They saw the tossing waves. They felt the threat of death. They heard the wind, saw the lightning, felt the pelting rain. But they did not recognize the Lord.

So I emphasize: We must learn to recognize God.

Life has a way of teaching us. Life has a way of reminding us. Just when we think all Is running smoothly, all Is well, all is under control; then comes the startling realization that storm clouds are blowing over. Just as we think we have solved the last problem, or taken care of the last pressing need, thatís when the mailman arrives, or thatís when the telephone rings, or thatís when we discover a child Is sick. No matter how often we have been down the road, there are yet surprises. We still have more to learn.

Such is life.

The disciples were about to learn the greatest lesson they would ever receive, the truth of Jesus in the storm. They knew Jesus already as the supplier of their needs. They had witnessed Him pay taxes with money from a fishís mouth. They knew He could multiply loaves and fishes, that He spoke words of life, that He had power over the works of the devil. They knew Him as a great teacher. Still, never having met Jesus in a storm, they did not recognize Him. All too often we make the same mistake.

We believe Jesus for our salvation and for the forgiveness of our sins. We look to Him as the supplier of all our needs. We trust Him to bring us Into glory one day. But when everything is falling apart, we find it difficult to see Jesus.

We canít seem to believe that He would allow a storm to teach us how to trust Him. We are never quite sure He is nearby when things really get rough. The ship Is now tossing. It appears to be sinking, winds are blowing. Everything Is going contrary and it seems all hope Is lost. The Bible says:

"And In the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It Is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But stralghtway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it Is I; be not afraid" (Matthew 14:25-27).

WE MUST LEARN TO COPE WITH OUR FEARS.

Fear!

It is a destructive force that plagues each of us at certain times. Of course, some fear is normal. It helps us survive certain dangers.

For example, the fear of walking out in front of a car, or the fear of falling off a tall building-these are normal fears. They function for a noteworthy purpose.

let us look at a dictionary definition of fear: "an emotion excited by threatening evil or impending pain, accompanied by a desire to avoid or escape; apprehension; dread; uneasiness about a thing; horror; alarm; terror; dismay and fright." Most of us have known fear in these varying shades of meaning.

But fear is also a spiritual force. It can actually destroy us if we yield to it.

Fear is not of God. God is not the author of fear. God does not send fear upon His people. He made all things. He sustains all things.