Read Mark 4:33-41. We discover human nature up close and personal in this account of Jesus with His disciples in a boat on a stormy
night at sea. Jesus is asleep during the storm, and that causes the twelve much consternation because He was unresponsive to their
dilemma. It said to them that He doesn't care about their well-being and was just interested in His rest. What a hard place in which to be!
The boat is filling with water and death seemed eminent.
Storms, to use the imagery of our Bible text, are those hard situations each of us encounters that we perceive to be dangerous,
treacherous, or even hopeless. Storms interrupt our lives; we usually can’t see them coming, so when they hit, not only is the effect of the
storm itself perilous but the surprise of the incident is as well. As a pastor I have counseled untold numbers of people who thought God
had forsaken them and He had left them alone to survive the ordeal on their own. Actually, nothing could have been further from the truth.
Categorically, such a thing is impossible to a born again Christian. Why? Look at this promise He has made to each of us: “…For He Himself
has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5) Now that is some really good news!
The disciples were exhibiting typical human nature when they allowed fear to overcome them that night on the sea. Before we judge
them too harshly, we should remember that we humans are much more inclined to fix our attention on the storm rather than on the
promise of God. Those twelve men actually had a promise on which they should have stood once the wind and waves started their dance
of doom. Jesus had told them earlier, “Let us cross over to the other side.” (verse 35) Can you see that they had a word from God in place
that assured them they would not perish? Jesus meant what He said. They were going to the other side. Not “Maybe.” Not “I sure hope
so!” But we are crossing over. There was something in place that was much more powerful than the storm – the words of Jesus.
Look what Jesus did once He was awakened and handled the situation for them. Once again He just spoke. He did nothing differently
than He had done as they were casting off from the shore earlier that night. He was setting in place His words that would establish all
things for their benefit. No doubt He knew of the storm that would challenge them; that is why He told them ahead of time they would make
it to the other side. He had to implement Plan B instead. Plan A was for them to remember His first words and stand strong in the midst of
the storm. Plan B was for Him to have to release more words to control the storm. But in either case, can you see how God works? One of
the purposes Jesus’ earthly ministry served was to reveal the Father to us. So, when we see how Jesus handled things, what we are really
seeing is what God the Father is doing.
God does not change. What He has been doing since He created the heavens and the earth is what He is doing today. His method is
quite simple: He speaks and things happen according to His words. That is very good news for you! That means you can receive what is
written in the Word of God and apply it to your life, knowing full well that what He says will happen for you. When He tells you, for example,
that Jesus took upon His back stripes and that by those stripes your sickness and disease is healed; then you can simply accept it and it
will be reality to you. That terrible diagnosis of cancer, heart attack, or stroke is a storm; it is a storm that cannot stand against the words
of God! Hallelujah!
You must understand that nowhere in Scripture are you promised that storms will not come. On the contrary, God tells you ahead of time
that indeed you will encounter them. But along with the warning, always comes a promise from the Lord that the storm will not bring you
down. Isaiah wrote about this dynamic principle in Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers,
they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” That promise has your
name on it. You can take it to the bank, rejoicing all the way!
My encouragement to you is this: First, prepare yourself ahead of time – before the storm – by putting the good Word of God down in
your spirit-man. That way when the storm happens, you will remind yourself of His words and focus on them rather than on the storm itself.
The most common mistake I see Christians make is they fail to be “beefed up” in faith prior to the storm. Second, keep your eyes on Jesus
during the storm. The longer you stare at those huge, heaving waves, the bigger they get. So it is with the storms of life. For that reason,
discipline yourself to fix your attention on the goal, not on what is going on around you. The storm is a minor inconvenience that will soon
be forgotten when victory is achieved – and it will be! And lastly, speak to the storm yourself. The apostle Paul teaches you an important
principle in II Corinthians 3:13, “And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed therefore I spoke,’ we also
believe and therefore speak.” He is teaching you to do what God does, which is to speak to the storm. You have been given His authority
(Matthew 18:18 and Mark 11:23) and you have His words with which you use to handle the storms that come your way. That is why you have
the promise from God that He will always lead you in triumph in Christ! Amen.