Summary: We all have storms in life, Jesus will always be there for us.
August 11, 2013
Two hunters came across a bear so big that they dropped their rifles and ran for cover. One man climbed a tree while the other hid in a nearby cave. The bear was in no hurry to eat, so he sat down between the tree and the cave to reflect upon his good fortune.
Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, the hunter in the cave came rushing out, almost ran into the waiting bear, hesitated, then ran back into the cave. The same thing happened a second time.
When he came running out of the cave a third time, his friend in the tree screamed out to him, “Woody, are you crazy? Stay in the cave until the bear leaves!” Out of breath, Woody screamed back – “I can’t, there’s another bear in there.”
Do you ever feel like the hunter in the cave? Every time you turn around there’s another problem waiting for you. No matter what you do, you can’t escape from your troubles. And as we seek to solve our own problems, on our terms, we often realize, we only make them worse.
Well, last week we began talking about the storms of life which hit us and knock us down. We looked at the ways in which the storms hit us and God’s place in the midst of the storms. We started looking at Matthew 14, the story where John the Baptist had been beheaded, then Jesus fed 1000's of people, and now He tells the disciples to get in a boat and cross the sea. Instead of me reading the passage to you, let’s watch it ~
This is a powerful passage of scripture. There’s really so much going on. The disciples are in a great and powerful storm. These experienced fishermen are scared, and at this point in their journey, there’s no turning back.
Like the disciples, we’re in danger of going down with the ship. Too many of us are in danger of having our spiritual lives sunk by the onslaught of life’s storms. We say things like, “There’s no use because . . . I’m no good. That’s just the way I am . . . there’s nothing I can do about it. Life just stinks.”
That’s the type of attitude that says, “Since the ship is going down, I might as well go down with it.” The storm’s of discouragement, despair, and disbelief threaten to sink us, but instead of going down with the ship, we need to take action.
Peter’s example teaches us about how to find life, even in the storms of life.
In the midst of this fierce storm, something miraculous was happening. Yet the disciples were totally unaware of it. Jesus approached the boat walking on the water. At first the disciples were frightened by his appearance, but Jesus comforts them by reassuring them that it’s Him.
Peter was unwilling to simply go down with the ship and wanted to go to his Lord. But who just gets out of the boat in the middle of a storm and walks on water? Let alone on a sunny day. So he asked Jesus to command him to come to Him on the water. Jesus called Peter to come to Him and Peter stepped out in sheer faith and began to go to the Lord — — walking on the water.
When we find ourselves caught in the storm’s of life that threaten to sink us Jesus will always come to us. Here’s a key point that I want you to grasp. If you remember something from this morning, this is it. And it’s a double edged sword ~
Jesus will come to us in the midst of the storms. He’s always there. Before, during and after, He’s there. He didn’t go anywhere, even though we’re wondering where in the world is Jesus. It’s like those old Where’s Waldo books . . . we wonder “Where’s Jesus?” Now, He never left us, and here’s the other part of the double edged sword ~
He wants us to come to Him. He wants us to call out, to cry out, even whisper . . . His name. To do it in faith. Listen to the story — as the disciples are freaking out,
25 In the fourth watch of the night Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.
26 But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
29 Jesus said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.