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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Bishop T. D. Jakes » TD Jakes - Steady in the Storm

TD Jakes - Steady in the Storm

TD Jakes - Steady in the Storm

The one thing I can guarantee you that all of us will face, male or female, is a storm. Single or married, is a storm. Divorced or not, is a storm. There is nobody you're going to meet, or greet, or fall in love with, or fall out of love with, that will avoid the fact that storms are built into God's plan for getting you to the other side. You have to know that he equipped you with a fire extinguisher, and a life raft, and an emergency exit, and a door that moves, and an automated system, and a microphone. And so that even when you can't see him, you can hear him. And if you will follow his voice, you will get to the other side.

The problem is, storms are noisy, and they're loud, and they're disruptive, and there's so many people screaming, and hollering, and people are saying to hold back, and people are saying push through, and people are saying turn the wheel. And somebody else is saying, grab the rudder. And somebody else is saying, throw the weights off. And somebody else is saying, cast the anchor. And somebody else is saying, put up the sail. And you stand there, you don't know whether to put up the sail, throw the anchor, cast, it's hard to do it. And the real art I have learned so far in the storm is not fixing the storm.

The first thing we do when we get in the storm is to try to fix the storm. The storm is not yours to fix. The storm is yours to survive. You cannot fix the storm. That's number one, you cannot fix the storm. You cannot fix the storm, and this drives you crazy. And I'm gonna make a generalization. It's not always true, but I'm gonna make it anyway. But it's particularly difficult for men, because we are raised to fix stuff. We grew up fixing stuff. Women grew up, a lot of women grew up with relationships with dolls, with doll babies, playing in the house, all that kind of stuff. You grew up with that kind of stuff. We grew up fixing stuff.

Most of us, they didn't give us doll babies. They probably should have. Maybe we'd have been better fathers if we'd practice with babies. We practice making them better than we did having... So, maybe we would have been better. But they gave us tools, and they gave us stuff to build, and they gave us stuff to fix. And so whenever you give us a problem, we wanna fix it, because we feel like we're a failure if we don't fix it. And there are some women who feel that way too. You feel like you failed if you don't fix it, if your daughter doesn't turn out the way you wanted her to turn out, if your son doesn't turn out the way you wanted, if your marriage doesn't turn out the way you want it to turn out, you lose self esteem because you feel like it's your fault, because you can't fix it.

And you're embarrassed to admit to other people that you're on your third marriage, and that you can't fix it. And you're embarrassed to admit to other people that you have been here a year and gone through three jobs, and you can't fix it. And I came to tell you, every storm that comes your way is not your job to fix. I'm gonna let that sink in a little bit, because a lot of you pride yourself on being able to fix people. And that's why you pick out fixer uppers, because you think you're so good at fixing stuff, that you are drawn to people who are fixer uppers, so that you feel needed and you can fix them up. You are not on this boat to fix this storm. When they set sail, everything was cool. Jesus is taking a nap.

This is an important trip, because to cross over the Sea of Galilee, and go to the other side, was to go to Gadarenes, not just that the man was possessed with demons, but the man who was possessed with demons was a Gentile. And getting the gospel over to the Gentiles was a very important trip. It was a prophetic trip. Jesus experiencing the Jews on one side, and the Gentiles on the other was a prophetic picture of what was gonna happen to the early church. The early church was gonna start being offered to the Jews, and consequently end up going to the Gentiles. It was gonna start out being based in Jerusalem, and end up based in Rome. The church was gonna take the same journey that the boat did. The church is the boat, the sea is the world.

And here we are trying to navigate the church through the tempest of the world. And the boat has one culture, and the sea has another culture. And we are in it, though we're not of it. And we have to survive it being in the middle of it, because even though we're not of it, we are still in it. And we get tossed and beat to and fro, because we can't get the boat to work without putting it in the water. And the church doesn't work without the world. The church doesn't work without the world. Every time the church has tried to escape the world, we've made fools of ourselves. If you know church history, there are many times we've gone up on the mountain to wait for Jesus.

We've colonized and moved out, and become cultish to wait on Jesus. Any time the boat tries to escape the sea, it ends up embarrassed, because the boat only works in the sea. And the church only works in the world, and the world is unpredictable. One text can change the next ten years of your life. One phone call can change how the rest of your day goes. One text, and you're trying to book a flight to get out of here on the next flight possible, to get to some place that you never expected to get to as quickly as you could, because all of a sudden a storm hits you. Storms don't always warn you that they're coming. It's not like they send out a notice and say, you getting ready to get on a boat and all hell is gonna break loose.

Oh, about 50 fathoms out into the water. You're gonna run into the worst time of your life. You're gonna think you're gonna die. Oh, once you get so high in the air, the pilot is gonna pass out, and you're gonna be scared out of your wits, and you're gonna almost lose your mind. Oh, you're gonna have a baby, and the baby's gonna die in your arms, and you're gonna be sadder than you ever been in your life. You're gonna lose all three of your first pregnancies. You're gonna, your husband is gonna leave you for your girlfriend, and your sister, your auntie, your cousin, run off with your mama. No, nobody, you don't get to pick.

