Summary: #19 in series. Dealing with doubt in the uncertainly of the storms of life.
A Study of the Book of John
“That You May Believe”
Sermon # 19
“Where Is Jesus In the Storm?”
Recently Paul Bradshaw interviewed Rick Warren (CNN Interview – April, 2005), author of the “The Purpose Driven Life” book and pastor of Saddleback Church in California.
Rick Warren said, “… Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.
God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth,
but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.
This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore.
Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.”
In our text this morning Jesus has just finished a long day of ministry, of teaching amidst the press of immense crowds, and the Lord was now exhausted. So as the day drew to a close Jesus having obtained a boat to cross the lake, commanded His disciples to enter to the boat and cross to the other side. In obedience to his command they hoisted the sail and began the five mile trip across the lake.
When very unexpectedly and seemingly without warning, they were in the midst of a terrible storm. Matthew uses the word (seismos -literally earthquake) to describe the storm. This was no ordinary breeze blowing - this was like a hurricane! Luke writes here that the storm was so bad that the ship was full of water. Mark wrote in his account of this story that the waves were beating the ship that it was full of water. Matthew in his account said that the waves covered the ship. So, you see that this was one serious storm that was going on. They had a crisis on their hands. The ship was full of water, the waves were as high as the boat and they felt that they were headed for the bottom of the sea..
We pick up with the story in John 6:15, “Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. (16) Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, (17) got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. (18) Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. (19) So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. (20) But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” (21) Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.”
As one sits in an air conditioned and comfortable auditorium even on a cold and wet winter’s morning, it is easy to think good thoughts about the world outside. But you know how life is; there can be and probably will be darker, more difficult days than this.
This story in the life of Jesus and His disciples, in the boat upon the sea, conveys that other world, a world where storms rise up out of nowhere and life itself is put at peril. If you have had something happen in your life that shook you to your very core, then you understand what I am talking about. When those storms come the once calm lake of our life becomes a storm tossed, angry, and raging sea. This is a story about that. When the physician comes back with a bad report or when you are startled in the night by a late telephone call and the voice on the other end says, “I am afraid I have some bad news!” Then the waves begin to beat and the boat seems as if it is sinking and you wonder “Where Is Jesus When Storms!” In answer to that question I want to share with you from this biblical story - Three Truths about the Storms of Life.
First, Storms Come As A Part Of Every Life!