When You Find Yourself In A Storm
1. There are a couple of different accounts of the disciples of Jesus encountering really bad storms. We looked at one of those storms back in February of this year, but this morning I want to examine a different account, a different storm.
• Life does bring different types of storms, doesn’t it?
2. Storms are a part of life. We all go through them. We can encounter literal storms (hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, ice storms, etc.), but also figurative storms (related to our work, our business, our marriage, our family, our relationships, our finances, our health, etc.).
3. All of us can, at times, feel like a little canoe being tossed around in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
4. Can you imagine how the disciples felt that day? Verse 23 says, “…they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.” In Matthew 8:24, it says that “the ship was covered with the waves.” This was one serious storm. They had a crisis on their hands.
5. That may be you today. Life’s storms are pounding your soul. You feel like you are not going to make it, and you’re going under. What should a person do? How do we handle the storms that come our way? How do we survive? I want to share with you three principles from our text:
Before the storm: Make sure Jesus is in the boat.
1. The disciples did not know it, but their survival was due to the fact that Jesus Christ was in the boat with them. Is Jesus on board with you?
2. In other words, have you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart and life? Have you believed on Him for your eternal salvation, for the forgiveness of your sins? He has done everything necessary to save you and give you eternal life.
3. Whether you are saved or not, everybody encounters storms as they travel through this life on a sin-cursed earth. Nobody is immune from storms.
• “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also…” Romans 8:22-23
• “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.”
4. So the issue is not whether or not you will go through storms. The issue is this: either you will go through the storm with Christ or without Christ. If you have believed on Him, the Bible teaches that the Spirit of Christ dwells in you. Colossians 1:27 says, “…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” He will never leave you once He’s in the boat.
5. You say, “My life is good. I have no storms and don’t expect any. I don’t need Jesus.”
6. Friend, one day we will all encounter a storm called “death” (Hebrews 9:27). When you go through that storm, the only way to come out alive is to know Jesus Christ. John 3:36
7. Nobody should want to face the storms of life or the storm of death without Christ in the boat. Where would the disciples have been without Christ in the boat? They would have been at the bottom of the sea.
8. Why don’t you accept Jesus Christ today? He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and He will go with you through every storm. Christian, Christ doesn’t bail ship. He is with you through every storm.
9. One other note: Christian, the time to build your faith in Christ is before you encounter a storm. Once you are in the midst of the storm, your faith level is what it is. We will talk more about this later.
During the storm: Drop the bucket and go to the Master.
1. If Jesus is in the boat, He is there for you in every situation and in every storm.
2. In our text, the fact that the ship filled with water leads us to assume that the disciples did not turn to Christ right away. Had they done it, the ship wouldn’t be full of water.
• Can’t you just see them with their buckets trying to keep the ship from going under? They are feverishly working to make it through this storm in their own power and strength.
3. Finally somebody had the great idea, “Let’s go get Jesus.” They dropped their buckets and sought Jesus. Experienced fishermen (men of the sea) going to a carpenter for help with a storm!
• They ran to him frantically, and I love it. He was “sawing logs.” He wasn’t one bit worried. They were bailing water for all they were worth and He was just sound asleep. He was at total peace.
• Isn’t it great to have a Savior who isn’t wringing His hands when we are going through storms? He is all-powerful, and He doesn’t fret.
4. The way of faith is to realize that Christ is the only answer to our storms. He wants us to learn that, while we may be able to row ourselves out (who knows if they could have), it is much better if we turn to Christ first.
• As I have said many times before, you turn to Christ as your first resource, not your last resort.
5. Don’t just try and ride the storm out in your own strength. Turn to Him, depend on Him, and trust Him. This is what God really wants and desires. God wants a people who trust Him, no matter what. A people who walk by faith, not by sight.
6. Figuratively speaking, drop the bucket. Rely on Christ.
After the storm: Grow because of the storm.
1. Don’t waste your storms. You say, “What do you mean?” Let them grow you as a believer.
2. After the storm, Jesus asked them a simple and direct question. The question was “Where is your faith?” (vs. 25a) He desired for them to reflect on the situation and examine their hearts and their own personal faith. Was it where it should be? They did turn to Christ, but not right away.
• And when they did finally turn to Christ, it was with a sense of fear, not trust.
3. The storms of life provide a wonderful test to see exactly where we are in our walk with Christ. Are we fearful or trusting? Do we pray or worry? Are we growing, or are we stagnant? Where is our faith – is it little or strong?
• Is your faith in what you can do, or what Christ can do in and through you? Do you tend to believe the lies of Satan when going through storms (Christ doesn’t care about you…)?
4. As we examine our hearts, it is an opportunity for us to grow spiritually and to see areas that we really need to mature in. Storms have a way of bringing to the surface what is truly in the heart.
5. Notice that the disciples exclaimed, “What manner of man is this! For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey him.” vs. 25b
• They didn’t know as much as they thought they knew about Jesus. Storms have a way of showing to us how much more we need to learn and grow. We may think we know a lot about Christ and the Scriptures, but there are deep waters to cross with the Lord that we haven’t crossed yet.
6. They definitely knew more about Christ after having come through this storm. They knew Christ in a deeper way.
• The same was true of the apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). He learned where his strength came from.
7. Don’t waste your storms!
• Allow those storms to reveal more to you about yourself and your walk with the Lord.
• Allow them to reveal more about Christ and who He is.