. He has for thousands of years of human history been planning his birth of Horus, birth of the New Age, birth of the New World Order.
This is not the same as the wrath of God. Instead, this is Satan's last stand and grand finale' of deception to drag as many of the gullible and unlearned with Him.
Many who call themselves Christians are ripe for the deception already. All over Facebook they call themselves Christians while living a life of worldliness. They engage themselves in fellowship and intimacy with the world. They say things like, "Who are you to judge whether two men or two women have the right to love one another?"
You fool! Can't you see you have already been sold under the coming lie of deception, it’s even here now, knocking-- nay-- you have already let it in! You are fellowshipping with the lies of the spirit of antichrist. Have you read your Bible? Have you read your New Testament? Don’t worry there is more than this one and much more in the Old Testament but let’s start here.
Romans 1:27-32

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Did you see that Christian, or you who label yourself such? He said that even those who take pleasure in them deserve death. Listen to me, “I didn’t say it God did!” And if you think that this is gay bashing you're wrong because God abhorred the pornography I was bound with in the past. He abhorred the alcohol and drugs I was bound with in the past. Wake up people don't be deceived. God is not mocked whatever a man sows he will reap (Galatians 6:7).
Please get back on course! Please learn the doctrines! Please cry out for the wisdom of God, so that the storm might be stopped!

Weathering the Storms of Life: Part 2a

Last week we covered the first installment of the series weathering the storms of life. There were 3 main points that were covered, but the point that stood out most to me was that in the midst of the storm, we are instructed from the letter written by James to ask for wisdom.


I attempted to emphasize the point that I felt like the Lord wanted  me to equate this series about the storms we will be speaking of to the trials and tribulations that Jesus promised we would encounter upon this earth (John 16:33).


An illustration I used was a vessel or ship upon a raging sea. The tumultuous sea is the storm, and the vessel is the believer who is being tossed to and fro. As pointed out last week, wisdom is needed in order to navigate through the storm. Furthermore, it was explained that wisdom is more than just knowledge about God’s word; rather, wisdom is the proper application of God’s word in the midst of the storm, navigation for our every day lives. 


To bring the illustration a step forward, the application of wisdom regarding navigation on a ship in the midst of a storm would be the understanding of properly plotting coordinates upon the navigation chart. Undoubtedly, it would be useless to have coordinates, yet no understanding to properly plot them.


Tonight we will be studying a passage out of the book of Ephesians that will once again speak of being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. My attempt tonight will be to properly explain the importance of doctrine in the life of the believer. To be truthful, doctrine, good doctrine that is, is every bit as important as wisdom. Just as it will do the mariner no good to have coordinates if he hasn’t the wisdom to properly plot them, it does him no good to have the wisdom of plotting if he has the wrong coordinates. Doctrine, as we will see, is the coordinates, the very building blocks from which the wisdom of God properly navigates our lives.


Ephesians 4:11-16
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Last week we discussed three elements that are important if a person is going to weather the spiritual storms of life:
#1: ask for wisdom
#2: be aware that many times the result of the storm is directly related to who and what you allow in your boat.
#3 throw Jonah (disobedience) out and put Jesus in.
In the last teaching, I tried to explain the concept of wisdom. As stated, it's important to understand that wisdom has an experiential aspect to it. In other words, wisdom is not just the knowledge of God's word; instead, wisdom is the practice of the knowledge of God's word in our daily lives; it is the application and insertion of God's wisdom into our everyday circumstances.
Unfortunately, just as our flesh (the part of man tainted with sin) and the Spirit of God in the born again believer engage in a battle for supremacy to win domination and control the manifestation of our behavior (Galatians 5:17), there is also a struggle taking place where the Christian is wanting to vacillate back & forth between God and man's wisdom. 
It should be understood that this is no small thing. The word of God is very clear that the wisdom of man can be very dangerous to our well being.
1 Corinthians 3:19
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
1 Corinthians 2:1-8
Chapter 2
 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect:yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew:for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

So in the last lesson point #1 said, "If you find yourself in a storm ask God for wisdom."
In this lesson, we are going to learn that before the knowledge of God can ever be practiced, it must first be learned.
[Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive]
AV (2)- unity 2;  unity unanimity, agreement


