Sermons

Summary: Rest in the Lord and so find rest in the storm. Trust in His Word, His presence and His power.

A young father in a supermarket was pushing a shopping cart with his little son, who was strapped in the front. The little boy was fussing, irritable, and crying. The other shoppers gave the pair a wide berth because the child would pull cans off the shelf and throw them out of the cart. The father seemed to be very calm; as he continued down each aisle, he murmured gently: “Easy now, Donald. Keep calm, Donald. Steady, boy. It's all right, Donald.”

A mother who was passing by was greatly impressed by this young father's calm and caring approach. She said, “You certainly know how to talk to an upset child—quietly and gently.”

And then bending down to the little boy, she said, “What seems to be the trouble, Donald?”

“Oh no,” said the father. “He's Henry. I'm Donald.” (John Huffman, The Fruit of the Spirit Is Patience, www.PreachingToday.com)

That father was trying to find some calm in the midst of his storm. How about you? How about me? In these uncertain times, don’t we look for that calm assurance that all will be well? In the midst of our storms, don't we yearn for that stillness of soul even when the world around us is in turmoil?

Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Mark 4, Mark 4, where Jesus shows His disciples how to find true peace in the midst of a storm.

Mark 4:35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” (NIV)

Now, “that day” was a day of teaching for Jesus. He had been teaching his disciples about the power of His Word, and now it is time for their test. Now it is time to see if they really learned anything.

Mark 4:36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. (NIV)

The disciples obey their Lord immediately. Now that’s a good start! Jesus had been teaching from the boat (Mark 4:1), so they waste no time in leaving for the other side just as Jesus told them to. They take him along “just as he was,” even before he has a chance to shift positions in the boat and get comfortable. Even so…

Mark 4:37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. (NIV)

Literally, the waves kept spilling over into the boat so that it was nearly swamped. Even though the disciples did exactly what Jesus told them to do, they ran right into a terrible storm which threatened to sink their little boat.

Many people have the idea that storms come to their lives only when they disobey God. But often storms come because of our obedience, as the forces of evil oppose us trying to accomplish God’s will. You see, Jesus never promised us the absence of storms in our lives. He promised only that He would be with us through the storms, which He allows only to test and strengthen our faith in Him.

Mark 4:38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (NIV)

I love the picture presented here. Jesus is at peace, so much so that He is asleep in the middle of this terrible storm. But the disciples are so clueless, they mistake his calmness for a lack of concern. So…

Mark 4:39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. (NIV)

Jesus said the same thing He said to the demons earlier (Mark 1:25 & Luke 4:35). Literally: be silent; be muzzled. And that’s exactly what happened – the wind stopped howling and the water was completely calm.

Mark 4:40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (NIV)

After Jesus rebuked the wind, He rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith. You see, they had failed the test. Even after all the miracles Jesus had done, even after all that Jesus had taught them, they still didn’t trust Him, and that’s why they were afraid.

Mark 4:41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (NIV)

They were afraid not only of the storm. They were afraid of Jesus, as well, as they witnessed His awesome power. You see, the greatest danger to His disciples was not the wind or the waves. No. The greatest danger was the unbelief in their own hearts.

Warren Wiersbe put it this way: “Our greatest problems are within us, not around us” (Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary). So no matter what is going on around you, make sure you have faith within. Make sure you are trusting in Christ. Make sure you are depending on the Lord. Make sure you are resting in Him; for then, and only then, will you be able to rest in the storm. 1st of all…

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