Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Rest in the Lord and so find rest in the storm. Trust His Word. Trust His presence. Trust His power.

Be Still! (Mark 4:35-41)

When Sharon Fleming was a teenager, her family took cross-country car trips each summer. To keep the peace, they each took a turn choosing a cassette to play in the car tape deck. No one was allowed to complain or comment about another’s choice.

Sharon says her mother liked to listen to hymns. She chose contemporary Christian music. Her younger brother preferred rock. And Dad? He always thought the best thing was a 90-minute tape that was still blank! (Sharon Fleming, Bogota, Colombia, Christian Reader, “Lite Fare;” www.PreachingToday. com)

That dad was looking for a little peace, and aren’t we all? In these uncertain times, don’t we long for the assurance that all will be well? In a time for fear, don’t we yearn for that stillness of soul even when the world around us is in turmoil?

Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Mark 4, Mark 4, where Jesus shows His disciples how to find true peace in the midst of a storm.

Mark 4:35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” (NIV)

Now, “that day” was a day of teaching for Jesus. He had been teaching his disciples about the power of His Word. & Now it is time for their test. Now it is time to see if they really learned anything.

Mark 4:36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. (NIV)

The disciples obey their Lord immediately. Now that’s a good start!

Jesus had been teaching from the boat (Mark 4:1), so they waste no time in leaving for the other side just as Jesus told them to. They take him along “just as he was,” even before he has a chance to shift positions in the boat and get comfortable. Even so…

Mark 4:37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. (NIV)

Literally, the waves kept spilling over into the boat so that it nearly sank. Even though the disciples did exactly what Jesus told them to do, they ran right into a terrible storm which threatened to sink their little boat.

Many people have the idea that storms come to their lives only when they disobey God. But often they come because of our obedience, as the forces of evil oppose us trying to accomplish God’s will.

You see, Jesus never promised us the absence of storms in our lives.

He promised only that He would be with us through the storms, which He allows only to test and strengthen our faith in Him.

Mark 4:38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (NIV)

I love the picture presented here. Jesus is at peace, so much so that He is asleep in the middle of this terrible storm. But the disciples are so clueless, they mistake his calmness for a lack of concern. So…

Mark 4:39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. (NIV)

Jesus said the same thing He said to the demons earlier (Mark 1:25 & Luke 4:35). Literally: be silent; be muzzled. And that’s exactly what happened – the wind stopped howling and the water was completely calm.

Mark 4:40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (NIV)

After Jesus rebuked the wind, He rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith. You see, they had failed the test. Even after all the miracles Jesus had done, even after all that Jesus had taught them, they still didn’t trust Him, and that’s why they were afraid.

Mark 4:41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (NIV)

They were afraid not only of the storm. They were afraid of Jesus, as well, as they witnessed His awesome power. You see, the greatest danger to His disciples was not the wind or the waves. No. The greatest danger was the unbelief in their own hearts. Warren Wiersbe put it this way: “Our greatest problems are within us, not around us” (Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary).

So no matter what is going on around you, make sure you have faith within. Make sure you are trusting in Christ. Make sure you are depending on the Lord. Make sure you are resting in Him; for then, and only then, will you be able to rest in the storm.


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