ενοτησ henotes; from 1520; oneness, i. e. (figuratively) unanimity:— unity.
I took an excerpt from our passage that we are studying because I wanted to focus on a couple things:
1). The scripture is clear. God's design is that we would come together in unity. However, let's be careful and pay close attention to what is being said, "unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God."
This passage is not saying that we should all just get along with one another; rather, this verse is explaining that our unity must come together at a certain point. The point of convergence isn't our horizontal relationship. Instead, the point of converging unity takes place in our understanding of [the faith] and the [knowledge of the Son of God]. To be clear, people in unity on the truth, will walk in unity with one another.
Once again, it is important to note that the faith spoken of here is not a verb. As a matter of fact the reason this phrase was translated "the faith" rather than just "faith" is because the Greek definite article precedes the word faith in the original language.
Right now some people are saying, "Who cares?" For those people, it's probably best to keep scrolling your news feed; however, for those who want some answers, stay tuned.
The definite article in the Greek simply constitutes a noun in that language; therefore, when the definite article precedes a word, which in our language is translated as "the", it means the word is a noun.
"The faith" in this verse is descriptive of the New Covenant. The convergence point that God desires we, those born of Him (1 Peter 1:1-3; John 3:3), become unified is in our understanding or belief of the New Covenant, which is the Son of God.
While I have already gone too long, let's clarify. Jesus said, "This is my body it will be broken for you. This is my blood of the New Covenant, it will be shed for you." Jesus Christ (His person—represented by the bread) and His blood (the sacrifice [cross]—represented by the wine) is the New Covenant.
This is the place where we must agree, and anything that tries to pull us away from this is being driven and motivated by demonic entities; furthermore, any true Christian should not be…and I repeat, "Should not be unified with that movement!"
2). We are told that those remaining unified at this place will be moved towards a certain measurement of "stature." The idea being portrayed is one of adult height. In other words, we are growing up in Christ and progressively coming to that place of Christian maturity. I don't know about you, but when I look back on my first twelve years of Christianity, I'm so glad that I've moved past "diapers and milk."
3). When a man or woman of God becomes unified in their own spirit with the Spirit of God on what a proper understanding of "the faith" and the "knowledge of the Son of God" is, maturity and growth takes place-- and...
4). Furthermore, we are no longer "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive..."
This is the place that we resume our "storm" motif. It should be noted that the wind, which is causing the storm or tossing in all directions is caused by false doctrine.
Furthermore, it should be noted that in this case, the Bible warns that the false doctrine isn't accidental. In reality, the text is clear-- this false doctrine, which generates storms in the lives of believers, resulting in unrest and violent tossing to and fro is methodical.
To explain this, I'm only going to (exegete) or draw out the meaning of two words in the text in order to make my point:
a. The first word is sleight from the phrase, "... The sleight of men..." This word in the Greek is κυβοσ kubos
This is where we get the English word cube. The idea is descriptive of a game of dice played by men of deceit.
(a “cube”, i. e. die for playing); gambling, i. e. (figuratively) artifice_ Strong's
b. The second wait from the phrase, "...lie in wait." This word in the Greek is g3180. μεθοδεια methodeia;
compare “method”); traveling over, i. e. travesty ( trickery): — wile, lie in wait_ Strong's
In other words, its a diabolical plan that has the idea of the sleight of man's hand purposefully deceiving God's people, ultimately, resulting in Christians being tossed to and fro by the winds of false doctrine.
Even more interesting, at least to me, is the thought that the Greek root of the word for methodeia is methistemi...
μεθιστημι methistemi;to transpose, transfer, remove from one place to another
It's as though the thought involved is a switching of one thing for another. Now, take all this information together and think of these people on the streets of big city's hustling money with the three bended card game or the nut under the shell game. Essentially, what is taking place is that they are purposefully trying to deceive people through illusion of fast hand movements, a transposing or moving of an object from one place to another, causing the observer to believe what he saw was the right thing when in reality what he saw was an illusion.
In a moment, I will make the point that I personally believe that this very thing has been and is currently taking place in the church-- evil deceivers, posed as "friends" (Christians) are slowly and methodically changing the gospel before our very eyes, and its being done with such trickery that the masses, even astute leaders are falling headlong into the trap.
But first, I want to tackle this thought about doctrine, which seems to be a much hated word by the new version of Christianity we see arising on the new horizon of this "new world" we are slowly entering.
If you polled people nowadays, you would undoubtedly hear people speak of the fact that their favorite part of church is the music. Furthermore, they want to hear a message that is relevant to their own personal needs. As a matter of fact, I have heard people say, after a good sermon, "How does that affect my marriage?"
I'm sorry Burger King customer that we didn't serve up your desires your way right away. Let me go back into the kitchen and whip you up another meal that might better satiate your appetite.
Or better yet, why don't you, as a child of God recognize that the scriptures are His counsel unto you and that the words contained therein (the Bible) are the words of life that will bring nourishment to your souls and healing to your life:
Proverbs 2:10-11 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee,
understanding shall keep thee
As we learn to apply a proper understanding of God's word to our lives, we will begin to see our marriages healed along with many other practical aspects of our lives.
Therefore, let's spend some time with this concept called doctrine, especially since the wrong kind will brew a strong wind within our Christian journey.
g1319. διδασκαλια didaskalia;

