35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 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. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 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?” 39 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. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
We live in a time of great uncertainty, of fear of what the future may hold. If you asked me a couple of months ago, I never would have predicted that the world would be caught up in a deadly new strand of coronavirus. We have had great scares before, the Spanish flu, the H1N1 virus, Ebola. And all of these were contained, after some scare and some death. And here we are again. It’s an uncertain time. How many will be infected? How many will die? Even though every year the regular flu takes tens of thousands of lives in America and more worldwide, somehow this COVID-19 is scarier, because of the unknown element, because we don’t fully understand it and we don’t yet have a vaccine against it.
There are times when we will face what we often refer to as “storms of life” and I am glad to report that in these times we have a refuge in the storm. In these “storms” we can trust in Jesus to provide us with peace and safety. Paul said in…
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Our God is able to provide peace in the midst of the greatest storms of life. God often works in our lives in ways that we may not understand. When we face difficult circumstances, Satan will try to convince us that God doesn't not care about us. Many times, in the storms we give the Devil too much credit. We blame our troubles on him, when the reality is God is the One who put us in the storm. This may sound strange, maybe even cruel, but God always has a reason for the storms that we face.
One night upon the sea, the Lord's Disciples learned an important lesson. Jesus and His Disciples were on a boat and a great storm arose. The winds blew, the waves crashed, and the ship was tossed to and fro. The followers of Jesus were terrified and thought that they were going to die. All the while, Jesus was in the hinder part of the ship asleep on a pillow.
At one point the Disciples thought that Jesus didn't even care about what they were going through. They became frustrated and woke Him and cried "Master do you not care that we are going to perish". After this Jesus "arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." There are several important lessons that we can learn from this passage today, perhaps none more important than the fact that “Jesus Is Our Refuge” in the storms of life.
Jesus had a plan for His followers. The storm that they encountered came as no surprise to Him. The same is true concerning the storm that we may be facing today. Furthermore, Jesus may be the cause of this storm.
- Let's begin by examining the fact that: JESUS HAS A PLAN IN THE STORM v35-36
35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 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.
God did not just adopt us into His family to face this life alone. The trials and storms that we go through are not a means of torture. And there are reasons that we face these trials/storms in this life. There are times when we don't comprehend the reason for the trials/storm until it is over. Furthermore, there are some storms that we face and we may never fully understand the exact purpose or reason behind it. But God always has a plan.
Notice that: JESUS PLANS WHEN THE STORM WILL ARRIVE. Jesus is the one who put the Disciples in this situation. (Look at the powerpoint)
Jesus knew that this was the right time to teach His Disciples and to increase their faith. Jesus knows exactly when we will benefit the most from troubles and trials in our lives. Often God will use a storm to remind us that He is in control, not us. Sometimes these storms come when we least expect them. Sometimes when we think that things couldn’t get any worse the storm intensifies. Let us always remember that Jesus has a plan in the storm and He plans when it will arrive.
We also see that: JESUS PLANS WHERE THE STORM WILL OCCUR.
He said to His disciples in v35b “He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”
Jesus knows what area of our life the storm will impact us the most Sometimes the troubles and trials that we face may involve our family, friends, finances, material possessions, physical health and various other areas of our life. It may seem cruel at the time, but God knows how to get our attention. I can assure you that in the midst of the greatest storm, He will never leave you!
Notice that Jesus said "let US cross over to the other side". Jesus was with them each and every step of the way, and He will be with us through the troubles and trials that we face as well.
Jesus plans when the storm will arrive, He plans where the storm will occur and as we move farther, we will see that: JESUS PLANS WHO THE STORM WILL IMPACT… “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 sent the multitudes away; this specific storm only impacted His closest followers. The ones who had left everything behind to follow Him were now in a grave situation. The most devout and faithful followers Jesus had, were in a boat in the midst of a storm fearing for their lives. Jesus knew who would be in that boat when the storm hit... again I say, Jesus has a plan in the storm! Jesus has a plan with what is going on in the world today.
Often when facing difficult situations, we feel all alone. It seems that no one understands and that no one even cares what you are going through. Just as Jesus sent those multitudes away before the storm, I think He removes certain people from our lives during these tough times so that we will look to and trust in Him and Him alone. It has been said that "when Jesus is all you have you will find that Jesus is all you need!" That is a very true statement and you will find that in the storms of life, He is right there in the boat with you!
This leads us to the second thing I would like to consider about our refuge in the storm. Notice that: JESUS IS PRESENT IN THE STORM v37-38
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 38 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?”
This passage proves that Jesus is always with us. Notice that: JESUS IS PRESENT NO MATTER HOW SEVERE THE STORM IS!
