Text: Mark 4:35-39
At every junction of progress, at every edge of breakthrough there will always be challenges, storms or trials .In fact at every point in your life its either you are inside a challenge, just coming out of a challenge or getting set to enter another challenge!
Know for sure, that there is no star, who does not have  a scar, there is no champion who never had a challenge.⦁    The flower must be crushed before the perfume can come.
⦁    The wheat must be powdered before you can talk of bread.
⦁    Grapes must be squeezed before you can drink wine.
⦁    Pressure must come before pleasure
⦁    Crisis is the forerunner of colour
⦁    Struggle is the mother of success
⦁    Strive is the midwife of excellence
⦁    Cross must be carried before you can wear the crown
There is always a wilderness before Canaan; there are always giants on the way to the Promised Land.
God therefore is on the lookout for men and women who will not wither in their wilderness, who will not pack up under pressure, who will not collapse in crisis.
For your information: storms can become carrier of good things!
STORM CARRY JOSEPH TO EGYPT BEFORE  HIS BREAKTHROUGH CAME Gen 50:20
STORM TRANSPORTED JONAH TO HIS ZONE OF MANIFESTATION (where he preached and recorded 120,000 conversions)
IT WAS STORM THAT LIFTED SHADRACH ,MESHACH & ABEDNEGO IN BABYLON    Dan 3:30 (they were no longer servants they became celebrities).
If you are inside any storm now please stay excited: some goodies may be on the way!

Types Of Storms And Examples
1.Satanic storms
Storm can be engineered by Satan or satanic agents. Storms like these are designed to make you deny God, get frustrated, lose faith in yourself, throw away your confidence in God and His ability!
Example: Job experienced a Satan-inspired storm (Job 1&2)
2.Self Inflicted Storm:
I recall the case of a Professor Of Chemistry who was dying of a Lung Cancer and was still sneaking out to smoke from his hospital bed!
Before his admission into the hospital,he was a chain smoker who was permanently taking “Cough Syrup”. Despite numerous warnings,counsels and admonition he couldn’t do away with this destructive habit of Smoking!
PLEASE TAKE NOTE:
No matter the kind of destructive Habit you are involved in, God can deliver you and give permanent victory.
The Word says: I am the Lord of all Flesh, is there anything too hard for me?(Jer.32:27)
What Do You Do To Be Free from Destructive Habits
a.    Admit you have a problem: Until you know it’s a problem you cannot be victorious over it. 1Jn.1:9 Alcoholics who never admit they are alcoholics wont find freedom.
People filled with lust who wont admit they have a problem can’t get freedom.
b.    Believe that God can set you free:Faith is the forerunner of freedom.What you can’t believe,you can’t receive!(Luke1:45,Mat.19:26,Mark 11:24)
c.    Pray continually for the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.When you consciously walk in the Spirit,fulfilling the Lust of the flesh will become difficult(Gal.5:16)
d.    Avoid any company that tempts you.Prov 13:20
e.    Get support from a spiritual friend, leader or mentor.( James. 5:16)

3.God Ordained Storm (Psalm 119:67)
This is obviously a difficult truth. No one  want to hear this: but truly God can ALLOW a storm to come to the path of a child of God…either to correct him, strengthens him or forcefully direct him!
God sent a storm to the ship carrying Jonah so that ultimately he will be able to get to Nineveh and preach the Word!

WHAT NOT TO DO INSIDE STORM

Recall the story of the storm involving Paul in Acts 27
1. Don’t surrender:
In Acts 27:20 Paul the apostle and other passengers in the ship “gave up all hope of being saved” But thank God for the angelic visitation that assured Paul that no life will be lost! (Verse24)
No matter what you are passing through don’t give up, the pressure is to make you precious so that you can become a treasure. Storms are temporary, you must not give up. Don’t allow that storm to sink you. That you face terrible things does not mean you should become miserable.
2. Don’t look at the storm (2Cor 4:18)
Don’t look at the storm  like Peter did! Those who look at the storm may sink in the storm.! Abraham looked at the storm of barrenness he gave birth to Ishmael..and up till today the generation of Ishmael are still troubling the Children of Isaac!
3. Don’t change your identity Ruth 1:19-20
The mind of Naomi is under torture, she almost denied the goodness of God. Watch your heart because that’s the determination of your height. Don’t let that storm distort your mind.
“If it did not affect your mind, it cannot destroy your life.”
Don’t change your “name’ like Naomi attempted to do!  God is working out something. You are not who circumstances say you are, you are whom God says you are.

WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE IS STORM

1.Believe you can overcome 1John5:4
You can only achieve what you believe that you can achieve. God will not by-pass your faith to give you a future. If you can’t see it in your mind, you may not be able to touch it with your hand.
I want you to see that victory…see that joy you have always wanted…see yourself giving testimonies…see yourself getting to your destination despite storms! The word says ‘nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do’
Believe you can survive and you will survive.Believe you can excel and you will excel.Believe you can reach your goal and you will get there.Believe you can overcome that storm and you will overcome! (Gen.11:6,Mat.19:26,Mark 11:24)
2.Plan For Victory Luke14:28-30
Genuine victory is never accidental.It comes as a result of effective preparation and planning. God will always reward those who plan ahead with victory,achievement and peace of mind.
The Egyptians were able to overcome famine  because Joseph counselled them to plan ahead. Gen41:33-36   
Joshua and his army were able to subdue Ai(the second time) because a plan was in place.(Joshua8:3-8)
3.Embrace the Word of Victory Psalm 107:20,119:81
The word of God should be you permanent companion. It is not just enough to hear alone, you must also take a quality decision to do all of the word of God you hear, because it is the doer of the word that prospers and not just the hearer.Study,the Word.Meditate on it.Obey it wholeheartedly.
4.Having Done All Stand (Eph.6:13)
Sometimes after you have done all you need to do…your responsibility will be to STAND. God is sovereign. You may in some circumstances and in total submission to His will just accept whatever does or does not come your way. Many times you dare not question God. He knows the end from the beginning… and does do whatever pleases HIM. Sometimes you may not understand but as that popular hymns goes..We’ll understand it better by and by
5.Don’t Stop Praying (Luke18:1)
Prayer is not a one-time affair. If you want a daily victory…you will need daily prayers. We are not fighting against flesh and blood. If that storm is satanic in origin you will need to labour in prayers to be able to win and continue winning.


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