Summary: Do you wondering when the boat will stop rocking or if you’ll be swamped and drown if things continue the way they are? There is calm...
-Ferry crossing from Sydney NS to Port aux Basques, NL. Five hours often on rough seas. My experience one night of being on deck; longed for calm sea, better yet calm spirit so I could sleep. Through a hole in the clouds I saw the North Star. Fixed my eyes on the star. In the storm I found calm.
-Represents life storms when everything seems in turmoil and I’m desperate for calm and order.
-You’ve been there; some are there now. Wondering when the boat will stop rocking or if you’ll be swamped and drown if things continue the way they are. Heard people desperate for “the light at the end of the tunnel”, (usually when people say they see light and a long dark tunnel they’re dying – I’m not anxious to see that.)
-God gives answers to our rough seas! The lessons are captured in the simple acronym CPR – not the Canadian Pacific Railway or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. When you are desperate for calm, remember CPR for the Biblical principles of today’s teaching:
Circumstances don't determine calm
People can disrupt our calm
Relationship with God is the means to calm
1.Circumstances don’t determine calm
-Many followers of Jesus live in turmoil though they have favourable circumstances … i.e. Story I read of Henry Martyn, a distinguished scholar, and Cambridge University student. At age 20 he received the highest honours possible for his achievements in mathematics. Yet he felt empty. He said that instead of finding fulfillment in his achievements, he had “only grasped a shadow.” Packed up, went to the Mission field and found calm as he spent years translating the Bible in several, extremely challenging dialects.
-On the other hand we have the story of Lewis as depicted in the following video where, though he faces unfavourable circumstances, is at peace. (Video, Regrets and Gratitude) – Lewis is an inmate at a high-security facility. He’s a new follower of Jesus facing the death penalty. We enter the story where inmate believers are sharing their stories…
-Jesus in the garden. Storm of another sort as his soul experienced agony and turmoil at the coming cross events. Jesus, in the midst of unfavourable circumstances was able to say, “I came to the world for this purpose. Father, your will be done.”
-Point of Examples: circumstances don’t determine calm.
-Case in point – Matthew 8:23 – 24…
"Furious storm” – the Greek used for this storm is seismos the word for earthquake. Violent implications. Change Islands “ferry” nothing more than a Long-liner (4 cars). Agnes and Annie 2 (as in II) – American tourist asked, “What happened to the other 10 – Salvationist crewman said, “They all sank.” Mainmast was 50 feet high and in a rough sea in the 5-kilometer crossing people from shore couldn’t see the Mast of the boat. Home League story. Never so desperate for the shoreline. Understand disciples’ desperation in the face of nature’s fury.
Yet, in that same circumstance Jesus was sound asleep. Jesus and disciples face the same circumstances but have different states of mind (Jesus, calm, disciples experienced anxiety and fear).
Circumstances don't determine calm
-App: seeking calm is often equated with favourable circumstances – i.e. “I wish things would calm down.” Things can calm down though the circumstances can remain the same. Problem: circumstances are often not favourable because life is life. Calm seldom comes or comes sporadically (now and then) but is never constant. As a result we feel disillusioned with God and our trust is shaken because “things are not going well”.
-Disciples in the boat – seems to me if they focused on “who” was in the boat rather than the storm, their outlook would have been different. Could it be possible that, if we are less consumed with circumstances and focused more on the North Star, we can experience calm regardless of the situation we’re in?
-Peter when Jesus called him out of the boat … took his eyes off Jesus, saw the waves in another storm and began to sink. The circumstances didn’t change; only Peter’s focus changed.
Even though we may have our own “sweet spot” so that our circumstances are not troubling us, our text teaches us the “P” of CPR principles:
2.People’s circumstances can disrupt our calm
-18th Century King of Prussia, Frederick the Great was quoted as saying, “The more I get to know people, the more I love my dog.”
-Matthew 8:24b – 25…
-Mark 4:38, “Jesus, don’t you care if we drown?”
Translated as meaning they roughly awoke him – shook him awake! They got mad at him! We don’t ever feel that emotion toward God do we?
Jesus was at peace. He knew Father’s purposes and what life was about. So, why be troubled by a little rough water? The problem was his disciples. They didn’t get what life’s purpose was. So, they were tormented, afraid and anxious. When fear enters, faith usually leaves…usually.