Summary: This sermon teaches how we can have joy in a storm and not fret. How we can not let our past failures in a storm dictate our future responses.
I love to watch a storm coming. I do not know if it was from all my days flying or the weather courses I took but a storm is impressive. Storms in our lives can arrive much the same way as storms clouds that bring rain and thunder.
Matthew 8:23-27 “Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Now I love a good storm on the ground but not while flying. Any good Airline Pilot will try to avoid thunderstorms like the plague. The rule is for every 1,000 feet in height the storm cell is that is how far you should avoid the storm. If the tops of the thunderstorm are 40,000 feet then you would avoid the storm by 40 miles. Turbulence can be quite severe outside the storm cell itself for quite a distance. I have not done much boating but I am sure that same fear would come about if you were caught out in the ocean or a large lake in a storm.
“Without Warning” this storm on the lake came up and the disciples were afraid to the point where they though they were gong to drown. All of us have had storm in our lives come without warning. My mom yesterday went to the doctor for a normal checkup and now she has to have 6 spots of skin cancer removed in a couple weeks. A mother and her two young children were coming home in a minivan when they got into an accident. The mothers back was broken and the two young children were taken to go home to be with Jesus.
If things have happened to you “Without Warning” you can start to live your life in fear of when the next event will take place. We are very much like the disciples. The above verse says that the waves “swept over the boat”. This isn’t a 30 foot fiberglass boat but a wooden boat. There are no life preservers and they are in the middle of a large lake. It isn’t like they can go full throttle to outrun the storm. How many times in our lives would we like to run from the storm but we have no power to move. We seem to be still at sea rocked back and forth just keeping our head above water. People ask us to do something but we think in our mind “If they just knew what I was going through”, that I can hardly take care of myself more in less get the job done for someone else. I know you have been there. The key to this life is “How do we become like Jesus” and have the faith to rest in the storm?
Jesus called into account that they had little faith. It is easy for us to look back on this account of the disciples and wonder why they were afraid with Jesus in the boat. But remember Jesus said that if people just wanted to see miracles that there would never be enough miracles for people to believe in Him. Faith is putting your hope in what is not seen instead of always asking for a sign.
The key point to this verse is “Even the winds and the waves obey him”. Yes throughout all creation and everything to come in our lives and everyone else’s life God is in control. He will allow the storm in your life for a specific purpose. No storm comes into your life without a purpose. God loves you enough for you to be strengthened in your faith by “The Storm”. When the storm comes we can get mad at God or we can cling to God and ask for His wisdom and help to get through it. Which person are you? If you doubt then you can change. Please pray this prayer with me.
“Lord I am afraid of what is going to happen. I am in a storm and there seems to be no way out. I thought the storm would be over by now but instead of ending it seems to be getting stronger. Lord help me to focus on you and not my circumstances. Help my mind from wondering to the worst that can happen and for my hearts to desire to know that you love me and that you are not out to harm me. Help me to know that each storm brings me closer to you and makes my faith stronger. Lord help me to not only survive this storm but be able to rest in this storm knowing that you Lord are in control. That nothing catches you by surprise. Please forgive me for doubting at times of your goodness Jesus and please help me to survive this storm in your joy with hope in my heart.” Amen