Storms of Life

 

Ever been in a major storm?  Maybe a hurricane?  Or tornado?  Or massive rainstorm?  Scary isn’t it.  But in life, we will all go through storms.  Some are massive hurricanes and others are gentle drizzles.  But we all go through storms.  In Mark 4, we see the disciples going through a major storm on the Sea of Galilee – the winds and waves were threatening to sink the boat.  Let’s read….

On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”  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.  And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 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?” 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. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” – Mark 4:35-41

Let’s look at some facts about storms…

Storms are inevitable – we can’t avoid them.  As we journey through life, we will eventually encounter storms.  And it seems like they come at the most inopportune and inconvenient times, don’t they!

Storms can happen even to those closest to the Lord.  Who was in the boat?  The 12 disciples, those who were closest to Jesus.  In fact, there were other boats following Jesus and the disciples (V36) and they too got caught in the storm.  Followers of Jesus are not immune to storms.

Storms can also come from God.  Jesus said ‘Let us cross over to the other side‘ (V35).  Jesus told them to go over the sea to the other side. And because they obeyed Him, they ended up in a storm!  This storm came as they were right in the middle of the Lord’s will!

Storms can be life-threatening.  ‘And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling‘ (V37).  The storm was so massive, the wind so strong, the waves so high that the boat was about to sink!  And everyone aboard was at risk of drowning!  Your storm might be cancer or some other illness.  Or it can be financial debt that threatens to sink you.

Storms can cause us to doubt.  At the height of the storm, the disciples cried out to Jesus ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ (V38).  They doubted His care and control.  And they questioned His Word – He said they were going to cross OVER, not go under!  Haven’t we cried out to God in the midst of our storms – ‘where are You?  Don’t You love me anymore?  Don’t You care?’  Doubt.

You ever been in a storm like that?  A storm that comes upon you even though you know you are right in the middle of God’s will?  Or because you have been obedient?  Maybe it’s a storm that comes upon you at work – your boss asks you to fudge a few numbers on the annual report and you say, ‘no, I can’t, that would be lying’.  And now your boss brings the hammer down on you.  And perhaps this storm even causes you to doubt God’s goodness or justice.  Yep, we all go through storms.

Let’s look at a few things we can do…

Take Jesus along.  The disciples at least took Jesus with them!  Look at V36 – ‘they took Him along in the boat‘.  Good job guys!  Knowing that we will eventually encounter storms, shouldn’t we always take Jesus along?

Remember that Jesus is in control, not us.  Remember, there were several fishermen in the boat.  And maybe they thought – we can handle this!  Maybe they even said to Jesus – ‘Lord, You’re tired, go take a nap.  We’ll take care of this – we’re expert fishermen!!  Been there, done that, got the T-shirt!’  In the midst of our storms, we need to remember that the Lord is in control, not us.

Remember that the Word of the Lord brings calm.  The disciples, with great fear and perhaps some irritation, woke Jesus up from a good nap.  He stands up, rebukes the wind, calms the waves.  How?  By His Words – ‘Peace. Be still!‘ (V39).  He simply speaks and the wind and waves obey!  In the midst of our storms, shouldn’t we turn to the Word of God to find rest, peace and calm?

Have faith.  The disciples should have had faith in Jesus.  In fact, Jesus rebukes them for their lack of faith – ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?‘ (V40).  Remember, they had just previously seen Jesus heal, work miracles, confront the Pharisees.  They had just heard Him teach several parables – one of them being the parable of the mustard seed.  They should have had faith, even mustard seed faith.

1.  They should have had faith in Jesus’ presence – with Him in the boat, they wouldn’t sink!
2.  They should have had faith in Jesus’ power – they saw Him do miracles and healings.
3.  They should have had faith in Jesus’ promise – He told them they were crossing OVER the Sea.
4.  They should have had faith in Jesus’ peace – He was asleep, at peace.  They should have had faith that things were going to be OK!

Worship the Lord.  V41 says they ‘feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”‘.  That word ‘fear’ there means awe and respect and reverence.  It is in fact a healthy fear of the Lord.  It is worship – when we give to God the reverence and respect He deserves.  The disciples were beginning to see that this ain’t no ordinary carpenter!  This is God in human flesh!  And thus, they feared exceedingly.  They worshiped.

So what storms do you face at the moment?  Take heart and remember to take Jesus along, let Him have the controls.  You be still, be at peace, have faith.  And worship Him for He is mighty to save.

The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17