The disciples found themselves in the midst of a great storm. The wind was blowing, the waves were crashing in and the boat was filling with water. This was an intense storm. There are times when we will face intense storms. In fact, some storms may seem to be unbearable. Often Jesus will put us in these intense situations so that we will look to Him. When we do look to Him, we will find (just as these Disciples did) that Jesus has the power to calm the most severe storms that we will ever face.
He is present no matter how severe the storm is, and verse 38 shows us that: HE IS PRESENT NO MATTER HOW SCARY THE STORM IS! 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?”
I have often wondered how long the Disciples waited to call on Jesus. I wonder what all they tried to do themselves before calling on Jesus. It appears that they delayed calling on Him for some time, The text says that the ship was beginning to fill with water.
Perhaps they tried to right the ship on their own with no success. And then they finally reached a point of frustration and then went and woke Jesus up and accused Him of not caring about what they were going through. Many times, we are not different than the Lord's Disciples...We have a tendency to wait until we are drowning before calling on the Master. We forget that He is right there with us the whole time.
V38 “But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow”. The Disciples could not see Him, but He was there the whole time. If you feel alone in the storm today, let me remind you, you will not be able to see Jesus, but He has not left you and He promised to never to leave or forsake you!
Though it all, Jesus has a plan in the storm, He is present in the storm and verse 39 shows us that: JESUS PERFORMS IN THE STORM…
39 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. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
This is one of the most powerful and amazing miracles that Jesus did while He was here on earth. And it proves that He has the power to handle anything that we may face in this life.
Church, Jesus is bigger than any trials and He is stronger than any storm! Jesus stood up on that boat and simply said 3 little words... "PEACE BE STILL". The scripture tells us that as the sound of His voice, "the wind ceased".
That is power... And the power that He possessed back then, He still possesses today. His Disciples asked Him for help and when He spoke, the storm was calmed. I would submit to you that the storm the Jesus planned had its desired effect. When the Disciples saw what Jesus did, it blew their minds! Look at their response in verse 41… “41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
What manner of Man is this? He is the same man that gave sight to the blind, made the deaf to hear, caused the lame to walk, made the dumb to speak, cleansed many lepers, cast out countless demons, and He even raised the dead.
This was not the first miracle that these men had witnessed at the hands of Jesus. But it seems that the storm caused them to forget what Jesus had done in the past. (Did you?) In the midst of their troubles they forgot who was in the boat with them. Does that sound familiar? In the midst of the intense storm that we are going through have we forgotten all that Jesus has done in our life? Do we not realize the He is more powerful than our storm? More powerful than what is happening in the world today! Do you not recognize the fact that He is still right there with you and I, in the storm? Do you not understand that when He sees fit, He can calm our storm?
He is our refuge in the storms of life. When He spoke peace on that lake, verse 39 says that "there was a great calm". I know that many people here today are in the midst of a storm. some of these storms have been raging for a long time, some of these storms are intense and severe, but not one storm has occurred without God's knowledge. In many instances He has allowed them to occur and, in some cases, He caused them in order to work out His plan in our life.
Richard Fuller, a 19th-century minister, told of an old seaman who said, “In fierce storms, we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there. Fuller went on to say, “This, Christian, is what you must do. . . . You must put your soul in one position and keep it there. You must stay upon the Lord; and, come what may—winds, waves, cross seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers—no matter what, you must hold fast your confidence in God’s faithfulness and His everlasting love in God” Do you feel overwhelmed by your troubles? Learn a lesson from that old sailor. Fix your mind on the Lord. Ask Him for help, then trust Him to give you peace in your storm!
Whatever it is that has you fearful, whether the coronavirus, or your own storms, let Jesus remind you of these words, “Why are you so fearful?” Did you forget who is in control!
Jesus used this storm to increase the faith of His Disciples. They marveled at His power. This shows us that He has a way of getting everyone’s attention. There may be some of you here who do not belong to Jesus, you have never been born again. I must warn you that a storm is on the way. Great danger is coming in the form of God’s wrath and judgment.
One day God will judge lost sinners and the consequences will be devastating. He wants you to know that there is a place of safety from the coming storm. There is a refuge and His name is Jesus Christ. Let me invite you to repent and turn to Him. Trust Jesus as your Savior and to be born again.
For those of you who do belong to Him, you may be in the midst of the greatest storm of your life, if so let me remind you that:
Jesus Has A Plan In The Storm.
Jesus Is Present In The Strom.
Jesus Performs In The Storm.
“Jesus Is Our Refuge!”
Pastor Richard Santos
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