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Summary: We can have faith in "Crossing the Lake" knowing that storms will be God Designed, God Involved, God Instructed, and God’s Victory!

INTRODUCTION

Last week, we welcomed in the New Year. Later in the day as I was thinking about the service and our church family, I began to be puzzled and stressed for many in our church. A time that is supposed to be exciting, positive, and full of hope for some in our church family is covered by pain, confusion, uncertainty, and question.

How do you welcome in the New Year when you are trying to SURVIVE THE DAY? As I began to pray for many I felt God’s prompting that we pause to talk about the STORMS OF LIFE.

I’ve learned, as I’m sure each of us have, that the old saying is true: You are either 1- Just Out of a Storm, 2- In a Storm or 3- Getting Ready to Enter a Storm. All of us are effected in some way regarding the Storms of Life and for MOST OF LIFE.

So it deserves attention and often.

ILL.: Shipbuilders

I read one time about how shipbuilders back in the days of sailboats would prepare the masts for their ships. They would go to the forest and find an appropriate tree, then they would clear out all the surrounding trees and leave that one standing, leaving it exposed to the wind and storms.

As the tree continued to mature, it would gain strength. The kind of strength it would need to be able to stand up in the storms at sea while holding a large sail.

But that tree would never gain that strength if it was just left among the other trees. It developed strength because of the storms.

I believe that if we build our lives on the solid rock of Jesus and his words, then when the storms come, we will not only survive, we’ll gain strength.

SUM: We know STORMS bring GROWTH but how do we WEATHER the storm. Our text today is taken from the STORM the DISCIPLES WEATHERED in CROSSING THE LAKE. There is much to learn regarding the journey they took.

4 Things We Will See:

1. Storms Are Designed By God

2. God Shows Up At Just The Right Time

3. We Must Wait On God’s Instruction to Get Out Of The Boat

4. Have Faith Knowing YOU WILL LAND.

PASSAGE is taken from mainly MATTHEW 14 BUT ALSO MARK 8.

1. STORMS ARE DESIGNED BY GOD! (Verses 22-24)

22) “Jesus ‘MADE’ the disciples ‘GET INTO’ the boat”

“Made” means “to compel by threat, force, or persuasion” – The disciples did not have much of a choice here. They didn’t have much to say about it.

I’m sure this is not what they had planned for the evening. Think about it! In your wildest dreams, how many of you imagined 10 years ago that you would be where you are today?

The same monotonous job – or job period! Problems with our children, our health, divorce, financial problems, etc. We don’t know when they will hit but that the storms of life WILL HIT!

22) “Jesus made the ‘DISCIPLES’ get into the boat”

The disciples were doing God’s work – nothing wrong at all. They had just been sent out in groups of 2 with power to heal and to save. They had just witnessed and been a part of the feeding of 5k.

If there was someone whom you think would be able to avoid the storms of life, don’t you think it would be those doing the work of the Lord? BUT THEY WENT INTO A STORM! A STORM THAT GOD SENT THEM INTO!

23) “he went up on a mountainside by ‘HIMSELF TO PRAY’

We have a tendency to scream “Where are you God” or “What have I done”? Notice where the Lord is! He’s praying for the disciples and watching them. The Mark 8 account of the story said “he saw the disciples straining against the oars”. He never leaves us.

24) “a considerable distance” Mark account says “the middle of the lake”

The disciples were in “the middle” of the Sea of Galilee – 3½ miles into a 7 mile lake. They were tired, but the boat was “BUFFETED by the wind”. The actual wording is “being TOSSED by the waves. The meaning behind the word “waves” is actually a “swell”. An enormous wave that regardless of what the disciples did, it still just knocked them back.

But still, they continued to row. They didn’t quit. They didn’t stop!

SUM: This storm was DESIGNED BY GOD HIMSELF. He told the disciples “get into the boat and Go on Ahead TO THE OTHER SIDE”. He knew what was going to happen. He knew they would CROSS THE LAKE. It was designed by Him.

Prov. 16:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

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