May 3, 2023
FAITH IN THE STORM
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
Mark 4:35-41 NLT
In Mark’s narrative he tells us that our story of the calming of storm happens the very evening after Jesus had been teaching the disciples about the kingdom of God. Jesus had been teaching them truths to build their faith because faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Roman 10:17). Now was the time to test whether they had learned anything. In school we always have a test to prove to ourselves and the teacher if we understood what we were being taught. That is what happens in our spiritual journey as well. We receive God’s Word through a sermon, a teaching, or a personal devotion and then comes a storm to see if we really learned anything. We often think that storms only come to people who are in disobedience to God. We remember the story of Jonah being in the storm because of his disobedience. But in this story the disciples are being obedient to Jesus when they encounter a storm. In life there are storms that we cause because we disobey God. Our sin blocks His blessing and removes us from His protection. The storm comes so that we will repent and get back on the right track. However, there are other times that the storm comes to test our trust and see if we will continue to have faith to believe God even in the storm. There are many storms that come—physical, relational, spiritual, financial, and emotional. We struggle to understand why some storms come—just like the disciples did in our story today. They were doing what Jesus told them to do and yet find themselves in a major storm. A storm that is so major the disciples begin to panic. These were some seasoned fishermen. They had lived through storms in the past but this one caught them by surprise. Here are three reasons the disciples should have had peace in the storm. First, Jesus had told them they were crossing to the other side. They had Jesus’ direction that they were going to make it to the other side. The storm was a temporary distraction. The destination had not changed. They were going to the other side. We can live through hell if we will remind ourselves this is temporary, we are eternal and we will win! Secondly, Jesus was with them. They were not alone in the storm. Sometimes we need to pause and remind ourselves that Jesus promised never to leave us or forsake us. His presence, peace, and power are with us in the person of the Holy Spirit. Let’s choose to lean into the presence of God through the Holy Spirit. Thirdly, Jesus was at peace in the storm. Jesus knew about the storm and yet He chose to sleep. Let’s take our lead from Jesus and learn to be at peace in the storm. Let’s choose to reject worry, anxiety, and fear. Let’s choose to allow the peace of God to flood our hearts and minds. The disciples were amazed and frightened at the response of Jesus. He rebuked their lack of faith and then calmed the storm. It appears they were more afraid of Jesus’ power to calm the storm than of the storm itself. The human mind had no explanation for a man Who could tell the wind and waves to be still. When we encounter the supernatural work of God we should be in awe of His working in and through our lives. We should bow in worship before His power and presence.
Holy Spirit help me to trust You in my storm. Today I declare that no weapon formed against me shall prosper and no storm will swallow God’s work in and through my life.
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