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Summary: Life preservers for the storms of life based on Christ’s miracle of walking on the water.

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(NLT) When the people saw this miraculous sign, (the feeding of the 5,000) they exclaimed, "Surely he is the Prophet we have been expecting!" 15 Jesus saw that they were ready to take him by force and make him king, so he went higher into the hills alone.

16 That evening his disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed out across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them as they rowed, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They were three or four miles out when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, "I am here! Don’t be afraid." 21 Then they were eager to let him in, and immediately the boat arrived at their destination!

We’re continuing in the series on the encouraging conversations Jesus engaged in before performing the seven "sign" miracles of John’s Good News account. In this week’s account John doesn’t include much of a conversation, but we do read the very encouraging words from Jesus to his disciples, "I am here! Don’t be afraid." But before the story arrives at these reassuring words of Jesus – there is the storm to consider.

John tells us that Jesus perceived that the multitude that had just been miraculously fed with a little boy’s lunch had mistakenly decided that it was time for him to be made king. In order to keep this misconceived plot from hatching Jesus retreated further up into the hills.

In the meantime Jesus instructs his disciples to get on a boat and head for the other side of the lake. Instead of experiencing the joy of his kingdom, Jesus chooses rather to let them experience the storm in the darkness.

Christ takes refuge on the mountaintop – and sends his followers to face the storm without him! Why did Jesus intentionally send his followers into a storm? Why doesn’t God keep you from storms? What can you do to weather the storms of life?

Based on this story, consider three life preservers for the storms:

1. Hold tight to the plan and purpose of God.

We know that the storm was Christ’s plan for his disciples because of what the Scripture tells us.

Matthew 14:22 (NLT) …Jesus MADE his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake.

We’ve been talking about this some in this series. Last week with the feeding of the 5,000 for instance, we saw that God always has a plan. The disciples, like us, didn’t always know what to do. God does always know what to do. That’s one of several great reasons we should follow his instructions implicitly.

If God says, "Get in the boat," you can get in the boat with confidence! If God says, "Go to the other side of the lake", you need to go to the other side of the lake, even if you don’t understand the reasons for God’s instructions. There are times when all you need to know is that, if God instructs you to take a certain course of action, then he has a plan and a purpose whether you fully comprehend it or not.


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Debra Rudisill

commented on Nov 29, 2006

I quote you in saying, "We can become more interested in the destination than the journey. We focus so intently on the goal we forget to take time for our relationship with Christ..." This statement hit me like a rock! Now I understand the storm I am in is because of my wants and my ultimate goal. I will take more time to enjoy the blessings I have received from God and let Him get me to the ultimate goal He wants me to have. Thank you..wonderful sermon. Deb

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