Summary: When we face storms in life, what is important is our response to them. God expects us to exercise faith and claim His peace. He will lead us through them.
FAITH UNLOCKS HIS PEACE – Mark 4:35-41
Last week we look at 2 disciples walking towards Emmaus, downcast and hopeless, and how Jesus joins them in their walk and transformed them. TODAY we’re seeing another journey – a BOAT RIDE across the Sea of Galilee.
What the disciples experienced is not new. We had similar experiences, or probably are in it now.
… Have you ever felt like you were in a STORM?
… Have you ever FELT like God was asleep?
… Have you ever felt you’ve DONE all you can and nothing has changed?
… Have you experience a life-threatening situation?
Then you need to take a close look at the BOAT TRIP. There is something for you.
The first thing we realized is that this trip was Jesus’ idea. “Let us go over to the other side.” Mark 4:35. The disciples were following Jesus’ order. It was not a wrong trip, taken at a wrong time – they were right in the center of God’s will. Yet they were led into a storm.
We have to set our perspective right. Facing a trial does not necessarily mean God is punishing you. You can be led by God and yet experiences hardship. It does not necessarily mean it will always be “smooth sailing”. This is where our expectations of God and reality clash. We expect God to IMMUNE us of all harms but He did not. This is a misconception.
Reality check - 3 things we learnt about this storm (and the storms of life)
(A) Expect it – it is inevitable. James 1:2 “WHEN you face trials…” not IF… You will face storms in life.
(B) it is impartial – happen to good pp and bad pp. Matt 5:45, “He sends the rain on the just and the unjust.”
(C) it can come as a surprise – it is unpredictable. You can make plans, but we cannot control the future.
One phone call, one event, one mistake – may be all it takes to rob us of peace. To the point your life is threatened, or your livelihood threatened.
In fact, the truth is that storms strengthen us – there are some things we’ll never learn in THEORY.
The real test of someone who can swim is to have him in the waters. Throw him down and you’ll know whether he swims or drowns. And to have someone learn swimming, you need to get him into the waters!
Storms are ALLOWED as test or challenges to our faith in God – Jesus could have prevented the storm EARLIER. He allowed you to get into the storm and then expected something else – the RIGHT RESPONSE. Jesus is looking for the right responses to our problems.
We often ask WHY this happens. Jesus is looking at HOW you respond to your problems.
(1) WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO PROBLEMS
It is not enough to just HEAR the Word of God; we must also ACT ON IT.
It is very easy to think we are spiritual because we LISTEN to one preacher after another, we attend a few churches on one Sunday, take notes and mark our Bibles. BUT THE REAL TEST OF SPIRITUALITY IS WHEN YOU ARE TESTED IN REAL-LIFE SITUATIONS.
We can only glorify God when we trust and obey Him in REAL-LIFE situations. LIFE is that classroom where I learn to grow spiritually strong. We can’t achieve that sitting down, writing out answers in a Bible Knowledge test. It is in the tests of life that faith grows and you get closer to Christ.
Dear friends, storms will come to you at SOME POINT and in different DEGREES.
Learn from this story how to handle them the RIGHT WAY.
THE DISCIPLES TRIED TO HANDLE THE STORM THEMSELVES. It reveals their inadequacy.
These disciples were fishermen - they were used to WIND and WAVES. They have both the EXPERTISE and EXPERIENCE for such problems. Yet this storm was MORE INTENSE than all that they’ve ever experienced. It was the one experience that both EXPERIENCE and EXPERTISE and KNOWLEDGE cannot help.
Sometimes (maybe often times) it takes a storm to force us to LOOK somewhere else – we can be so caught up by our own intelligence, experience, skills that God is sidelined. Storms wake us up to our true selves – our limitations, our finiteness… and then you start CRYING OUT to God.
“When you have no where to look – not front, not back, then LOOK UP!”
Isa 62:6-7 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.
This alludes to the parable Jesus spoke about in Luke 18:1-5