“Caught in the Storm”
“Stop telling God how big your storm is, and start telling your storm how big your God is.” – Unknown
Text: Mark 4:35-41
In life, we will all face storms, especially as we transition from one stage to another. They key is knowing how to have peace in the midst of the storm. In the 4th chapter in the book of Mark we find the answer to successfully weather every storm that rises in our lives.
v35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”
When Jesus said, “Let us cross over to the other side,” we can infer that they were going to a place different from where they currently were. They were on one side, but they needed to get to the other side. You may be trying to go someplace in your life, but there are some things that you need to get over in order to get to that other side. There may be an obstacle in the way of you getting to where you need to go. For Jesus and the disciples, it just so happened to be a body of water. In order to get to the other side, they had to cross over the water. The other side you may be trying to get to could be a better job, but your obstacle is a lack of education. You may be trying to fix a broken relationship, but your obstacle could be your own attitude. You may be trying to get peace in your life, but your obstacle could be a lack of forgiveness of others and even yourself. Whatever your obstacle is, you have to get over it in order to get to the other side.
What is “other side” in your life that you are trying to get to?
What are the obstacles standing in the way of you getting there?
v36 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.
Jesus called for the disciples to cross over to the other side just as we are called out of and away from some of the places we find ourselves in life. It is not always a bad place that we are being called away from, however. Jesus and the disciples had been preaching to the multitude and sharing the gospel, but the time had come for them to move on. One very important thing that we have to remember, though, is to make sure we take Jesus with us wherever we go.
In your transition, have you made sure that you brought Jesus along with you?
v37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.
On their way to the other side, a great windstorm arose causing the water to beat against the boat and also fill the boat, no doubt making the journey difficult for the disciples. Sometimes we get the misconception that when God calls us to a new place in life it will be a smooth transition. But John 16:33 says this, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” The scripture lets us know that we will have tribulation. That is a guarantee. However, we don’t have to worry because Jesus already overcame every tribulation and He’s right there with us in our boat. Another important point to remember is that just because God is with us doesn’t mean we won’t go through storms. All it means is that we don’t have to go through them alone. Hebrews 13:5-6 says, “5Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” So even though the storms may rise we can find comfort knowing that the Lord is with us.
v38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
Although Jesus was with them in the boat, the disciples were very uneasy at the fact that Jesus was asleep during the storm. The text even takes it a step further to let us know that not only was Jesus asleep, but He was asleep on a pillow. Jesus was resting comfortably in a time of despair. The disciples went to Him and woke Him up and asked Him if He even cared that they were about to die. You may feel that Jesus is sleeping in the middle of your storm. You are saved and you know that you have Jesus on the inside of you, but the storm around you is raging so much so that you feel like there is no way you are going to make it to the other side. You begin to get discouraged as the disciples did because you don’t see Jesus moving in your situation. But you need to know that He does care for you and He has not forgotten about you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says this: “6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Know that your storm is only temporary but even in the midst of it, we can find refuge in God who is our strong tower. Proverbs 18:10 reminds us that, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
v39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
Jesus is able. When He spoke to the storm the storm ceased. He spoke with the power and authority that He knew He had. Just as He spoke to this storm, He can speak to yours also. But something that we have forgotten is that Jesus left that authority with us as well. He said so in Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Jesus wasn’t afraid of the storm because He knew that He had the authority over it. Now, if we know that we have the authority over our storms, we have no reason to be afraid. In the midst of our storm, we can rise up like Jesus did, tell the storm, “Peace, be still!” and the storm will have no choice but to cease.
Have you exercised your authority over the storm you are facing or are you allowing your storm to have authority over you?
v40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
This was a good question that Jesus asked of His disciples. The disciples had been following Jesus for a little while now and had witnessed Him perform miracles and preach and teach with a supernatural authority. They saw firsthand the power that He had. However, they lost their faith when the storm arose. It was easy for them to trust Him and believe in His power when they had nothing to lose, but that quickly changed when it seemed as if they were about to lose everything. Sometimes we are the same way. But we have to remember that God is still the same God in the good times and the rough times and that He has the same power in the rough times as He does in the good times. If we think about all that God has done for us in the past, we can stand on our past experiences of God’s saving grace to get us through our present storms. The psalmist David put it this way: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” We have to remember that God does not change. The same God that brought us out before will do it again.
What has God done for you in the past that lets you know that He is able to come through for you again with whatever you are facing today?
v41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
After Jesus delivered the disciples from the storm they were facing, they were in awe of Him. Because of the miraculous work that Jesus performed before their eyes, they reverenced Him. This should also be our response. He is always worthy of our praise and worship, even before and during the storm, but after the storm we should be even more excited about giving God the glory and honor that He is due. In addition to praising God for the work He has done in our lives, we must tell others about it. Psalm 105:1-4 tells us, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! 2 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! 3 Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! 4 Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!”
We know that storms will rise in our lives, but God be thanked that He will be with us every step of the way. All we have to remember is that if we have Jesus on the inside, it doesn’t matter what is going on around us on the outside. Knowing that we have Jesus, we know that we have peace. And if we have peace, we can still find rest in the presence of chaos just as Jesus did.