Summary: Are the winds and waves of life crashing in on your boat? Discover truths that will enable you to endure the storms of opposition and enable you to experience the Peace of Christ.
There are two prisoners shackled to a deep dark dungeon. Spread-eagled, they are securely lashed by manacles and chains and actually hanging suspended, side by side, a few feet above the dungeon floor. There is only one small window high above their heads, maybe thirty, or forty feet up. They are immobile and alone, pinned inexorably to the wall. One prisoner turns to the other and whispers, “Here’s my plan”.
That is the kind of mentality we need when enduring opposition!
Arnold Palmer was invited to a convention of blind golfers. The golfers told how they were able to know what direction to hit the ball. One blind gofer explained that the caddy went out ahead of him with a little bell. Arnold asked how well it worked, and the blind golfer said that it worked so well that he was willing to take Arnold on for a round of golf; and just to make it interesting, he was willing to bet $10,000 that he could beat Arnold. Arnold said, OK. What time do we tee off? And the blind man said, “10:30…. Tonight!”
We can overcome adversity through Christ!
35On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” Mark 4:35-41
In order for us to endure opposition, there are a few things that we should know.
I. Opposition occurs when we follow Christ. (35-36)
Have you ever noticed that when you do the right thing someone always opposes you? You become labeled as a “do gooder”, or a “goody two shoes”. If it were easy to do the right thing, wouldn’t everyone do it all the time? I have come to the realization that when I stand up and do right, more often than not I will be persecuted. Jesus said it this way, 24“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25“It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! 26“Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Mt. 10: 24-26.
We see here that they were doing the right thing. They were following Christ’s leading. Notice who followed, “They, being the disciples, took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.” This move didn’t just affect the disciples and their boat, it affected others and their boats as well.
He said in my paraphrase, let us go to the other side. They didn’t ask questions. They didn’t want to know why. They didn’t form a committee to discover what was on the other side, or if it were financial wise. There aren’t any recordings of the people questioning, “What purpose does this serve?” You don’t see anyone looking out for themselves saying, “how can this trip best serve me?” They just simply followed. I don’t read of anyone trying to get into someone else’s boat to be closer to Christ. I don’t read of anyone trying to lure someone else into their boat proclaiming that they have “all of Christ” or something similar.
What do we have today that is similarly made out of wood and nails that people come and sit in? A church. Christ used a boat often in His day. I believe one of the things that He uses today are churches. If Christ didn’t have one big boat that everyone should get into, why do we think today that one denomination or building might have all of the answers? Instead of putting down our brothers and sisters of another denomination, we should edify them. We should work together to do His kingdom work!
But you see, what does this cause? Opposition! I don’t believe…. Let’s agree to disagree, and work with the One that matters most. Our first priority should be seeing people saved, and then seeing the same people grow in Christ!