Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Sometimes God leads His children into storms. This sermon offers guidance and solace to fellow storm travelers.

A Helper In The Time Of Storm

Chuck Sligh

April 25, 2010

(NOTE: 5 MIN. BEFORE START: Show “The Storm” video downloaded from SermonSpice.com as intro to the sermon’s subject.)

TEXT: Matthew 8:23-27 – “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And he said unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”


Unless you’ve never been in a boat in a truly dangerous storm, you cannot fully comprehend the situation the disciples were in in this passage of Scripture.

Illus. – When I was a teen living in Okinawa, I remember some of my friends and I taking a boat from the main island of Okinawa to visit one of the smaller islands. It was during the typhoon season and though we were not in a typhoon, it was a really, really scary storm.

We were in a ship much more modern and technologically superior to anything the disciples would have been in. Yet, with each wave, our boat was like a plastic toy bobbing in that raging Pacific Ocean, which at that point in time was anything BUT “pacific”—which means “calm, peaceful.” We were engulfed by waves sometimes at least five times higher than our boat! I got right with God real quick—because I just knew that my number was up!

That’s a lot like the storm the disciples were experiencing in our text here in Matthew 8:23-27. And, remember now, with the exception of a few landlubbers like the former tax collector, Matthew, among the disciples were several seasoned seaman who were used to the sea. And yet, even these experienced fishermen were terrified, as depicted in our video. They were caught in a storm that they could not handle with their own experience and knowledge and ability. Perhaps no other passage in the Bible pictures so well our helplessness handling our own problems in our own strength—and the power of God to overcome anything.

Several years ago, Susan and I and our boys went through several terrible storms of trials in a succession while we were in Wiesbaden, Germany. It was during that time that God gave me this message, and the truths of this Scripture have been a tremendous blessing in my own life.

Now let me tell you this: You WILL go through MANY significant storms in your life as a Christian. I’ve often said, every one of us here this morning are either going through a storm of some kind and intensity right now, or you’ve recently come out of one, or you’re soon heading into one because storms are part of life, whether we are saved or lost.

--Job was right when he said in Job 5:7 – “Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.”

--Later, in chapter 14, verse 1, he said, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.”

--Solomon wrote these dark words as he described a person’s life on this earth: “All his days also he eats in darkness, and he has much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.” (Ecclesiastes 5:17)

There aren’t a lot of things we can be sure of in this life, but besides death and taxes, one other thing IS for sure: We are going to go through many trials in this life.

Let me share with you some wonderful truths about surviving storms and understanding a little bit of HOW and WHY God works the way He does in our lives through them.


Note in verse 23 where we read, “…when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.” As omniscient God the Son, Jesus knew full well what was in store for His disciples as they boarded that ship. As you follow the Lord, you will find that the Lord often leads us into testings to mold us and mature us in our Christian lives—and often to fit us better for His service.

When we enter into a storm in our lives, we naturally recoil from it. Who in his right mind wants to experience pain, or suffering, or discomfort, or fear, or bewilderment, or some difficult trial in our lives or in our families?

And though often our trials are the results of our own mistakes (that is, we are reaping what we’ve sown by our own actions); and sometimes trials come as part of God’s discipline in our lives because of sin—the truth is that often our storms have nothing to do with reaping OR receiving discipline.

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