 from 1320; instruction (the function or the information):— doctrine, learning, teaching.
AV (21)- doctrine 19, teaching_ Strong's
This word is undoubtedly where we get our English word didactics. I have always liked the word didactics because it describes the type of learning that takes place in a classroom, and I love learning and teaching in a classroom setting.
Let me give you some examples:
1). In a nursing degree, the didactics portion of the curriculum involves the textbook or learning of the theories associated with the science of nursing; whereas, the practicum is the portion of the education where the student takes what he has learned in the classroom to the bedside, adding an experiential aspect to his education.
2). Let's use the concept of electricity or air condition refrigeration. While I personally know nothing about these fields, I do know that there is both didactics and practicum involved in the process of learning this skill. There are grounds and live wires. There is conduction and insulation. There are circuits and breakers. And there is a time when the electrician must move his hand and eyes from the blue print to the place where he touches the wires.
3). Lets look at the job of a preacher. If he receives an education, he may take a preaching class. The didactics portion of the class may teach him aspects such as the difference between how to preach a story (narrative) vs. one of Paul's letters (epistle). This would be the didactic portion of his learning; however, there will come a day when he will have to study, produce, and finally communicate that sermon. This, once again, is the practicum or practical portion of his education.
Why do we care?
We care because the passage we studied last week instructed us: whilst in the storm ask for wisdom from God.
This week I want to point out the importance of the fact that there is a perquisite to habitually walking in the wisdom of God. The prerequisite to the wisdom class is doctrine or instruction 101, in other words, the proper instruction of God's word.
I must warn you that the sleight of hand of crafty man we spoke of earlier is alive and well in the modern church and sadly most believers are completely unaware that its happening.
There is a movement within the modern church known as the Emergent Church. Within the framework of this faux "church," there is an emphasis on reaching a generation of what we call postmodern people. Postmodern meaning-- we've moved past the age of modernity, where science was supposed to fix all the ills of mankind, when in reality, it has left people with a void in their lives and full of unanswered questions.
Within postmodernism, is the thought that there is no absolute truth; therefore, there is no absolute text (Bible). Furthermore, there is no absolute central focus; therefore, there is not one absolute God.
Instead, there are many ways to happiness, many holy books to explore, and many gods to implore. Within this framework, the Emergent Church's mission is to give the postmodernist an opportunity to "experience God." In other words, people don't want to just know Him, read about Him, and have to put there faith in some doctrine. No! They want Him to be palpable, breathable, even drinkable.
Listen close because this is where it gets good or bad, whichever way you choose to see it. The way people are instructed to tap into experiencing this god's presence is through ancient mystical practices which include: soaking, breath prayers, and contemplative prayer.
Both of these practices find their roots in mystery religion and "christianized" versions of the ancient art of yoga where one is taught to empty oneself in order to "experience" the deity, so I don't doubt if you practice these tactics that you're experiencing something, but I can definitively tell you this, "It ain't the God that sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross, because the way you experience that God is through faith in the one whom He sent to die for your sin."
These types of mystical practices have also entered through much of the Word of Faith Movement where preachers preach fables then back it up with, "I received this one from direct revelation of God."
Within both of these movements, there is a deterrence from a proper Christ centered (Jesus Christ and Him crucified) approach to the gospel. There is a clear avoidance of terminology such as: sin, blood, and the cross.
There are multiple instances where these people can be seen and heard degrading the concept of doctrine, which, once again, simply means God's instruction.
One of the most blatant examples is found in The Purpose Driven Life:
"God won't ask you about your religious background or doctrinal views." Pg. 34
Sadly, many of us in the church have been made punch drunk by the claim of the word of faith preachers, "Touch not mine anointed." This verse is used as an attempt to quiet detractors and strike fear in the heart of any man who would dare call into question the teachings of another preacher. Really! You better go back and read your Bible. Start with Jesus' warning about the leaven of the Pharisees. Then move to Paul's persistent warnings about the Judaizers and others who were teaching false doctrine.
No! It's my job and your job to be Berean's, study the word, and mark them which teach any other doctrine than the one we have been given:
Romans 16:17-18
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

