Summary: Jesus said that storms will come in our lives, but they don’t have to overcome us. Sometimes he calms the storms, but other times he calms His child.
SURVIVING THE STORMS OF LIFE
“The disciples were left to face the storm… alone. The greatest storm that night was not in the sky; it was in the disciples’ hearts. The greatest fear was not from seeing the storm-driven waves; it came from seeing the back of their leader as he left them to face the night with only questions as companions. It was this fury that the disciples were facing that night.
Surely Jesus will help us, they thought. They’d seen him still storms like this before. On this same sea, they had awakened him during a storm, and he had commanded the skies to be silent. They’d seen him quiet the wind and soothe the waves. Surely he will come off the mountain. But he doesn’t. Their arms begin to ache from rowing. Still no sign of Jesus. Three hours. Four hours. The winds rage. The boat bounces. Still no Jesus. Midnight comes. Their eyes search for God – in vain…
Maybe you’re riding a storm, searching the coastline for a light, a glimmer of hope. You know that Jesus knows what you are going through. You know that he’s aware of your storm. But as hard as you look to find him, you can’t see him… The question of storms is, “Where is God, and why would he do this?” (Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, pg. 108-111).
What storm are you going through in your life right now?
• Is it a storm of addiction – trying to break free from a bondage you have had for years?
• Is it a storm of sickness – praying believing God for healing?
• Is it a storm of financial pressures – trying to get out of debt?
• Is it a storm of relationship challenges – trying to restore a broken relationship?
• Is it a storm of doubt and hopelessness? How can we hope to survive the storm?
DISCUSS STORMS: Storms, valleys and darkness in the Scriptures symbolically represent the difficult and troublesome times in our lives.
INTRO TO TOPIC: Driving to church one day to preach on “What to do in the day of trouble” we were in a car accident. Everyone goes through storms!
THE BIG IDEA: Jesus said that storms will come in our lives, but they don’t have to overcome us. Sometimes he calms the storms, but other times he calms His child.
1. SOMETIMES HE CALMS THE STORMS:
a. Just because you’re in a storm doesn’t mean you’ve sinned:
This story takes place right after an amazing miracle of provision – feeding the 5,000.
“Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away.” (Mark 6:45).
• The disciples were obeying Jesus and found themselves in a storm.
• Job was a man who experienced many trials, and his friends concluded that there must have been some sin in his life.
• PERSONAL TESTIMONY: False teaching I received = no storms for Christians!
b. Just because you’re in a storm doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t care.
“And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.” (Mark 6:46-48).
• Even though Jesus seemed absent in the storm, He was watching them.
• In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus finally came to them.
• God is never early, but he’s never late. He will come when the time is right.
• When Lazarus was sick, Jesus didn’t come until after He had died, four days later.
c. When you’re in the storm, you will encounter Jesus in a new way.
“And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out. for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid. Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.” (Mark 6:49-50).
• Jesus doesn’t always come in the way we would like Him to.
• When Jesus comes, He says, “Be of good cheer; it is I; do not be afraid.”
• “Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.” (John 6:21).