This page streams the audio-only sermon, when available, in downloadable SWF flash format. 

It begins playing shortly after opening this page


       Senior Pastor Phil Roland


              Pastor Ray Scott


Want a download or CD copy?  Read this.

The sermon outline is below, when available.

Riding Out Life's Storms



          Yesterday and today we are relearning how to ride out life's storms. One of my Face Book friends does it with "comfort food." She displays pictures of incredible meals that she says are sure to chase away cabin fever and the monotony of being closed in with nearly impassible roads. Another lady lined up a series of moth-eater black and white classic movies from the 40's and 50's. Still another friend said she was going to not answer the door and stay in her PJ's all weekend. 

          We arrived here with our family from mild Southern California in the Fall of 1976. The old timers told us not to worry the Farmer's Almanac was forecasting a mild winter. By late February of 1977 I was ready to tell them to BURN their Farmer's Almanacs! Our first two winters out here in NE Ohio and NW Pennsylvania were legendary in severity.

          By the end of February 1977 my already winter-weary oldest girl, Barbara came to me and asked, "Dad, are you SURE you made the right decision to come here?"  Of course I reassured her that we were commissioned by God and sent to this region for His Own purposes. Still, I remember well the longing on my girl's face as she remembered the mild climate in which she had been born into and grew up in.

          That first winter of 1976 / 1977 I waded through 3 feet of snow to church that Sunday morning. Believe it or not, 18 hearty souls braved the roads and the weather. We decided to meet in the church basement next to the furnace room. It was warm there, and I remember as if it was yesterday how we sought the Lord that morning and worshipped Him together there.

          The winter of '77 / '78 we anticipated bad weather and we cleared the parking lot during a break in the storm and a few more hearty souls bravely came to worship. What about your life's storms? Are you riding them out? After all, we're all going through the storm together.


Pastor Phil  <><<

January 20, 2019 - Sheepfold Ministries

pastor Phil Roland


Riding Out Life's Storms

Psalm 107:23-32 - Mark 4:1,2a; 35-41

"Not all of life's storms have to do with weather. Some have to do with marital and family relationships. Some are situational, like under or unemployment, or circumstantial, like health crisis. We have each other to help us get through the storm and we have Jesus who will never leave us."                                                                                                 Pastor Phil  <><<


Storms are quite common on the Sea of Galilee. Because of its name, we might think of it as an ocean, but the fact is, the Sea of Galilee is a very large, freshwater lake, approximately 5 miles wide and 13 miles long. (Think, Lake Erie is 20X the size and volume.)

Lake Kinneret, today's name for the Biblical Sea of Galilee is well below sea level, surrounded by mountains with deep ravines. It is called Kinneret, which is Hebrew for "violin," because of its distinctive shape. Those ravines around it serve as gigantic funnels that bring winds whirling down on the lake without notice. The gales are strengthened by a thermal buildup in the extremely low valley that draws the cold air violently downward. Because of its unique geography, its perils are infamous The lake is constantly being whipped up into storms at a moment’s notice.


“A whirlwind / tempest /great storm, revolving from below upwards swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in great danger” (Luke 8:23).


Types of Storms:                                       Inner Storms:

Marital                                                           Pride

Family                                                            Lust

Betrayal of Close Friend                                Greed

Unemployment/Under Employment                Jealousy/Covetousness

Aging/Eroding Health                                     Conviction/Repentance



35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side."
          A. Question the Text

                    1. Why didn't Jesus ask them to walk around the lake?

                    2. Wasn't Jesus Christ God in human flesh?

                    3. Didn't He foreknow a storm was coming?

                    4. Why did/do Jesus' followers have to endure storms?

          B. Jesus’ Presence CAUSES the storms?

                    1. Jesus Presence in your storm can be Corrective



                     a. Jesus sometimes allows adversity to correct us

                    b. Eg. Jonah and his wrong-way trip

          2. His Presence in your storm can be Protective

                    a. He could be protecting you from something far worse

                    b. Easy to become giddy from the adulation of the Free Lunch                         Crowd  

          3. His Presence in your life can be Perfecting

                    a. Enduring the storm with Him teaches us to trust Him

                    b. He told them in Mark 4:45, "Let US go to the other side."



37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.
          A. More Textual Questions

                    1. Is Jesus Lord over the weather?

                    2. Whose idea was the storm, God's or man's?

                    3. Why did God send the storm or allow it to happen at all?

          B. Is Jesus in Your boat?  Have you awakened Him yet?

                    1. As a LAST resort they awakened Jesus

                    2. Shouldn't they have awakened Him at first?



37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?":


          There Were Three Pressure Points

          A. When things we feel should never happen . . .HAPPEN!

                    1. Bad things do happen to good people

                    2. We feel fear and doubt / Termites of the soul

          B. When I expect God to say "yes" to what I want, but He says, "No!"

                        1. Joni Erikson Tada - Wanted OUT of the suffering

                    2. God promised to be with her THROUGH the suffering

          C. We seek God about something, and He says, "Wait Awhile!"

                    1. Wrestle with God's Timing vs. Our Timing

                    2. We feel the gnawing of the termites

                    3. We want, no, Demand to be in control / We aren't. . .


We need THREE qualities to endure life’s storms:

I.   WE NEED PATIENCE - One of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit

          A. Patience helps us gain Perspective

                    1. God's Math - 2 Peter 3:8

“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”



                    2. With God's Math 70 of our years are only 1 Hour, 45 Minutes!

          B. Patience is Developed when God says, "Wait Awhile!"

                    1. Patience is Developed through Trials and Suffering

                    2. Getting Patience is the bedrock of Wisdom



          A. Hope is the Anchor - Hebrews 6:19a

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast. . .”

