Published March 5, 2015
Bible Studies for Life, March 15
Fear, faith, and some seasoned fishermen find themselves in the midst of a storm. At least a portion of these disciples were very familiar with the boats, storms, and the Sea of Galilee.
The Sea of Galilee is a lake, 13 miles long and 7 miles wide. The surface of the lake is 680 feet below sea level and it sits in a valley surrounded by mountains. This geography makes for a situation of sudden storms. The winds coming across the mountains can suddenly create waves up to 20 feet high.
On the day recorded in our text it has been a long day of teaching a large crowd by the seashore. Jesus had been teaching from a boat that He used as a pulpit to allow the crowd to hear. In the evening, after a long day, Jesus told His disciples to set sail “to the other side.”
Jesus rested in the boat and the obedient disciples set sail at His word. A group of other boats accompanied them.
In the midst of their journey of obedience, a sudden storm threatened to overturn the boat. The boat was filling with water and even the seasoned fishermen among them got scared, so they woke Jesus and got Him involved in their situation.
It only took three words from Jesus – “Hush, be still” – and the wind became calm.
When the storm is over the lessons begins. Jesus challenges their fear by questioning their faith (By the way, when Jesus asked a question it is not for his knowledge, but ours.). The disciples then become frightful again, this time at the power of Jesus.
What are the lessons that they learned from their storm that we can apply in the midst of our storms? Oh yes, we all face storms. Perhaps our storms aren’t on the sea. Our storms may come in the winds of relationships, health issues, financial issues, employment concerns, or family situations.
You may have just come through a storm, or you are in one and feel like your boat has taken on about all the water it can handle. It may be that there is a storm just around the corner for you and God may use this text today to prepare you to ride the waves.
Just like the disciples’ storm, our storms often come suddenly – a doctor’s visit, a phone call, or an email that rocks your boat to the core. Our storms don’t always come as a result of our disobedience, but like the disciples, they often come right when we are following His directions.
Our storms have many sources, but the principles the disciples learned the night of our text will serve to guide us in the darkest situations of our lives.
The awesome power of Jesus
Mark 4:39-41 shows the power of Jesus that with mere words, “even the wind and the sea obey Him.” The storm that was totally out of their control was well within the realm of His authority.
Can you imagine their awe? The text says, “They became very much afraid.” This time it is not the storm that is the source of their fear; it is the master of the storm. Amazed by His power, they were in awe.
No matter what you are facing or will face, He is able. He has the power to overcome or see you through any of life’s storms. Let me ask you, have you lost the awe of seeing His power?
To depend on His presence
He was in their boat. He was not outside their circumstance, but was right there with them.
Jesus is not a distant deity; He is with us and will never leave us. In their lack of faith they discovered that you can be confident in the midst of the storm when Jesus was in the boat. They were not alone.
Today, find confidence that Jesus is in your boat and He can handle things. You are not alone. Mark 4:35-38 reminds us that He is not overwhelmed by our storms. He was resting in the storm and, perhaps waited on the disciples to call on Him.
Could it be that He is waiting on you to call on Him today? How long and how severe could that storm have lasted if they had not called on Him?
Depend on the promises
It was in the midst of their obedience that the storm came. He had told them to “go to the other side.” He did not promise them an easy journey, or a fun journey. He spoke to them about a destination.
Oh yes, by the way, He is on the journey with you. Where He sends you He will go.
They learned to take Him at His word. We should learn to depend on His promises and know that based on His promises, His presence, and His power we can arrive at the destination He is preparing for us.
Mark 4:40-41 indicates that faith conquers our circumstantial fears and places us in awe of the all-powerful Jesus. It all comes down to our response. How long will you endure the storm before you place your faith in Jesus?
Walk this week by reflecting on your storms, write them down and by each, list how Jesus provided in the storm.
Run this week to someone in your circle of influence who is facing a storm and encourage them to invite Jesus into the boat.
Soar this week by going to a friend who is going through a storm, who has Jesus in the boat with them, and get in their boat beside them.
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