Summary: If you’re not in a storm now, you will be soon. While they were in the storm, Jesus did 4 things for them to enable them to make it safely to the other side.
June 9, 2002 Matt. 14:22-36
"In the eye of the storm"
immediately after mountain-top experiences – the disciples had just been with Jesus as He fed 5000+ people
while you are right in the middle of God’s will (vs. 22) – Jesus made the disciples go out onto the lake. They were doing exactly what He told them to do. Storms aren’t always the result of sin.
that are so severe that no amount of experience can prepare you – most of these disciples were experienced fishermen, yet no storm that they had experienced in the past prepared them for what they were now facing.
While we are in the storm, Jesus does several significant things for us.
1. He prays for us (vs. 22-24)
with longevity - "fourth watch" (Mk. 6:48)
The fourth watch was between 3 and 6 in the morning. The disciples had probably gone out onto the lake and Jesus to the mountain to pray at about 6pm. He had been praying for them for as many as 9 hours!
with awareness - "He saw" (Mk 6:48)
Even when you think that no one else sees the storm that you are going through, Jesus sees.
with intensity -
When Jesus prayed on the night before His death, His prayer was so intense that He sweated great drops of blood. That’s pretty intense prayer. Knowing the character of Jesus, we are safe to assume that He prayed for them just as intensely as He prayed for Himself.
2. He comes to us (vs. 25-26)
in our darkest hour
They were in the middle of the lake (25 to 30 stadia equals 3 to 3 ½ miles; the lake was 7 miles wide). They couldn’t go back, and they couldn’t go forward. They had lost all hope.
victorious over our deepest fear – “walking on the water”
The thing that they feared most was the water. They were afraid of drowning. But the very thing that they feared was the thing that Jesus was walking on. He showed by His actions that He was in control of that thing that they feared. What is your greatest fear – failure, death, loneliness, rejection? Jesus is already victorious over it.
when our strength is all gone
They had been rowing for around 9 hours against the storm that was fighting against them. Before they ever got into the boat, they had spent hours feeding over 5000 people! Have you ever worked to feed a lot of people? If so, you know how tiring it can be. They were exhausted! Jesus came to them when their strength was all gone.
3. He calls to us (vs. 27 – 30)
to calm our fears (vs. 27) – “It is I”
It is I who made the sea that you’re so afraid of.
It is I who controls the storm that threatens to steal your life.
It is I who can meet your needs just like I met the needs of 5000+ people.
to get us to come to Him (vs. 28 – 30) – “Come”
It would have been a lot easier for Peter to get out of the boat if the sea was calm. I’ve seen days when the water looked so smooth that it looked like you could walk on it. But the sea was not like that on that day. Jesus called him to leave behind what little bit of security he had and take an even bigger risk than he was already facing. Don’t wait for the storm to calm and the ground to get steady before you are willing to come to Jesus.
4. He calms us (vs. 31 – 36)
by correcting us (vs. 31) – “little faith”
Having someone around to correct us lets us know that there is someone who is in charge and in control.
by stilling the storm (vs. 32)
Sometimes, God chooses to still the storm on the outside, but not always. Most times, He calls us to ride out the storm to its conclusion so that we can learn through it. But even though the storm rages on the outside, He offers to calm the storm that is raging on the inside. He can give us peace to rest in the middle of the storm just as He did on another night when a storm raged on that same sea.
by exposing us to other’s storms (vs. 34 – 36)
When they got to shore, they were exposed to the storms of others – their sicknesses, their life-threatening conditions, their life-long trials. When you are in a storm, it is easy to focus all of your attention on yourself. The best way to get perspective on our storms is to work to alleviate the storms that others are facing. It reminds us that the world does not revolve around us.