Summary: Finding God’s peace through any storm.
Peace in the Storm
Text: Mark 4:35-41
In 1995 a massive storm known as Hurricane Bertha hit the coast of Newfoundland. I happened to be working on a fishing vessel on the North East coast of St. Anthony. It was the worst storm that I have ever encountered. This storm sent many in a panic as everyone rushed to the safety of the nearest harbor.
We were 80 miles from land when the hurricane hit. Our boat seemed like a bubble that was being blown across the ocean. The wind was on the port side hitting us fiercely. The captain called the crew and told us to not use the auto-pilot. The wind was knocking us off course and the auto-pilot was absolutely useless. We would never find the harbor if we trusted the auto-pilot. The captain ordered us to keep the boat at 185 degrees; he knew that this path would bring us to safety.
We had to listen to the captain carefully and follow his instructions. There were times during my turn at the wheel that I doubted, but I dared not trust my own judgment. Eventually we made it as did all the other boats. Yes some vessels had suffered severe damage but no lives were lost, thank God.
Read Text: Mark 4: 35-41
It is fascinating to hear stories of people who have survived tragic events. Someone makes it out of a landslide alive, someone survives a car crash, someone is alive after days at sea. We are never promised to physically come out alive, but we can know survival in our hearts if we trust in Jesus.
What I want you to know is that there is spiritual survival through any storm that life throws our way. When believers know
1.who their captain is,
2.trust his leading and
3. realize how much he cares,
they will have the faith they need to ride out their storm.
Point I Who is the Captain? (v.35-36)
Let’s look at the situation. The disciples were told to go over to the other side (v. 35). Jesus was with them in the ship. They did not know it but their survival was due to the fact that Jesus was in the vessel with them. How can we experience peace in the storms of our life? The answer is simple; we must have Jesus on board.
Many people are uncomfortable with Jesus in their ship. Sometimes we want to be our own pilot. We don’t want to answer to a captain or take orders. We want to be at the captain’s wheel and chart out our own course for our own life. But friend, I can assure you that you will never make it to safety on your own.
The captain on our boat gave us the order to keep the vessel at 185 degrees. What if I had charted my own course in that situation? I probably would not be here today. You see someone on the boat has to be in charge. The captain gives the orders and the others must recognize that he knows what he is doing and obey him.
Jesus is the captain of our lives and he knows what he is doing. Jesus didn’t say, "we will attempt to go over to the other side". He said, "We are going over to the other side" (v.35). They should have known that they weren’t going to drown because Jesus was on board. The problem was they had not listened to what he had said and began to panic at the first sign of trouble (v.38).
We too need to listen to what Jesus has said through his word. He is the anchor to which we can hold (Heb 6:19). He wants to be captain of our lives.
In New Testament times, they say that some cities had a sand bar just outside the harbor. If a boat arrived there when the tide was out, it couldn’t get in to the harbor. The crew would take the anchor and throw it over the sand bar into the harbor. It didn’t matter if the winds came and beat against the boat, because they understood that when the tide came in, the ship would follow the anchor right into the harbor (Jerry Vines).
Jesus is our anchor and he lives in heaven. We can make him the captain of our lives, we can anchor in him. In doing so, we have that assurance that very soon the tide will rise and we will follow him safely into Heaven’s peaceful harbor. It doesn’t matter how many storms we have to endure, Jesus said we were going to the other side. We must trust him to get us there.
Point II Just Trust the Captain. (v.37)
The storm that caught the disciples off guard came up quickly that day (v. 37). The Sea of Galilee was well known for her sudden wind storms. Cold air would come down from the hills surrounding this huge body of water and collide with the warmer air. As a result, a sudden storm would hit without any warning.