Summary: This is part 4 of a 5 part series on surviving the storms of life. Category 5 storms are the most severe storms in life. These storms carry with them the potential to end marriages, damage health and test faith. Find out how to survive.
Surviving the Storms of Life
We’ve been talking over the last several weeks about surviving and even thriving amidst the storms of life. As we move through storms of increasing intensity we have dealt with basic survival skills, spring showers, and even thunder storms. Today we continue to escalate in intensity. We are going to talk about the Category 5 hurricanes that blow through our lives. To survive these you need to use everything at your disposal. First lets identify what these storms look like.
These storms are usually even more intense than thunderstorms and tend to be of longer duration.
There is a real danger in these storms. These are not the blown out of proportion problems of life but are the storms that really have a risk involved. These are the storms that endanger marriages, threaten health, and test our faith.
While thunderstorms are full of sound and fury but usually little consequence - these storms have the ability to reek havoc in our lives. Even the sturdiest houses are threatened in these storms.
Let’s look at a Category 5 in the lives of Jesus Disciples.
Two weeks ago we found the disciples in the middle of this same Sea of Galilee pulling against the oars because of a contrary wind. Even though the waves were high and the wind blowing there was no fear in them that day. These were experienced fishermen, they had survived many such storms. The see of Galilee actually often finds fast moving storms. It sits 600 feet below sea level and is surrounded by hills and mountains. Often storms very suddenly and very violently blow down onto the Sea of Galilee without warning. Today’s storm is different from the one recorded in Matthew 14. These experienced watermen are scared - The water is breaking over the bow so that the boat is filling up with water - they’re sinking and they know it. They also know that they are too far from shore to survive this storm. They know that this is it.
When you face these types of storms everything we have talked about before is important.
We need to
Remember that God is in the Storm- you are not alone
Don’t blow storms out of proportion. These are not weekly storms.
Cast out the anchors to hold us. God’s unchanging nature and purpose.
Resist the temptation to give into fear. Fear makes terrible decisions.
We need to find our refuge strong and mighty. Only God is sufficient.
Find our strength in the river of God. Strength that comes from God inside.
Listen to the direction and wisdom of God. Be Still and know that I am God.
Here are a couple of added things that we learn from this experience.
1) Don’t jump to conclusions about God. (v38) I think it’s interesting that these men who are walking with Jesus everyday, who have seen his power and heard his teaching fall apart in the storm. I don’t blame them for being scared, neither does Jesus. But look at what they say when they finally wake Jesus up. What’s the matter with you - don’t you care that we are about to die?¨ Don’t you care about us at all? What’s wrong with you? Isn’t it interesting that when the storms get strongest we begin to question God? It’s a human nature thing. We begin to wonder if God really cares - if He really knows what’s going on. If He is really in touch with reality. Here are some things that I can assure you of from scripture today. When you face the greatest storms of life:
God knows and cares about what’s going on in your life - He has not forsaken you. Matt 10 "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. "So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.¨
God knows how you feel - He knows what you are going through. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
God wants to work in your storm - "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.¨ In the same way that Jesrusalem was unwilling to come to Christ we often are too suspicious or too hurt to be gathered into His arms for comfort.
2) Understand the Power of God - v39 Don’t give up. Disciples gave up. Jesus stands in the midst of the floundering boat and simply says to the wind and the waves - hush, be still. There is a force to the words that Jesus uses in the Greek. It as if He stands as says - SHUT UP - STOP. The wonder is that the winds and the waves obey. As easily as we speak to a group of children or people - Jesus speaks into creation itself. God’s power to still the storm is manifested in two different ways in life: