Jesus Can Make Your Giants Fall


Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life
A New Blog Series on the Gospel of Mark


by Katy Kauffman


Have you ever encountered an obstacle in your path so massive, it seemed like a giant sequoia tree? In Yosemite National Park, a giant sequoia stood for about 2,100 years. Then something as simple as snow, and a tunnel, brought it down.


In 1881, two men carved a tunnel into a tree named “Wawona,” a giant sequoia standing about 230 feet tall. Meant to be a tourist attraction, the twenty-six foot tunnel was wide enough to drive through, and it inspired tourists, including President Theodore Roosevelt, to stop and take a picture with the legendary tree. But the tunnel weakened the tree, and in 1969, snow sitting on the tree’s crown made it collapse. The ancient giant fell.

obstacles, challenges, faith, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Jesus Can Make Your Giants Fall, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

On the Other Side of the Storm

The Storms of Life

by Katy Kauffman


Relief, calm, renewed strength, and often, understanding—when I have come to the other side of a storm, these treasures have been waiting for me. A relief that the worst has passed. A calm that comes with the nearness of God’s presence. Renewed strength for whatever challenges lie ahead. And an understanding of why.


Although why is a question that may not be fully answered on this side of heaven, God often gives us some of the why now. We can look back at a storm in our lives and see what good came out of it (Romans 8:28). We can trace God’s hand of provision and protection (Matthew 6:25-26, Romans 8:32, Psalm 91:1-2). We can remember what He taught us—priceless lessons we may not have learned otherwise (James 1:2-4). We can cling to Him (Deuteronomy 30:20) in new ways because He taught us how to trust Him better.

adversity, storms of life, closeness to God, hope, On the Other Side of the Storm, Calming the Storms Within, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Peace in My Father’s Hands

by Dorcas Asercion Zuniga


We left the store just in time. The once blue sky was overtaken by gray clouds. I climbed into the front passenger seat and buckled my safety belt, while my husband, Zee, secured our son in the back. The first drops of rain hit the windshield right when Zee got into the driver’s seat.


As we pulled out of the parking lot, the rainfall quickened. By the time we hit the main road, the clouds opened their floodgates. Even at the highest speed, the windshield wipers barely put a dent in the watery curtain that blocked our visibility.


The pressure building up inside my chest was stifling.

adversity, storms, peace, trials, Peace in My Father’s Hands, Dorcas Asercion Zuniga, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Sailing into Disaster

 

by Katy Kauffman with guest author Beebe Kauffman

Sometimes we sail into a storm with people who won’t listen to God’s warnings. They think everything will be fine or they listen to the wrong advice. The apostle Paul experienced this when he was sailing to Rome as prisoner under a certain centurion’s care. The centurion’s name was Julius.


Paul perceived that the ship, its cargo, and its passengers would be lost at sea, but Julius listened to the ship’s helmsman and owner rather than to Paul (Acts 27:9-11). So they kept sailing. When a head wind, or possibly a northeaster, caught them, they did everything they could to survive. God’s plans for Paul overrode both the storm and the centurion’s stubbornness. He had a plan for Paul, and the application we discover in Acts Chapter 27 encourages us as we face our own storms and head winds today.


The following excerpt is taken from Beebe Kauffman’s upcoming release, A Whole Lot of Wonderful—Application for Today of the Gospels and Acts. In this book, each chapter of the New Testament has been given a theme as you see below for Acts 27, and each paragraph has been given a statement of application. Let these principles soak into your heart and direct you to trust God when you go through a storm of this kind.

storms, adversity, trials, listening to God, Sailing into Disaster, A Whole Lot of Wonderful—Application for Today of the Gospels and Acts, Katy Kauffman, Beebe Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Grace for Every Downpour

by Katy Kauffman

 

One day when I was on my way to a college class, I encountered a downpour unlike any other I can remember. My windshield wipers couldn’t move fast enough for the onslaught of water. I thought about pulling over and waiting it out, but I wasn’t sure where. 

 

Then I saw a pickup truck ahead of me. Its flashers were on, and it became my guide as we traveled thirty-miles per hour down the highway. I could see just enough road around the truck to make sure the driver was staying in his lane. I rounded curves as he did, and we made it out of the torrent alive and in one piece.

 

I’ve never thought of Jesus as a truck driver, but if there is anyone who can drive the highway of life and help us arrive at our destination in one piece, it’s Jesus. He knows how fast or slow to travel, and He’s ready for when an onslaught of surprises, temptations, or troubles come our way. He has the grace to see us through it.

grace, adversity, trials, suffering, Grace for Every Downpour, Calming the Storms Within, 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Shelter in the Storm

by Patty Luellen Nicholas

 

Sometimes we know a storm is heading our way and are able to make preparations. Sometimes it takes us by surprise, but either way, when the storm hits, we need shelter or we will be swept away.