If you think I've gone too far here, then I challenge you to watch this video-- if you can handle the truth that is!
Church of Tares: Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive, Church Growth, and New World Order.
In the meantime, I'm going to discuss some scriptures that speak about the importance of doctrine.
Matthew 16:12
Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Exegete and expose the verses before and after this one
Acts 2:42
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles 'doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Romans 6:17
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Romans 16:17-18
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Fair speeches-- in a bad sense, language artfully adapted to captivate the hearer:fair speaking, fine speeches
1 Timothy 4:13
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
1 Timothy 4:16
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them:for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
2 Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having
itching ears {desirous of hearing something pleasant}; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Fables--  an invention, a falsehood

And we wonder why the lives of believers many times resemble those of unbelievers, struggling and flailing in the midst of a tumultuous storm, seemingly incapable of finding their way back on course.




Weathering the Storms of Life: Part 1

In discussing the storms of life, I am specifically equating "storms" to times or seasons where our lives are full of confusion and uncertainty.
The storms of life can be equated with trials and tribulations that Jesus spoke about:
John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation:but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.


Tribulation: a pressing, pressing together, pressure metaph. oppression, affliction,

When viewed from a proper biblical perspective, the Christian should expect that the trials and storms are coming simply because we live on a fallen earth, which is driven by the spirit of antichrist and is contrary to the child of God.
Nevertheless, Jesus tells us when the tribulations of life are encountered that we are to be of "good cheer because He has overcame the world." When the mature Christian is faced with a trial or tribulation, their initial reaction very well may be one of great concern and even distress, but ultimately, the trial should drive them to put their eyes on the Lord, which produces peace.
Storms, in the natural, are typified by howling winds, destruction, and when encountered on the sea, powerful waves that can drive the vessel off course.
Our journey can be similar to a vessel tossed by powerful waves when we attempt to face the storms of life in our own strength or logic. Actually, it's common for our attempts or plans to cause more trouble, more anxiety, and more confusion.
Whereas, when we look to the Lord, the storm is calmed, we experience peace, God gives us direction, and we learn from the trial or storm we've just experienced.
In the physical world storms, at least hurricanes start with waves; therefore, I'm going to start by using a verse, which describes waves and trials.
James 1:2-8
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;KJV

James 1:2
Testing of Your Faith
 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, ESV

