Sermon Illustrations

Who’s Going To Wake Jesus Up?

The bible offers us a variety of types of prayer, which we can offer up to God, depending on what our circumstances are. We can pray for provisions, or lost souls, or that God might bring relief to the suffering. But what kind of prayer should we offer up to God when the storms of life hit us? Quite frankly, and this will surprise you until you read on ahead, but we should offer up no prayers when the storms sweep over us.

In Matthew 8:23-27, Jesus got into a boat, with the disciples in hot pursuit. Suddenly, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. There are a number of key words in this passage, but one of them is the word ’suddenly’. When difficult circumstances hit a Christian suddenly, to the point of overwhelming the soul, such circumstances area not from God. For one thing, it is rare for God to act suddenly. This is not to suggest that God cannot act suddenly. A sudden circumstance sweeping over the soul often, but not always, can come from the enemy. But, that does not mean that the enemy has the last say in the matter. A storm thrown up by the enemy, is permitted by God, and controlled by God, which is something that the disciples had not worked out. And to be fair, if I had been up in the boat with the disciples, I would have acted no differently to them.

A key observation from Matthew 8:23-27, was that Jesus was asleep in the boat. Now, unless Jesus talked in his sleep, Jesus would not have much to say while he was asleep. And this is exactly the same situation when we face storms. Jesus is with us, but he may not be saying much to us. And just because he is not speaking, does not imply that he is not with us in the storm. The mistake that the disciples made was to wake Jesus up and ask him for help. Let me ask you one question to consider. If the disciples had not woken Jesus up would the boat have sunk? I’m going to take a guess here. My guess is that the boat would not have sunk. But, because the disciples lacked trust in Jesus, they woke him up and asked for help. After he had given the disciples a bit of a telling off, and I would have too if someone had woken me up from a nice sleep, Jesus calmed the storm, and they all arrived safely at their destination.

Now let us presume that, later in the day, the disciples got in the boat and returned home. Let us presume that another storm arose while Jesus was taking a nap. This time, would the disciples have woken Jesus up, or would they have trusted him to get them to the other side? My guess is that no one would have woken Jesus up. I once went through a difficult circumstances, where I spent a lot of time and effort praying and fasting that God would help me. Over time, God came to my rescue. Recently, I went through the exact same circumstance, but this time I did not utter a word in prayer to God. I just...

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