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Summary: EACH OF US IN THIS CHURCH HAS FACED STORMS OF SEVERAL DIFFERENT KINDS IN YOUR LIFE. THE STORMS MAY BE FINANCIAL, PHYSICAL, HEALTH, OR RELATIONSHIP STORMS, BUT IT IS FOR CERTAIN THAT WE ALL HAVE FACED OUR SHARE.

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JESUS CAN CALM THE STORMS OF YOUR LIFE

MARK 4:35-41

EACH OF US IN THIS CHURCH HAS FACED STORMS OF SEVERAL DIFFERENT KINDS IN YOUR LIFE. THE STORMS MAY BE FINANCIAL, PHYSICAL, HEALTH, OR RELATIONSHIP STORMS, BUT IT IS FOR CERTAIN THAT WE ALL HAVE FACED OUR SHARE.

SOMETIMES, DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES, IT FEELS LIKE WE ARE FACING MORE THAN OUR SHARE OF DIFFICULTIES. WE MIGHT EVEN WONDER IF GOD REALLY CARES ABOUT US. WE KNOW IN OUR HEADS THAT HE DOES, BUT SOMETIMES IT’S HARD TO CONVINCE OUR HEARTS.

WHEN WE THINK ABOUT PHYSICAL STORMS, MOST OF THE TIME WE ARE ABSORBED IN THE DAMAGE, AND THE LOSS OF LIFE THEY CAN CAUSE. THIS IS WHAT IS SEEN ON MOST NEWS BROADCASTS.

I WOULD SUGGEST TO YOU THAT EVEN IN THE MIDST OF STORMS, BE THEY PHYSICAL OR SPIRITUAL, THAT WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THE MIGHTY POWER OF GOD AT WORK, NOT IN THE DAMAGE CAUSED, BUT IN MANY POSITIVE WAYS THAT WE WOULD NOT SEE, EXCEPT FOR THE STORM.

TAKE FOR EXAMPLE, THE BEAUTY OF A BOLT OF CHAIN LIGHTNING AS IT FLASHES ACROSS THE DARK SKY OF THE STORM. IT IS A FACT THAT SOME OF THE BEST COUNSELLORS FOR PEOPLE DEALING WITH CRISIS SITUATIONS ARE THOSE WHO HAVE GONE THROUGH THE CRISIS THEMSELVES. WE CALL THEM “WOUNDED HEALERS.” HOW OFTEN DO WE CONSIDER THE POWER OF GOD IN OUR LIVES, TO CALM THE STORM, IF THERE IS NO STORM TO CALM?

THE BIBLE DOES NOT SAY THAT JUST BECAUSE WE ARE CHRISTIANS THAT WE WILL NOT FACE STORMS IN OUR LIVES. THE FACT IS THAT IT TELLS US THE OPPOSITE:

1 PETER 4:12: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.”

JAMES 1:2-4: “2 ¶ Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

WHAT PETER AND JAMES ARE TELLING US, IS THAT STORMS, ARE NOT ONLY GOING TO COME IN OUR LIVES, BUT THEY ARE NECESSARY IN OUR LIVES TO HELP DEVELOP OUR SPIRITUAL MATURITY.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE WELCOME STORMS, NOR THAT WE DO NOT FEEL THE BITE OF THEIR TEETH AS WE DEAL WITH THEM. WE MAY FACE LIFELONG SCARS AS A RESULT OF WHAT WE FACE. OUR ATTITUDE MUST BE THAT GOD HAS SOMETHING HE WANTS TO TEACH US THAT IS FOR OUR GOOD, AND THAT HE WILL SHOW US THIS LIFE POINT AS WE GO THROUGH THE STORM.

TODAY WE ARE GOING TO SEE THAT WE ARE IN MANY WAYS LIKE THE DISCIPLES ON THE BOAT. WE ARE GOING TO SEE THAT THE STORM IS NOT NECESSARILY PHYSICAL BUT OF SPIRITUAL ORIGIN. LAST, WE SHALL SEE THAT IT IS OUR ATTITUDE TO THE MASTER THAT IS IMPORTANT, AND NOT TO BE OVERWEALMED BY THE STORM. WE LEARNED FROM PETER WHEN HE WALKED ON WATER, THAT IT WAS ONLY WHEN HE TOOK HIS EYES OF CHRIST, AND BECAME ABSORBED IN THE STORM THAT HE BEGAN TO SINK. THE SAME IS TRUE OF THE DISCIPLES IN THIS STORM.

BACKGROUND:

JESUS WAS AT THE POINT OF PHYSICAL EXHAUSTION WHEN THIS ACCOUNT TAKES PLACE. THIS IS THE TIME IN HIS MINISTRY WHEN HE IS BESET BY CROWDS EVERYWHERE HE TURNS. MULTITUDES OF PEOPLE WOULD THRONG HIM, DEMANDING TO BE HEALED, OR LISTENING TO HIM TEACH. HE COULD HAVE BEEN TEACHING RIGHT FROM THE BOAT THAT THEY SET OUT IN.

THE TRIP THAT THEY TAKE WAS A SPUR OF THE MOMENT DECISION. HE MADE NO PREPARATION FOR THE JOURNEY. IT WAS JUST A TIME OF RETREAT FOR JESUS FROM THE CROWD.

WHEN THE MEN SET OUT, THE SEA WAS CALM AND EVERYTHING WAS ALL RIGHT. SOON JESUS AND HIS FRIENDS FOUND THEMSELVES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LAKE IN THE MIDST OF A FEROCIOUS SQUALL.

STORMS LIKE THIS WERE COMMON ON THE SEA OF GALILEE. RISING JUST TO THE NORTH OF THE LAKE IS BEAUTIFUL MOUNT HERMON. MOUNT HERMON IS CAPPED WITH SNOW, AND SOMETIMES THE COLD AIR FROM THE TOP OF HERMON RUSHES DOWN THE MOUNTAIN AND BLOWS ACROSS THE LAKE.

THE FORCE OF THE COLD AIR MEETING THE HOT MOIST AIR AROUND GALILEE CAN BE EXPLOSIVE, AS IT WAS ON THIS DAY. THIS WAS A VERY VIOLENT STORM. THE MEN WERE BEING TOSSED ABOUT, WATER WAS COMING INTO THE BOAT, AND THE MEN WERE AFRAID THEY WERE GOING TO DROWN.

IF YOU THINK THE DISCIPLES SHOULD HAVE NEVER LEFT SHORE, I REMIND YOU THAT THESE STORMS WERE UNPREDICTABLE, AND THERE WERE OTHER BOATS THERE IN THE STORM AS WELL. THEY WOULD VERIFY THE MIRACLE THAT WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.

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