One of the coldest things in the world is the fact that everyone born on the planet will one day encounter a storm of some kind. Life’s struggles have a way of finding your address. I don’t care if you are good, rich, honest, successful or happy. If you just keep living, some form of storm will find your location and bring fear your way.
The Christian too has storms just like the non-Christian. The Muslim, the Buddhist, the Catholic, the Hindu, the “seeker” and the “doubter”; the liar, the prostitute, the dope dealer and the drug user will all have struggles in their lives at some time or another. Because of sin and rebellion against God, life’s storms have been ushered into the world, and used by God to touch everyone who experiences life.
But there’s good news that comes with the storm: God can use storms to open the eyes of his followers.
- God can use our storms to draw us closer to him.
- God can use our storms to get us to pray more.
- God can use our storms to break us from foolishness.
- God can use our storms to teach us humility.
- God can use our storms to reveal his purpose and plan for our lives.
In today’s text, the disciples have an appointment with a storm. It is during the course of their journey that God sends them through the school of hard knocks to get them to understand who He really is—The Savior of the World.
This story is a reminder that God trusts those He has called with midnight moments, jeopardy on the journey, difficult dilemmas, and crisis through circumstances so that they would see him like they have never seen him before.
It had been a long and glorious day; the disciple’s ministry had finally come to an end. Their ‘Minister’s Retreat’ had been interrupted by a multitude who needed more time with Jesus. The bible says that Jesus met this crowds needs by feeding them with two fish and five loaves of bread.
According to Mark’s gospel, Jesus sends the multitudes home and gives the disciples an assignment. Their assignment was to sail across the sea to Capernaum and he planned to meet them on the other side.
The bible says the disciples got into the boat, while Jesus went to feed the five thousand. After leaving them, he went up on a mountain side to pray.
- Jesus entered into his father’s presence to commune with him.
- Jesus entered into his father’s presence to spend time with him.
- Jesus entered into his father’s presence to seek his face.
Here’s a lesson for our own journeys:
- When you and I pray, we ought to go up in the presence of the Father.
- When you and I pray, we ought to go up in the presence of deity.
- When you and I pray, we ought to go up in the presence of holiness.
Prayer is always ascension; an upward climb in God’s sight.
In Mark 6:47, we see that Jesus was praying on the mountain side while the disciples had begun their journey across the sea.
47When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land.
As they were away from the Master, the disciples were forced to sail during a risky time of day (evening) without the physical presence of Jesus.
- This was the first time they ever sailed without the Master.
- This was the first time they had left him on the shore.
- This was the first time they would have to journey alone.
The disciples find themselves on dangerous mission for the Lord. The last time they were out at sea a terrible squall arose and almost killed them (Mk. 4:35).
The Sea of Galilee was known for its frequent storms that could drop out of the sky at a moment. It is situated in the east-side on a deep basin with lofty mountain ranges; while on the west-side the hills are filled by narrow gorges in which the wind has the power to pick up speed and sweep across the lake causing wind storms with great velocity.
The disciples knew of this danger but chose to sail in obedience to the Master’s command.
Life for the child of God is a journey.
- Life for the child of God is a journey filled with all kinds of struggles.
- Life for the child of God is a journey that filled with twists and turns.
- Life for the child of God is a journey that has unwanted surprises.
- Life for the child of God is a journey laced with danger and evil schemes devised to wipe us out.
The disciple’s journey was difficult because they were literally sailing at a dangerous time—in the evening (there were no street lights on the Sea of Galilee). They were sailing at night upon dangerous waters where anything could happen at any time. They had no technology to direct them during the course of the storm.
These disciples were taking a risk when they agreed to sail at evening time. They knew full well that there was a good chance that trouble might come their way, yet they agreed to get into the boat and take a chance on the journey.
Though we know in part that this journey is not an easy one, we willingly go through its struggles, difficulties, and problems. The struggles of life come in many shapes and forms. Just like the winds of Galilee, we must face them on in this journey of unsuspecting times. Life for the child of God in today’s world is being lived out at evening time.
Here’s an example of the late night struggle:
“It’s evening time and the world is filled with darkness, loneliness, pain, isolation, difficulty, trouble, persecution, mistreatment, confusion and much more,” –and the child of God struggles to make it through them all.