          B. Hope in God - Psalm 42:5

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?

              Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

          C. His Promises give us Hope -

1. In Life's Storms - “I will Never Leave You. . .” John 14:18

2. Our Blest Hope - “Because I Live, You Will Live Also” Jn. 14:19



          A. The Problem is Loneliness

                    1. Man is essentially alone

                    2. His soul has a God-Shaped vacuum

          B. Only Jesus can calm the troubled, stormy soul

                    1. You must let Him in

                    2. The Heart's Door opens from the inside


You'll Never Walk Alone





Psalm 107:23-32 (NKJV)
23 Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters,
24 They see the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.
25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea.
26 They mount up to the heavens, They go down again to the depths; Their soul melts because of trouble.
27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits' end.
28 Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses.
29 He calms the storm, So that its waves are still.
30 Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven.
31 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
32 Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, And praise Him in the company of the elders.


Mark 4:1-2a (NKJV)
1 And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea.
2 Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:






Page 2, Riding Out Life's Storms


Mark 4:35-41 (NKJV)
35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side."
36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.
38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?"
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
40 But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"
41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!"























Greg Laurie

          In the Gospels, we read about a violent storm that struck while Jesus and his disciples were on the Sea of Galilee. The Amplified Bible describes it this way: “A whirlwind revolving from below upwards swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in great danger” (Luke 8:23).

          You can be sure that if these guys were scared, it was a serious storm. They had their sea legs. Most of them had spent their lives on the Sea of Galilee. Under normal circumstances, they wouldn’t have been troubled by a storm of this magnitude. But because it continued to grow more violent, they became very concerned.

In the Bible, storms are often a picture of adversity or hardship that can come into our lives. Generally when a storm comes, we want it to go away. So we pray, and God may remove that storm. But then there are other times when God will strengthen us through the storms. And sometimes these storms are the direct result of our own actions.

There are three types of storms that can blow into our lives.

First, there are correcting storms.

          We find this illustrated in the story of Jonah. God had given him a job to do: Go to Nineveh and preach. But being a patriotic Israelite, he did not want to go and preach to his avowed enemy that wanted to destroy him. So he intentionally disobeyed God’s orders, because he felt that if he did not go to Nineveh and preach to its people, then God would judge them, and Israel would have one less enemy to worry about.

          But God was very persistent. And as Jonah caught a boat that was going in the opposite direction of Nineveh, a great storm came. Everyone began to call upon their respective gods, except for Jonah. They came and woke him up and pressed him to call on his God as well.

          This was a correcting storm that came as a direct result of Jonah’s disobedience. And when he obeyed and did what God wanted him to do, the storm stopped. God caught Jonah’s attention.

This can happen in our lives as well. Maybe we are going in a wrong direction, when suddenly it all blows up in our face. We wonder, Why has this happened to me? What have I done to deserve this? We brought it on ourselves. That is a correcting storm.

The question is, will we learn from our mistakes? In Jonah’s case, he repented and went in the right direction.

Maybe the reason a certain storm in our lives continues is because we haven’t learned anything. And until we change, that storm most likely will continue to rage.

Then there are protecting storms.

          These are storms designed to protect us from something far worse. In three of the Gospels we read of the time when Jesus came to his disciples, walking on the water during a great storm. The events that preceded that particular incident are important. Jesus had performed what was probably his most popular miracle, the feeding of the five thousand. His followers swelled after he pulled that one off. It is one thing to restore sight, but a free lunch? Now we’re talking. Everybody wanted to follow Jesus. They wanted to go wherever he went. So he crossed over to the other side of Galilee, essentially to ditch these crowds who just wanted a free meal. And he sent his disciples ahead and told them to cross to the other side of the lake. But then a great storm erupted. And Jesus came to them, walking on the water.

          Why did he send his disciples away and into a storm? He was protecting them from something worse. What was worse? The adulation of the multitudes. After Jesus performed that particular miracle, the people wanted to make him king by force. Jesus knew the disciples would be caught up in the excitement, because they were always arguing about who was going to be greatest in the kingdom. This would go to their heads and potentially destroy them.

          You might be going through a hardship right now, and you’re upset with God. But it could be a protecting storm that is keeping you from something far worse.

Lastly, there are perfecting storms.

That was the case with the storm that we read of in Luke 8. Jesus allowed the disciples to go through this storm so they would learn to trust Him in spite of their circumstances.

Jesus wanted his disciples to learn something. They didn’t have to panic for two reasons: first, Jesus was on board, and second, he had said, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake” (verse 22, NIV).

If Jesus had said, “Let’s go out to the middle of the Sea of Galilee and drown together,” that is reason to panic. But Jesus said, “Let us go across to the other side.” Do you know what that means? It means they would get to the other side. He didn’t say it would be smooth sailing. But he did say that they would get to the other side.