Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: 1. Reflect on why you are in the storm (vs. 35-36). 2. Remember what Jesus has said (vs. 35). 3. Rush to the Lord for help (vs. 37-38). 4. Rest in the Lord (vs. 39-40). 5. Give reverence to the Lord (vs. 41).

Whenever You Are Afraid...

Mark 4:35-41

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - October 17, 2010

*One of the words that best describes people today is “fear.” -- People are afraid.

*I was a kid growing up in Florida during the Cuban Missile crisis. We school kids were taught to “duck and cover” in the event of a nuclear attack. Lots of people had bomb shelters in their back yards. But I don’t remember people being afraid like they are today.

*Why are we afraid? -- We can find several good reasons in God’s Word, but let me single out the fact that storms are real. This was a raging storm here in the Word of God. At least four of these men were professional sailors, but they were scared to death, because they were well aware of the danger they faced.

*There are a lot of storms raging in the world today. What about our economic storm? How bad is it? -- Take a look at this little clip that shows the rise in unemployment over the last few years. It goes month by month. The color scale on the right shows goes from yellow to red to black as unemployment goes up. There is a big, dark economic storm over our nation. And that is by no means the worst of our problems. (1)

*People are afraid because the storms are real. And all of us will go through storms in life. Sometimes we will feel like the waves are crashing over our heads and our boat is about to sink.

-What can we do when we are afraid? -- Let’s look into God’s Word to see.

1. First: reflect on why you are in the storm.

*If you are in a storm, it might be a wise thing to ask why. -- Why am I in this storm?

[1] The answer could be that you are obstinate, stubborn, hardheaded, rebelling against God.

*That’s not the case in this story, but Jonah could tell you about the time it happened to him. It’s what the Bible calls being stiff-necked: The “I’m gonna do what I want to do” attitude.

*Like the dad who was driving his family in a remote camping area. They came across a large sign that said, “Road Closed. Do Not Enter.” Well, the man drove right on around the sign because he was sure it would save them time on their journey. His wife didn’t want to do it, but there was no turning back for this know-it-all.

*After a few miles of success, he began to brag about his gift of direction. But his big smile quickly turned into humble sweat when they got to the washed-out bridge. He turned the car around and drove back to the main road.

*When they got back to the original warning sign, he hated the huge hand-painted words he saw on the back.

-You know what it said? -- “Welcome back, stupid.” (2)

*Why am I in this storm? -- I might have been obstinate. If that’s the case, God is trying to tell you to turn around and head in the right direction.

[2] Other times though, the answer is obscure. Terrible things happen, and we don’t know why.

*Last Wednesday at Prayer Meeting, Debbie Black requested prayer for a coworker named Richardson. Both of his parents had passed away that morning. Who can explain why?

*Why am I in this storm? -- The answer could be obscure.

[3] And it could be an object lesson.

*Do you think that Jesus knew the storm was coming?

-There is no reason to doubt it. Jesus was trying to teach them that they could have absolute faith in Him in every situation.

-This is the lesson we must learn for the storms in our life.

*Why am I in this storm? -- The answer could be an object lesson.

[4] And it could be obedience. That was certainly the case here. We see this truth in vs. 35&36:

35. On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side.’’

36. Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.

*These disciples were in the storm, because they were obeying Jesus. They were in the storm, because they were trying to stay as close to the Lord as possible. Jesus said, “Let’s go to the other side.” And they said, “Let’s go!”

*May God deliver us from believing that following Jesus will put us on easy street! Sometimes following Jesus will put us on the hardest road we have ever walked.

*Allen Gardiner was one of God’s faithful missionaries in the early 1800’s. He was a true hero of our faith. Allen went through many difficult hardships as he served the Lord. But he said, “While God gives me strength, failure will not (overwhelm) me.”

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