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Read Matthew 8:23-27
Over the past 10 years we’ve had storms and hurricanes causing major loss of life and costing billions in loss of property.
Today we’re using the word storm as a metaphor for tragedies, difficulties, or worst case scenario. Sometimes storms surprise us. Divorces, broken relationships, financial crises, health problems, conflicts at home and work are some storms we may go through.
It is a fact that we will have storms in life. It is said that there are two types of people in the world:
I. Those who are going through crises and
II. Those who are going to go through a crisis
Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-25 that the storms will come. Just as the sun shines on the just and the unjust so does the rain. We cannot control if the storm will come or not. We can however control how we react to them.
In our text Jesus disciples are going through a natural storm. At times we think that storms come to us because we did something wrong; but note the disciples were with Jesus in the will of God. So sometimes those calamities may come because of our obedience and not disobedience. Jesus wants us to follow Him each and everyday.
What do we learn from this story?
1. Storms Will Come into Our Life
The storm was dangerous but even when God seems to be absent or sleeping during our difficulties remember God never sleeps (Psalm 121:4). God is always on duty.
2. We Need To Cry Out To Jesus In The Midst of the Storm
Just tell God the way you feel. God delights in our honesty and integrity. Jesus Himself on the cross, in the midst of His worse storm cried out: “My God, My God….”
The disciples having tried everything possible and realized Jesus was their only help. God will never leave us alone even when we mess up He is there to help us.
3. God Has His Purposes in the Storms of Life
If we have no trials we’ll have no triumphs!
Through difficulties and hardships Paul wrote almost 1/2 of the New Testament. Through the darkest valley, God is still with us (Ps 23:4).
There are great times, but also valley times. We are never alone – God is always with us.
Three types of storms:
a. Correcting Storms
Jonah because of disobedience, had to go through a storm. When we move out of the will of God or break His laws God disciplines us (Heb. 12:5-6). We reap what we sow and God uses His rod and staff to comfort us.
b. Protecting Storm
In John 6 after Jesus fed the 5,000 the people wanted to make Him king (vs 15). Jesus sent the disciples away by boat while He went to pray. A storm came while they were sailing (Matthew 14:22). The storm at this time protected them.
Sometimes God will bring a storm into our lives to protect us from something worse. God will not always answer our prayers because He wants to protect us.
c. Perfecting Storm
We cannot control our universe – we can react to the storm.
Joni Earickson-Toda has encouraged millions of people, although seemingly imprisoned by a wheelchair and being diagnosed with breast cancer.
‘It was two years ago this month that I completed my chemotherapy for breast cancer, and I’m so amazed now at my strength and stamina… I always thought that breast cancer happened to other women. My attention was always focused on my quadriplegia—forty-five years in a wheelchair saddled me with enough medical challenges without thinking of cancer too. “God would never add that to the mix,”
But she goes on to say:
“I’m on this battle field, how can I glorify God?”
Isn’t that interesting? Even in this other storm she was thinking on how she can glorify God!
When we are going through a storm our desire should always be to bring glory and honour to God with all that we have and all that we are Hebrews 10:38.
Some storms come and go… For some, storms come, storms stay, and for others storms never end! We tend to think that every storm has an end here on earth! For some they will end in eternity – their whole life is a storm.
4. Sometimes Jesus Stops the Storm, Other Times He Is With Us through It
In our story He did stop the storm.
-First He rebuked His disciples for their little faith
-Then rebuked the storm
‘Where is your faith?’
Why did Jesus make this remark?
Because had the disciples listened to Him, they would remember that the goal was to get to the other side, even if they had to go through the storm!
This was Jesus’ command and directions in Mark 4:35
‘As evening came, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” He did not promise them smooth sailing but safe landing. God promised to be with us in our storms (Isaiah 43:2).
John 10:10 tells us that the devil’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy but Jesus gives satisfying life. God did not initiate the storm, but He did allow it. Jesus spoke to the power behind the storm: the Devil. Satan was behind the storm. Disasters aren’t “acts of God”. Look at the book of Job.
Many times the devil wants to discourage us and wants us to lose our faith and trust in God. He whispers in our ears: you aren’t going to make it or you won’t’ be saved ect. Jesus said that Satan is a liar and the father of all lies. We will make it! Jesus is in the boat with us. Don’t abandon Jesus! Stay with Him in the boat.
Is Jesus on board in your life?
Jesus is the captain of my boat – no matter what.
He will always get us to the other side.
There is a Heaven.
We will be in His presence.
This sermon was preached by Pastor Elio Marrocco on August 12, 2018 at New Life Christian Church