 

The storm rages, the seas swell, the winds howl, and we hunker down. We have all been through life’s storms. You may be in a raging storm right now. Whether it is financial, or a health crisis, or a child who is on a very wrong path. Perhaps your storm is a job or boss that is unbearable. Perhaps you are experiencing persecution of some kind.

 

Maybe you are like me and have faced the loss of loved ones.  

loss, grief, adversity, trials, suffering, Shelter in the Storm, Calming the Storms Within, Patty Luellen Nicholas, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Hushing an Emotional Upheaval

by Katy Kauffman

Sometimes it’s a change in our circumstances that stirs our emotions into an inner storm. Sometimes it’s a lingering difficulty. The eye of the hurricane revolves around an unsolved problem, an unmet need, or an unanswered prayer. The winds increase and thunder resounds as we allow fear, doubt, and anxiety to clash with despair. The emotional upheaval affects every part of our lives, and we wonder how it can be fixed. Will it ever be fixed?  

 

Of course, having an emotional reaction to a trial is nearly uncontrollable—it’s going to happen. But once we get our bearings and remember that the Calmer of any storm is with us, we realize we have a choice to make.

 

Hushing an emotional storm starts with specific choices on our part and climaxes in God’s work. It begins with a determination to trust God in spite of what we can see, in spite of what we feel. God won’t force us to have peace within—we have to be willing to receive His peace. Often we have to let go of anxiety, fear, and doubt. As He works in our hearts and we cooperate with that process, peace calms the raging storm. We can persevere with grace as we wait to see what God will do in our circumstances.

Emotions, adversity, trials, suffering, Hushing an Emotional Upheaval, Calming the Storms Within, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Jesus, The Survivor of the Perfect Storm

by Katy Kauffman

I knew Jesus was strong, but this Easter week I “see” it ever more clearly. And I love Him all the more for it. If ever there was a perfect “storm”—a combination of turbulent circumstances and heart-wrenching emotion—it happened in the Garden of Gethsemane. And it happened because of you and me.

 

He loved us. But He loved His Father too, and didn’t want to be separated from Him on the cross. Bearing our sin meant that Jesus would have to be separated from the other two persons of God—the Father and the Holy Spirit. It meant that He whose essence is love, would bear all that was void of love—all of our sin, guilt, and shame. It meant that the One who had perfectly walked on this earth—never accepting a bad thought, harboring a bad attitude, or initiating a bad habit—would bear the consequence of every depraved thought, hateful feeling, and addiction.

Easter, Jesus, the cross, the Survivor of the Perfect Storm, Calming the Storms Within, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Jewell: From Tragedy to Victory

by Katherine M. Pasour


Despair shrouded the bedroom in deep shadows. The hospital bed engulfed a tiny figure gasping for a breath that tortured lungs couldn’t provide. I crept in on silent feet, not knowing what to say or do. The emaciated woman bore little physical resemblance to the vibrant, active, cheerful Jewell that I knew.


Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel. Proverbs 20:15 NIV*


Jewell and her husband John were the first to welcome my family to church more than thirty years ago. After we joined, they became our mentors, guiding our journey spiritually and modeling how to be servants for our Lord. Jewell sang in the choir, served in a variety of leadership roles, visited the sick and home bound, and cooked for all occasions. With John, she worked tirelessly in numerous capacities including leading the youth group, organizing the “Lend a Hand” program, taking a major role in mission projects, cleaning and maintaining the church and more, more, more …


I never saw Jewell lose her temper. She didn’t gossip or slander—she lived by the Fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23). I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful mentor and role model.


Jewell exemplified how to live out God’s purpose on earth.


One would expect that such an amazing person, a Christian example for all who knew her, would be blessed by God to live a joyful and happy life.


But, sometimes it doesn’t turn out that way. God may have a different plan.

storms, adversity, Parkinson’s Disease, legacy, Jewell: From Tragedy to Triumph, Katherine M. Pasour, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Building Faith through the Storms of Life

by Jennifer DeFrates

A few years ago, preparations for hip surgery revealed a giant mass in my abdomen. Test after test and specialists all over two states said removing it might kill me, estimating a fifty percent chance of dying during the procedure.  


One night, I remember rocking my then three-year-old daughter to sleep wondering how my death would affect her life and my family. Choking back sobs, I prayed that if my death were necessary in God’s plan for my family, then I would trust Him. But I didn’t want to let go of this life just yet.

storms, adversity, faith, trusting God, Calming the Storms Within series, Building Faith through the Storms of Life, Jennifer DeFrates, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Pages