I came across a message by Jon Courson and thought, given Hurricane Irene, I’d pass it on to you with a few editorial changes. The Lord promised everyone on board would survive the storm - Acts 27:1-13. In the rest of the chapter we see four types of storms that blow into our lives:
Storms of correction. Jonah is a good example of this. When a storm arose he was tossed overboard and swallowed by a great fish, because he was rebelling against the Lord (Jonah 1:10). So, too, sometimes when we rebel and disobey the Lord, He will allow a storm to get us back on track again.
Storms of perfection. Jesus fed the five thousand and then sent His disciples across the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14). Midway through their journey, a storm arose around them for their perfection. You see, Jesus knew it wouldn’t be too many months before these same disciples would see another multitude of five thousand—not fed, but saved (Acts 4:4)—followed by another storm—not on the sea, but of persecution within the church (Acts 8:1). Thus, Jesus was training His boys to endure the storms of persecution that inevitably follow the seasons of blessing.
Faith is not a pill we take, folks. It’s a muscle we work (e.g. 1 Peter 1:6-9). Therefore, the Lord will send us storms from time to time not for correction, but for perfection because the way I respond to storms internally will tell me where I’m at spiritually. Storms provide a unique opportunity for us to see where we are in our walk with the Lord and to grow in our understanding that the Lord will come through at the right time, saying, “Be of good cheer. We’re going to make it.”
Storms of protection. “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). And we see that grace as God sent a storm to drown out all of the carnality, sin, and iniquity that surrounded him. The storm raged for forty days and nights, but Noah and his family were not only protected in the storm—they were protected by the storm. “Oh no!” we cry. “My TV blew up,” or, "My phone . . . iPad . . . iPod . . . computer . . . etc. broke. What a storm I’m in.” But, as in Noah’s case, it might be a storm of protection—protecting us from the distractions of life, the carnality and iniquity that surround us continually.
Storms of direction. Knowing there was a group of people on the island of Malta in need of ministry, the Lord said, “Before you go to Rome, Paul, I’m going to allow you to be blown off course because there is something I want you to do for Me—something you never would have thought of on your own, something that wasn’t part of your agenda. I have some people to whom I want you to minister, so I’ll allow a storm to arise, which, although it looks like it’s blowing you off course, will put you in the very place I want to use you.” “How come I got canned?” “Why did she dump me?” “How come it’s not working out?” you ask. Don’t be blown away. Realize that the Lord is changing your direction because there’s something He wants to do that will ultimately be a blessing. Look at such things not as rejection, but as redirection.
Storms of correction and perfection, storms of protection and direction—how can you know which one you might be in? Talk to the Father: “Why am I in this storm, Lord? Is it correction—or are You perfecting me for what You see is coming my way? Is there a new direction for my life—or are You protecting me from something that would be very damaging?”
(Courson, J. (2003). Jon Courson's Application Commentary (851). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.)