We are living in the evening hour of global chaos against the church. Never has the world been so evil and corrupt. There is global terrorism against the saints for the witness of Jesus Christ; world religions meet to discuss our demise (it’s evening time).
- There is persecution on economic, political, social, and religious fronts against us (it’s evening time).
- There is an ordained International wickedness and evil pursuing us; we are in a war with spiritual wickedness in high places (it’s evening time).
- There are rampant evil doctrines springing up against the church of Jesus Christ designed to ridicule her (it’s evening time).
- We are facing murder, envy, jealousy, racism, rage, greed, idolatry, poverty and immorality like never before (it’s evening time).
As we go back to John’s gospel, we see a visit from the Master:
19So 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.
According to Marks gospel, the journey for the disciples seem like it took all night long, yet they had made very little progress—so that in eight or nine hours they had only rowed some three and a-half miles!
By this time, they must have been in a state of exhaustion and bordering on despair; completely tired from the fight with the wind.
- What they needed was visit from Jesus!
- What they needed was a hand from the Lord!
- What they needed was the strong arm of the Lord!
In their own strength they were trying to make it across to reach their destination; they were rowing against a late night wind found themselves stuck, going absolutely nowhere. The journey had turned into a painful struggle!
- They were struggling in their task.
- They were struggling in their faith.
- They were struggling in their hearts.
Every now and then when Jesus tests us on this Journey, we too struggle as we sail across the sea of time. In the midst of the darkness we struggle to understand God’s will for our life and make sense out our situation as we row against the wind.
Just like the disciples, we need a visit from Jesus! We need a hand and strong arm from the Lord.
In verse 19 we see that God always shows up for the child of God when you least expect it!
19They saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat;
Jesus has a way of arriving in the midnight hour of your situation! The disciples had no way of knowing where he would come from or how he would get there. They had never seen him walk on water, nor had they watched him perform a miracle like this.
Remember who’s on the journey with you!
- When the winds roared up against them, Jesus was on the sea also.
- When the sea got angry and the waves began to rise, Jesus was on sea also.
- When they realized they couldn’t fight this storm and got scared, Jesus was on the sea also.
So, when you’re in the storm and things don’t look so good (and you are a believer), remember: Jesus is with you.
- When trouble is all around you and about to take you down, remember—Jesus is with you.
- When you get bad news from home and it seems like you’re just not going to make it, remember—Jesus is with you.
- When life gets to be a little too hard for you and trouble appears to be closing in on you, remember—Jesus is with you.
There’s comfort in knowing that Jesus is with you through the storms.
- He was with Job, through the storm, so he’ll be with you.
- He was with Samson through the storm, so he’ll be with you.
- He was with Daniel through the storm, so he’ll be with you.
The text goes on to say that when they saw Him they were afraid!
Someone once said that faith and fear are mutually exclusive; the two do not go together. These two cannot occupy the same mind and heart—you cannot believe and then be afraid. They are like oil and water, they will never mix. You must decide, “Which one will I serve?”
If it is faith, then you must trust and believe that God will work it out (whatever the storm may be).
If it is fear, then you live in doubt, turmoil, worry and dismay, never knowing the wonderful works of God.
I want to encourage you today, don’t be fearful—exercise your faith in Jesus!
- He is the Master, who is in charge at all times!
- He is the Master, who walks on the storms!
- He is the Master, who journeys with you through life’s storms!
Who is Jesus?
- He’s the God—man born of a virgin, and wrapped in swaddling clothes.
- He’s the God—man who healed demon-possessed people and set the captives free.
- He’s the God—man who is the expressed image of the invisible God.
- He’s 100 % God and 100 % man
- He is the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the father but by Him.
He’s the Good Shepherd who laid down His life one day on Calvary. That’s who He is.
THIS JESUS WAS HEAVENS ANSWER FOR MANS SIN AND ON THE OLD RUGGED CROSS HE REDEEMED BY BECOMING OUR SACRIFICIAL OFFERING FOR GOD.
He took nails in His hands and feet on the cross for you. He took thorns on His head and was buried in a borrowed tomb for you.
He rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of God where he is making intercession for you and I. He is coming back again to get His church and we shall forever be with the Lord.