Oh, you think that's funny? You think that's funny, don't you? Yeah. You think that's funny, but that's happening. That's happening. That's happening. That's happening. That's happening all around you. Nobody gets to tell you that your beautiful bride is gonna fall in love with a beautiful bride, and leave you home alone. He-he. Ha-ha. Ha-ha. He-he-he. Ha-ha-ha. But it's happening. You don't get to pick the storm you face. Peter didn't ask for this storm. He didn't vote for the storm. He didn't have a meeting with God and say, oh God, I wanna deal with Leukemia. I picked Leukemia. What do you want? Do you wanna go blind? Or would you prefer Leukemia? How about losing a couple of toes? Would you rather lose your family, or lose your toes? Would you rather lose your leg, or lose your sight? Would you rather lose your mind, or just lose your memory?

Which, you don't get to pick what life is going to hand you. You cannot control the storm. And to all those control freaks, which come in both genders, you have a special degree of trauma, because the only time you feel safe is when you're in control. And what binds together the story between the airplane and the boat, is both of them face the season of being totally out of control. And I confess to you, I hate it. I absolutely hate it. I don't wanna be in something I can't control. I don't wanna be in a plane because I can't fly it. And if you can't fly and I can't fly, I don't wanna go. I don't wanna operate on myself, because I'm not trained to do it. I don't wanna be picked for a job I can't perform.

I wanna know clearly what the expectations are for me, before I get the job, because I'd rather give you the check back, than to take the money and disappoint you because I can't deliver what you're asking for. And when you're in a storm, the big question in your mind is, do I have what it takes to stand against this storm? Do I, am I equipped? Am I fully equipped? Can I get my hand on my life vest? Can I swim out of here? Can I withstand how cold this water is gonna be? Can I make it through at my age? Can I make it through at my stage? Can I make it through at this moment in my life? Can I make it through after all the other stuff we've been through.

After all, we were busy before we got on the boat. We were journeying before we got on the boat. All hell, it broke loose before we got on the boat. And now I'm on the boat and I'm so tired that Jesus has gone to bed. This is not a good time to have a storm. I wanna talk to some real people who were tired before it ever even started. All hell was breaking loose before it ever even started. And you know, if Jesus went to bed, Peter was sleepy. Because everywhere Jesus had been, Peter had been. And the worst time to have a storm is when you're already tired.

That's why the enemy waits till you're tired. He waits till you're burned out. He waits till you're frustrated. He waits till you're out of gas. He don't jump on you when you're fresh. He don't jump on you when you're feeling strong. He don't jump on you when you got it all together. He waits till you are exhausted and you feel like, if one more thing hits me, I am going to lose it up in here. And that's when the storm comes. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over from the Old Testament to New Testament. There's one consistent phrase you see over and over again, "And it came to pass". And it came to pass, and it came to pass. "After many days, Jesus was in Nazareth, and it came to pass". That, "Ezekiel found himself in a valley, and it came to pass".

And what you don't realize is that phrase is not just a leading to the story. Every storm that ever hit the planet, came... Let me try this side over here. Maybe I can find a little bit more faith. Every storm that ever hit the planet, no matter how fierce, no matter how devastating, no matter how many homes were destroyed, no matter how many people died in it, they always come, they give them new names, they give them different names. They run out of alphabet for. Hurricane Ira. Hurricane Zozo. Hurricane Mabel. Hurricane, I don't care what you call it, it's still a hurricane. And no matter how severe, no matter how terrible, no matter how many lives were lost, dogs were lost, horses were lost, people were lost, families were lost, it still comes to pass.

You remember Fred Sanford, when he grabs his chest and say, "Oh, this is the big one". I have grabbed my chest so many times, I should have a hand print on my chest. Because I swore, oh my God, this is the big one. I'm never gonna make it out of this. Oh God, this is the, this is too much. I can't handle it. I can't take it. I can't, and half of the stuff that broke my heart, and brought me to tears, and almost drove me crazy, I can't even remember. I can't even remember. I can't even remember what I was so frantic about. I can't remember why I was so fran...I can't even, it's in my rear view mirror. But in that moment, in that second, when that storm hits and your feet get wet, and the boat starts filling up with water, and Peter who is an experienced sailor, doubts, can I be steady in the storm?

I've had some tough storms. I'm not without storms. I've had storms on camera. I've had storms in people's face. And I learned that what I have to do is be steady in the storms. Can I talk to you this morning? I never will forget what we were doing. Our first MegaFest, you have to understand, I've never done it before. My pastor hadn't done it before. None of my pastor friends had ever done it before. Everybody thought I was crazy to do it. I was upstairs in the conference room when we came up with the name "MegaFest". We really wanted "Manifest," but somebody else had that name. So we ended up calling it "MegaFest". I had a vision for which I had no name.

