The Bible does not remain silent in regard to storms. As a matter of fact, Jesus took his disciples right into the midst of one, leaving them to weather the storm while He took a nap. Do you ever feel as though the Lord was sleeping while you faced your storms alone?
Jesus' disciples experienced the exact same thing. After a long day of ministering to the crowds, Jesus told the disciples they were going over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. They were obeying Jesus' command when they boarded their ships just as evening was falling. Jesus led his disciples into a storm just as the light was failing. Let us read from the book of Mark exactly what happened:
"That day when evening came, He said to His disciples, 'Let us go over to the other side.' Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.(Mark 4:35-38a NIV)
Before they knew it a terrible storm hit and their boat was full of water. We all know what happens to a boat when it gets full of water: it sinks. If you had Jesus in your boat, wouldn't you feel pretty safe even if you were in the middle of a terrible storm, even if it looked as though your boat was going to sink?
Obviously the disciples didn't feel very safe; they became very alarmed and were afraid for their lives. What was Jesus doing through all this? He was asleep in the back of the boat. How could anyone sleep through a storm that was so bad the waves were crashing across the boat, filling it with water, and threatening imminent destruction for all?
Is it possible that Jesus was not concerned because He knew (being the Son of God) that it was not in God's plan for the disciples to all sink in this storm? Is it possible that Jesus (being the Son of God) knew something about the destiny of His chosen ones? Keep this in mind as we continue with the story.
The disciples woke Him and said to Him, 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown?'"(Mark 4:38b)
How many times have we reacted to circumstances in our lives, asking the Lord, "Don't you care that I am suffering so much? Why don't you DO something?" This was exactly how the disciples reacted to their troubles.
Remember: Jesus is right there in the boat with them and they are terrified. How does Jesus react to their fear? Does he comfort them and tell them everything will be okay?
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be Still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. (v. 39)
He said to His disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" (v. 40)
Jesus was incredulous. He couldn't believe they were afraid after seeing so many miracles, deliverance, and had walked with Him for so long. He couldn't believe their lack of faith.
We need not fear the terrible storm that comes upon us, because the Lord is in control of all circumstances in our lives. Nothing can happen to you that is not "allowed" by the Lord. Remember that Satan had to ask God's permission before he could strike Job and harm him? (Job 1:6-12)
"I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. . . What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do." (Isaiah 46:10-11)
The Lord knows what plans He has for you; he will not be thwarted by any storms. Every child of God has a destiny to fulfill. Know this in the deepest places of your heart, and it will serve you well. You will not be easily dismayed or discouraged when you encounter the storms of life.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
"We are under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." (1 Cor. 1:8-9)
Do you despair even of life? Take heart! Be strong! Rely on God, who raises the dead! Jesus is in the boat!
Finally, I would like you to ask yourself this question: Is Jesus in the boat with you? Are you going where He told you, or following your own path? This is so important. So many Christians believe they can follow their own inclinations and expect God to be near--to follow them around as they flit from here to there. If you are not going where the Lord told you to go, don't expect Jesus to be in the boat with you.
If you have gone your own way, you must ask the Lord to forgive you, turn away from your sin (going your own way is sin), then make a declaration that Jesus is Lord of your life, and follow Him with your whole heart. Just saying the sinner's prayer is not enough. You must follow Him. You must read the word of God and know your Lord and Master's voice when He speaks.
Maybe you are going exactly where the Lord directed; you are obeying His voice. If so, you will still encounter the storm in the middle of your journey. You must have faith that Jesus is in the boat with you. You must be strong and continue until you have fully obeyed, crossing to the other side.
Maybe you are going where Jesus led you, but you derive no comfort from knowing Jesus is in your boat. Is it possible that you don't really know your God. Do you know of His character, love, holiness, majesty, power, wisdom, justice, mercy, that He is slow to anger, quick to forgive, all-knowing, the wonderful counselor, mighty God. Do you know your God? Do you know the Great Shepherd's voice, and do you obey? You can know the Lord through immersing yourself in the Word of God. You must renew your mind, washing away all worldliness, all human reasoning, putting on the mind of Christ. Know your God!
Once you are sure that you are going where the Lord directed you and that you know your God, as you face the many storms in your home, be confident that Jesus is in the boat with you; there is no reason to fear the storm. If you do not lose heart you will reach the other side.
"Have I not commanded you? Be Strong and Courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
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Justin, this story can be told over and over again, by many different people, but it is always different. That is because the message hits each of us in a different need. This is great. Aren't we blessed by this lesson that Jesus taught to His disciples? Jesus never sleeps. He is always attentive to our cries. He often tests our faith....Great story-telling. Thanks for sharing and God bless you...Helen
AMEN Justus! This is written beautifully and so that everyone can understand it. Just like it says in Hebrews 11:6-But without FAITH it is IMPOSSIBLE to please Him, for HE WHO COMES TO GOD must BELIEVE THAT HE IS, and that HE IS A REWARDER of those who DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM. Dan.11:31--Those who KNOW their God shall be STRONG, and carry out GREAT EXPLOITS. It is imperitive that we get to really know our God and all of His attributes! I love you, your mum, Sharon
I think your article was amazing and it is a beautiful reminder fo us all to keep our eyes focused on Him at all times. I have learned not to despise the storms, the storms in life are actually our very catylysts into a more triumphant life, we usually walk through trouble in order to be triumphant!