Summary: There is a big difference between your boat getting swamped and riding the ripple that God desires for us.
Riding the Ripples
I want to talk about the storms in our lives. We all have them. Maybe today is sunny , but storms come to all of us. Maybe you are right in the middle of a storm and I say to you this morning. The sun, S.u.n. will shine again because of the Son, SON of God. If you have your Bibles, we will look at several passages about Jesus calming the storm.
Read-Matt 8:23-27- Lord Save us And His response, you of little fath.
Read-Mk 4:35-41- Teacher, don’t you care if we drown? And His response, Do you still have no faith?
Read-Luke 8:22-25- Master, Master, were going to drown. His response, Where is your faith?
Very familiar passages, and I have preached from them several times in the last twenty years. I want you to know something, this was no ordinary storm. The sea of Galilee, actually is a large lake. It is located 680 feet below sea level, and had depths of 600 feet deep. It is situated between mountains and is in a valley. It is not uncommon to have waves of twenty feet. These disciples on this boat were professional fisherman. They spent time on the water, they were use to waves and bad weather. They were not easily frightened by rough water. Were going to drown , Don’t you care , Lord save us Doesn’t seem like a conversation a professional fisherman should be having with Jesus their savior. My purpose this morning is to show you that all of us go through storms. Believers and unbelievers. All people go through storms. The result I hope you grab unto is that Jesus can help us through the storms. I want you to know something- all problems we go through in life is not because of sin in our life. Because you love Jesus does not exempt you from storms. In reality, following Jesus sometimes leads us to stormy situations, because the devil wants to swamp your boat every chance he gets. Do you sometimes feel like God is sleeping while you struggle? Be honest with yourself. Do you feel like He is unaware of what you are going through? Psalm 121 assures us that the Lord sees what is going on. “I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your feet slip, he who watches over you will not slumber, indeed, he who watches over you- The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life, the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Following Jesus is tough at times. It’s tough because as a believer, we have a responsibility to walk in the things of God. Jesus says “Follow me” The Bible says Matt. 4:19 At once, they left their nets and followed him” That is not always easy to do and that creates a few storms in our lives. (Ones we create)
The other way that it is tough is - being a believer, some people don’t like your Jesus. Because Jesus points out their sin in their life and they don’t want to change and they can’t beat Jesus up so they take it out on you. God desires to demonstrate in a storm his faithfulness and to strengthen our personal faith. They are 3 ways out of every storm- everyone has done at least two of the ways.
#1- Row your way out Every bit of your energy and strength you have you have fought your own way out of the storm. I don’t need anybodies help. I am a survivor. I will survive. Mark 6- Jesus walking on the water to disciples because he saw them “straining at the oars”
# 2- Ride it out- survive. You have white knuckles and grasping for dear life but you will out hang that storm. ( we have all done that)
#3- Trust God and allow Jesus to stand in the midst of the storm and calm you down and calm the storm. If the purpose God has allowed us to go through a storm is to increase our faith and draw us closer to him. There is only one way that is beneficial and that is to weather the storm calm in the peace that God is going to see you through it. God knows our limits and he knows where we need to expand and stretch our faith. I will say this- there are times God has to take us to deep waters. We don’t like it, but big ships need to be in deep water. You cannot launch a battleship in a river. God gets no pleasure drowning anyone. Jesus put his disciples in a boat, away from the crowd, and sent them on a journey that had some storms, some deep waters. He doesn’t do it to drown us, he did it to develop us. He wanted us to get to the other side. When we are in deep water, what makes us afraid. Not being able to touch bottom. We get a little seasick. We have no control. Lost our footing. Jesus wants to help us in a storms. He wants to teach us when we feel like we are perishing, and we cannot touch bottom, to hold unto him. We do not have to touch bottom, we just need to hold unto him. When that fear factor get to be more than we can bear, that is when we stand on His Word. That He will protect us. He will deliver us. When we are weak, He is strong God Word prepares us to understand the storms. How to pray and be lead by the Lord. Jesus shares with us the secrets of standing in a storm. “Who can this be, that even the wind and sea obey Him” He is Jesus Jesus didn’t rebuke the disciples for disturbing his sleep, he rebuked them for their lack of faith and inability to rest in the storm when Jesus was in their boat. That is point one- Jesus needs to be the calmer of your storms and you must rest in Him. The second one is for people that dare to impact this community for Jesus. God os doing a new thing. He is raising up new people to step into possibilities of change. He is taking some out of their comfort zone and will in the days ahead see some tremendous things done. I call it the ripple effect. Ripple effect is realizing that it is not about me, and realize that we are a small part of the big picture of God. But yet we desire to be a part of it. It is not about me , it is all about him. Each storm is beneficial in our lives. It can strengthen us- if we let him.