Summary: We all will face storms, but God is putting us "through" the storm; he will not leave us "in" the storm.
From the Desk of
Pastor Toby Powers
Truth Baptist Church
The Storms of Life
Intro: Life is filled with storms. It is inevitable. They are stressful, but they are not altogether avoidable. Some storms we choose ourselves. Some we face are because of the choice of some one else, and some are chosen for us by God’s Sovereign will. It is often his will to put us through the storms. He does not seek to kill us in the storm, but he longs to teach us through the storm. In this text we see:
1. Jesus is APART from the disciples (v. 23). He is physically apart from us, but he has not forgotten about us. He was in the mountain praying for the disciples. They were on the ship, according to the other Gospels from even or about 6:00pm, but he came not unto them until the fourth watch of the night (3-6am). Sometimes it seems that we go through a lot of the storm alone, but even though he is apart from us:
2. He is AWARE of what we’re going through. Our storm has not escaped his attention. Our lives are not outside of the scope of his focus. He has his watchful eye on us, and he will not allow us to suffer above that we are able.
3. He APPEARS in the midst of the storm, and it ceases. This certainly illustrates how he shows up in our lives with his presence, but it also illustrates the condition of this world. He is apart from us today, though he is aware of what is transpiring, but there is coming a day when he will show up… he will come back, and all the storms will cease!
I. TIME OF THE STORMS: three Gospel writes record this story, and all three have it placed following the feeding of the five thousand. It was after a great miracle, after a great demonstration of God’s power, after a great experience of the manifestation of God that the storm came. So it is in our lives. It is usually when we are at our highest that Satan attacks to bring us down low.
II. TROUBLE WITH STORMS: We can’t control them. There are no steering wheels that man can get his hands on. Only God has control over the storms. We cannot affect the intensity of the storms, the direction of the storms, the nature of the storms, or the duration of the storms. Only God can do this.
III. TESTING OF THE STORMS: God is pressing growth in us. This story is recorded in Mark 6, but in Mark 4 the disciples and our Lord were in a storm on the sea. Jesus woke from sleep and calmed the sea, and the men marveled. After unloading from the ship, Jesus casts legions of demons from a possessed man, crosses back over the sea to raise Jarius’ daughter from the dead and heal the woman with an issue of blood. He proceeded on to his hometown and was there rejected. He sent forth his disciples two by two and they cast out devils, healed the sick, and preached repentance. Soon they all heard of the death of John the Baptist and retreated to a desert place to rest. It was there our Lord fed the five thousand. The next verse (Mark 6:45), the Word of God says, “Straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship.” Now, they were shipwrecked in chapter 4. They have experienced great power and great miracles since then. One might think that surely they have already learned the lesson of the storms, but Jesus constrains them to get back on the ship and go back into the storms! When we pass the tests, we can move on, but we can’t move on until we learn the lessons of the storms! They fought the storms. They tried to work through the storms. Even when they saw him, they thought it was a ghost! Not once it is recorded in the Gospels that the disciples prayed. Not once is it recorded where they cried out for the Lord. Not once is it recorded where they revisited in their minds or conversation about the storm they had already been through and the lesson they learned in it! Some of us will keep going through the same storms until we learn the lessons and pass the tests! They Drew to shore immediately, when Jesus got on board!
IV. TRAGEDY OF THE STORMS: Peter saw Jesus, called out to him, and walked to him on the water, but he took his eyes off Jesus and sank. His sinking, however, is not the tragedy of the storm. The real tragedy is that there were 11 more disciples in the ship that could have walked on water just like Peter, but they never got out of the boat! Peter did the impossible. Then, he did the natural. Then, he cried out for Jesus, and he did the impossible again!