The word "temptations" is used in the KJV and "trial" in ESV. The idea in the passage is that there is a testing taking place through the trial.
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.-- If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Essentially, this passage is speaking to believers. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is clear through James that, in this case, the believer's faith is on trial in the midst of the test.
There are some very important things that should be noted:
1). The unbeliever who is in a storm or trial is relatively hopeless. There is no sense to be made of his plight (situation) because he just believes that random things happen, and he is the recipient of some random "bad stuff."
2). The believer, on the other hand, is instructed to count the trial as joy-- why?
3). The believer is instructed to count the trial as joy because the trying of our faith "worketh" or produces patience. In the Greek this word for patience is synonymous with endurance.
4). The believer is instructed not to quit in the midst of the trial because the purpose of the end result of patience is that we become "perfect."
The idea of the word perfect here is not the same as we use it in everyday language. Instead, it describes maturity or completion. In other words, if we are going to ever be labeled as “mature” and complete Christians, we are going to have to endure the trial or testing of our faith.
5). There is a critical component to the success of the Christian's trial-- wisdom.
• skill in the management of affairs
• the knowledge and practice of the requisites for godly and upright living
• the varied knowledge of things human and divine, acquired by [acuteness] and experience...
• sharp or penetrating in intellect, insight, or perception:
an acute observer.
extremely sensitive even to slight details or impressions: acute eyesight.
If we are going to navigate the storms of life successfully, we must have the wisdom of God working on our behalf.
Wisdom comes from the Holy Spirit working through knowledge of God's word. Wisdom is not just knowledge about the word of God; rather, wisdom is an experiential working of God's word in us as we travel life.
It is the practicing of God's word to the point that we begin to operate with an acuteness or perception regarding our surroundings and begin to make decisions based upon the wisdom of God instead of the logic of man.
In other words, a person operating in wisdom has knowledge regarding the word of God, knows how to apply that knowledge in specific circumstances, and is obedient in doing so.
6). But when you ask for God's wisdom in the midst of your trial don't waver-- don't be double minded.
In other words, don't ask God for wisdom to navigate in your storm then respond in a double minded manner by steering in a direction that has some of God's instruction and some of your own will mixed in. If you do that, you're off course Christian. You're going to be tossed to and fro like a wave in a raging sea.
If the wisdom of God is not just knowledge, but knowledge and experience resulting in proper application in specific circumstances, then how does the message of the cross or the finished work of Christ fit into this trial or storm equation?
Remember, this whole passage tells us that faith is on trial. Sadly, most people think of faith only as a verb, usually in reference to something that they want (new car, house, relationship...).
In the case of a storm, they may think that the faith spoken of believes God for an escape.
In reality, more often than not the New Testament writers used the word faith more as a noun, as in a place or state of being. An example would be, before Christ, you were in a state or being of sin, but after conversion, you are now in a state or being in a new place called "the faith," which is synonymous with being "in Christ."
In other words, when a person places faith (verb) in Jesus Christ and Him crucified, they are now in the faith (noun).
The faith is a place. Essentially, it’s descriptive of the New Covenant in Christ. It is this faith that is constantly on trial because while the enemy wants to destroy it, God wants to perfect it.
Proper faith always looks to Jesus, the source of victory, and His sacrifice, which is the event allowing sinful man to be connected to the presence and grace of God.
Therefore, just as faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified gives the believer access to grace in order to experience victory over sin, faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified also gives the believer access to grace to experience peace in the midst of his storm. But this must come through applying the wisdom of God in the midst of these circumstances.
The person who lacks the wisdom of God finds his/her life being tossed to and fro like a wave in the midst of a storm. There is no godly direction; instead, this person is being driven by their own logic and carnal appetites (What they want).
Point # 1: when a person finds himself in the trial or storm, he should ask God for wisdom.

However, it should also be understood that true wisdom is something that God dispenses as His children walk with Him. True wisdom is gained through relationship with God. It's not just a life preserver thrown out every time somebody finds themselves tossing around like a wave on the ocean.
Point # 2: sometimes the storms in our lives are a direct result of who or what we allow in our boat.
Jonah 1:1-12
Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish:so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.  But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.
 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you:for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.

Jonah was a child of the most, high God running away in rebellion from the will and presence of God. The result of his disobedience is that the storm is raging, resulting in confusion and chaos for everyone around him.
Have you ever known anyone like this? Everywhere they go, everything they do is filled with drama, frustration, and chaos. Furthermore, if you choose to connect yourself to them while they navigate their disobedience, you will also be affected.
The people in the Jonah story have connected themselves to Jonah and his disobedience, resulting in them also being connected to the storm that is surrounding Jonah's life.
In a similar fashion, when a believer connects himself to people or "things" of disobedience, they should expect chaos and confusion.
Point # 3: the answer to the storm is simple-- throw Jonah out and let Jesus in.
Matthew 8:23-27
And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves:but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us:we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

There are other instances where Jesus encounters the storm and brings a calm which we will cover over the next couple of weeks.
However, the main point to be made here is that Jesus has authority and power to change circumstances; unfortunately, many of us, as the disciples in this story, are more concerned or consumed with the storm than the storm stopper.
It's also interesting to me that they were in the boat with Jesus; yet, they were being overtaken with fear because of the circumstances. Ultimately, it should be noted that many Christians want to say that they have Jesus in the boat, but they have connected themselves to Jonah (disobedience), resulting in a lack of God's presence and an intensification of the storm.
If you are experiencing this in your life, the answer is to get rid of Jonah (disobedience) and get a hold of Jesus.
Not only did Jesus calm the weather in this story, but if you continue reading, you will find that He also has authority over unclean spirits, so no matter what you are experiencing in your life right now, I am here to remind you that Jesus has the needed power-- turn to Him!