Summary: This sermon will help you see the purpose of sudden difficulties that erupt in your life; and how for you to respond to them.
Matthew 14:22 – 36
By: JB Hall
Here’s the scene: The disciples had just finished serving 5,000 people as Jesus performed a miracle, taking five loaves and two fishes and turning them into enough food to feed 5,000 men, beside women and children.
Immediately after this miracle, Jesus instructed the disciples to get into a boat and go before Him over the Sea of Galilee to the other side.
As they traveled across the sea, John 6:18 says, “And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.”
Just like the disciples here, sometimes you and I encounter a sudden storm in our lives.
Perhaps even now you are in the midst of a sudden storm.
Let’s examine this event and see if we can’t learn some things that will help us during the sudden storms in our lives.
1. A Sudden Storm will erupt as just that; a sudden storm.
A. Sometimes a storm will arise in your life out of nowhere.
B. You have not done anything to cause it to erupt; it is not your fault.
C. As a matter of fact, these disciples were following Jesus’ orders to get into the boat and travel to the other side.
D. They had not disobeyed Him, bringing His judgment upon them.
E. They were right in the center of His will; they were following His instruction.
F. So, you can’t always attribute storms in your life to God’s judgment for you being out of His will.
G. Sometimes we do bring storms upon ourselves by our disobedience to God’s will; but this is certainly not always the case.
H. Sometimes a sudden storm will erupt in your life though you are in the center of the will of God; perhaps even following His instructions; perhaps even doing the ministry He has called you to.
I. A sudden storm is often just that: as sudden storm – erupting without warning and seemingly without reason.
2. A Sudden Storm will sometimes immediately follow a great spiritual event.
A. Here, the disciples had just been used by Jesus in a great miracle that He had performed.
B. They had just received at His hand, enough food for 5,000 men, not including women and children, that He had miraculously multiplied from 5 loaves and 2 fishes; and had served it to the massive crowd of thousands.
C. What an exciting time that must have been!
D. But then here, even as they thought on this great event, they are immediately thrust into a life-threatening sudden storm.
E. They had not even had time to fully process in their own minds what had just occurred, and to appreciate the significance of their participation in it, until they were suddenly fighting for their very lives.
F. There used to be a commercial that said, “Life comes at you fast…”
G. It really does!
H. Perhaps your sudden storm has come right on the heels of a great spiritual high; a great spiritual victory or event in your life.
I. If so, don’t be dismayed.
J. This too, can be Jesus’ way of taking you to an even higher level of involvement with Him.
K. A sudden storm will sometimes immediately follow a great spiritual event; but will itself, also present an opportunity for you to move to an even higher spiritual level.
3. Though Jesus allows you to exhaust all your possibilities, He only does so, so you will learn to rely on His infinite power.
A. John 6:19 tells us they had rowed “…about five and twenty or thirty furlongs…” (3 to 3.5 miles).
B. Mathew 14:25 and Mark 6:48 tell us that it was not until the fourth watch of the night (between 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM) that Jesus finally came to them.
C. Sometimes when a sudden storm erupts in your life, and it seems that Jesus is silent and disengaged; it is only because He is allowing you to come to the end of your possibilities, your energy and resources, so you will recognize you need a greater power than your own to survive.
D. It is in your helplessness that Jesus can best reveal His power and faithfulness as your Preserver.
E. So, though Jesus allows you to exhaust all your possibilities, He only does so, so you will learn to rely on His infinite power.
4. The Sudden Storm that seems will drown you, serves only as a highway for Jesus to get to you!
A. Matthew 14:24 says, “But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.”