So you remember when the event occurred, I remember when the name came. I named my vision, and then I got in the vision, and it was working. And nobody knew for sure whether it was gonna work or not, it was working, but it didn't feel good working. Because I could not get away from the fact, do you really have what it takes to pull this off? Eighty-six thousand women had registered. Not to mention the men. We were over 100 and some thousand people. The Georgia Dome, the World Congress Center, the Philipps Arena were all jammed and packed. I should have been happy. I wasn't, I was sick. I was nauseated. I was worried. I was afraid. Did we forget anything?

I remember we had to pay $300,000 just for insurance, because we had 10,000 children. Because you gotta have your life vest, and you gotta have your fire hydrant. You can't jump into this, and be faint of heart. Stop wishing for other people's stuff, because you don't understand all the things they have to put into it to be ready to handle it. So it's the night before the press conference that leads up to it. And Jordan, we had 300 different press outlets, from as far away as the London Times, to the New York Times, to all over the world. And I've never done a big press conference like that. And the devil said, they gonna eat you up in the morning. They gonna have you for breakfast in the morning. You might as well come over there with a coffee pot, because you are going to be the muffin.

So, frantically about 2:30- 3 o'clock in the morning, I called my PR person, and I just went nuts. I just went nuts. I just said this is crazy. This is stupid. What in the world are we doing? What were we thinking about? We should have never got into this. We don't have to have no press conference. This is silly today. And then I don't know that... And she said to me, I hope she's watching right now, because she watches. She said this to me, "Bishop Jakes". She said, "The whole world has turned its head to hear what you have to say. Do you have to say anything or not"?

And I hung up the phone and I thought, is that what this is? All I saw was what could go wrong, and all she saw was what could go right. I called her about my agony. She told me my agony was my opportunity. And all of a sudden my perspective about the storm changed, because it is your perspective that has to change. If your perspective doesn't change, you will misunderstand that God allowed the storm to give you an experience that nobody else ever got to have in all of their lives, so that you would know him in a way that other people never knew him, because you went through something that other people didn't know. You want an uncanny anointing? Go through an uncanny storm. You want an uncanny influence? Go through an uncanny storm. You want our uncanny influence? Then doing uncanny storm.

You don't get this by wishing for it. You don't get it by getting on your knees for it. You don't get it by me putting the oil on your head for it. You get it after you suffered a while. The Bible said, "I'll establish you and make you perfect". There are no shortcuts to the storm. Some of you are right smack dab in the middle of your storm. And this is not a time to faint, and this is not a time to give up, and this is not a time to die. The man said, I can't fly, but I can talk. Hello. Hello. Hello. I don't know etiquette. I don't know what I'm supposed to say. I don't know what to do. Hello. Sometimes God takes you through something that you don't have a point of reference for. That it looks like you got it together, and nobody helps you because it looks like you got it together, and you are scared out of your mind.

You are nervous as all get out. You got the worst case of diarrhea that you have ever had since you were two months old, and nobody knows it. I'm just keeping it real. I'm not talking about that little bit of stress where your hands are shaking. I'm talking about that kind of stress where your bowels are disrupted, and you can't sleep at night, and you're walking, looking out, talking to yourself. And you're looking out into the night, and you're wondering if this is, oh, this is a big one, Agna. I'm coming home, I'm gonna die. And God sent me to tell you to be steady in the storm. Third thing, you didn't cause the storm. The storm is not your fault. It's not like Peter went in the wrong direction. It's not like this guy knew that this guy was gonna pass out on the plane. You did not cause the storm.

So stop allowing that voice to accuse you, because Satan is an accuser of the brother. And he will say you brought this on yourself. You're a fool. You shouldn't have never done it. You must have lost your mind. What is it about you that made you think you could do something that big? You must be crazy. You must know storms come to everybody; anointed people, saved people, unsaved people, backslidden people, whorish people, straight people, gay people, cute people, ugly people, fat, bowlegged people. Everybody has storm. What made you think that you would be exempt from going through storms? Everything that I know about God that matters, I learned it not in a concordance, not even in a scripture. I learned it all in a storm. I learned it all on the cliff, on the edge of the cliff, about to die, so sick I could throw up, and wondering if I would live to see another day.

Everything I learned about God that mattered came through a crisis, not a promotion, not an advancement, not a check in the mail, not the accolades of man. That don't teach you jack going through sickness, and pain, and chaos, and trouble, and heartbreak, and disgrace, and embarrassment, and frustration, and humiliation, and depression, and grief, unbearable. Everything I ever learned about, "The Lord is my shepherd," I learned it in a storm. I learned it in a fight. I learned it in a crisis. I learned it when the odds were against me. I learned it while they were talking about me like a dog.

I learned it while they were rolling their eyes. I learned it while they were blogging about me. I learned it while they were lying on me. Who am I preaching to? And the Word of the Lord is to stay steady in the storm. Don't back up. Don't give in. Don't give up. Don't retreat. Don't run from people. Don't worry about what they think. Their opinion is not your victory. Changing their mind is not the crown that you're going to wear. People gonna think whatever they gonna think. People gonna say whatever they're going to say. Don't be distracted into trying to manage a storm that wasn't yours in the first place.
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