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GOT STORMS?

It was evening; the sun was disappearing behind the Galilean hillsides; the last reddish hues of the setting sun cast their reflections in the ever-darkening sky. Jesus closed out a very full, exhausting day of ministry. The crowd had listened intently to His teaching of parable after parable all through the day. He spoke of the Sower and the Soil, the Kingdom of God and the Sower, the Mustard Seed, etc.

"With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it, and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples. On that day, when evening came, He said to them, 'Let's go over to the other side' ". (Mark 4:33-35)

A parable is simply "an earthly story with a heavenly truth." It is an illustration about a daily occurance that everyone would be familiar with, to bring home to one's mind and inner being a spiritual truth. Jesus spoke in parables extensively.

At the close of this "Day of Parables" Jesus left the large multitude and led His disciples to their boat. "Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him." (Mark 4:36) They began their journey to the other side of the lake.

After some time had elapsed, a very violent storm arose while they were on the lake in their boat. "And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat. . . ." (Mark 4:37) The wind howled, the waves swelled, the water churned, the boat was tossed about and began to fill with water. Now, the disciples were experienced seafarers. They understood navigating rough seas, and they knew how quickly fierce storms could come to the Sea of Galilee. As experienced as they were, the disciples of Jesus were literally terrified. They were so afraid that they accused Jesus, who was peacefully asleep on a cushion in the stern of the boat, that He seemed to be uncaring about their lives. "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" (Mark 4:38)

We, from our comfortable place, can be judgmental and criticize these disciples for their lack of trust. However, haven't there been times in our own lives that it seemed we were drowning....... in fear, problems, adversities, doubts, mistrust and the storms life brings? Did we not convince ourselves that God must not care and even if He did care, He wasn't around to save us? Jesus would respond to us as He did on that occasion on the lake as He asked His disciples: "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" (Mark 4:40) What would our answer be?

There is an old Gospel Song rarely sung in worship these days, and unfortunately is thus unknown by so many Christians. Actually, it was one of my Mother's favorites. Here are some of the lyrics:

"Does Jesus care when my heart is pained too deeply for mirth and song?

When the burdens press and the cares distress, and the way grows weary and long?

Does Jesus care when my way is dark with a nameless dread and fear?

And as the daylight fades into deep dark shades, does He care enough to be near?

Chorus:

Oh, Yes, He cares, I know He cares. His heart is touched with my grief.

When the days are weary, the long night dreary, I know my Savior cares!" (written by Rev. Frank E. Graeff)

It's time for a spiritual check-up! We may have a spiritual illness of fear, doubt, discouragment, lack of faith, the fever of avoiding the disciplines of Christian living such as reading God's Word, prayer, active attendance in the Body of Christ (His Church), tithing, witnessing to unbelievers, and acting like Jesus doesn't really care. The problem is not Jesus' care for us, but do we care enough about Jesus? Has our daily grind crowded Him out of our lives?

Let's look at the reasons the disciples were so afraid; they apply to us as well:

  1. They Forgot WHO Jesus was! Dismissed from their minds, in the midst of a crisis, was the reality of THE CHRIST, who is the MASTER OF EVERY CRISIS! They were with Him long enough, witnessed His miracles, heard His teachiing and watched how He was totally in control and victorious over every crisis He encountered. He IS our Lord and Savior!

  2. They Forgot WHERE Jesus was! He was in the boat with them. He was in the same storm right there with them. And He has not forgotten us either; He is with us! What is more awesome than having a storm in our life is having Jesus in our boat!

  3. They Forgot WHAT Jesus said! He told these disciples: "Let's go over to the other side." (Mark 4:35) He did not say they would go half way or go out a little ways! He did not say we will go out until the storm comes. NO! He did say "to the other side"!

Do we allow circumstances, fear, discouragement, disallusionment or adversities, etc. choke out His Word to us; do we forget what He has said? Remember, we can only focus on what He says if we read the Bible, pray and give time and effort cultivating our relationship with Jesus! He speaks; do we listen?

Let's be encouraged! Let's keep a sharp focus!

  1. Focus on THE CHRIST! That is WHO He Is!

2. Focus on the Fact that He is both with and within us! That is WHERE He Is!

3. Focus on the Fact He has issued His Divine Word, His living, life-transforming, life-sustaining, victory-producing Promises. The Bible does not contain God's Word; IT IS GOD'S WORD! That is WHAT He Said!

"And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Hush, be still.' And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm." (Mark 4:39)

What wind and waves in our life need to be stilled? Got Storms? Trust the ONE who calms them down! "He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed." (Psalm 107:29 - NIV) Sometimes the Lord calms the storm; sometims He lets the storm rage and calms His child. Whether the storm is outside or inside, either way He calms the storm!

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About Me

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God has blessed me with a long and fruitful ministry! I have over 40 years in pastoral ministry, retreat speaking, Evangelism, teaching and Christian Radio broadcasting.

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