Jesus and The Storm

Last Saturday (September 26), we witnessed the fury of tropical storm storm Ondoy as it unleashed massive rains that caused damaging and rampaging flood waters throughout Metro Manila. Billions of pesos worth of property damaged and more than two hundred lives lost. Many even lost their homes.
All over Metro Manila, we see the different areas where the fierce floods had destroyed property – cars, houses, etc.

Several of the Victory churches cancelled their services last Saturday and Sunday. Others including us decided to do a worship and prayer service. We decided to postpone our new series preaching and instead minister encouragement and comfort to the people.

Here was the sermon I shared during the Sunday services (Sept. 27):
Mark 4:35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”
Mark 4:36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.
Mark 4:37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
Mark 4:38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
Mark 4:39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
Mark 4:40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Mark 4:41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

How can we survive the storms of life?
Notice that Jesus said, “Let us go over to the other side.” It is important to note that his intention is to go to the other side and not in the middle of the lake and drown. If he says something, he will definitely fulfill it even if there are obstacles. Also he said,” Let us go. . “ and not just “Go”. His intent was to go with his disciples and not just to leave them.

Lessons from the story:

1.  Storms will come.
Storm came in the life of Jesus as well. He and the disciples found themselves in the middle of a strong storm out on the lake.
Storms are part of life. Here in the Philippines, storms will hit whether we like it or not. The question is’ “Are we prepared for it?”
1Pet. 4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
But even with the promises of God, we can still experience disappointments. Endurance and faith in God are the keys.
Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure”
There are some people here today in whose life a storm is raging. For some it is financial. For others it is a health issue. Still others are being swamped in the area of relationships.
Just like the disciples, you may ask “Lord, don’t you care if I drown? Are you aware of what I am going through?”
A storm does not mean that God does not love you or is punishing you or is angry at you.
2.  Jesus is with us in the storm.
If you are going through a storm, one person you want in your boat is Jesus.
The problem of the disciples was not that Jesus wasn’t with them. He was with them but he was asleep. It was the only recorded verse where we see Jesus sleeping.
Other passages indicated that even late at night or early in the morning, Jesus is awake. In fact, he rebuked the disciples one time for sleeping instead of praying.
It seemed odd that Jesus would be sleeping in a storm. It seemed like He doesn’t care or He is too tired. We all have been in situations like this. You are in the middle of a crisis and it seems like God is off somewhere taking a nap. You get a silent treatment to your prayers. He does not seem to respond to your needs.
But could the real reason be that: He is at peace because he is in charge.
Mark 5:36 “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
After he rebukes the storm, he rebukes his disciples. He asks them two questions: “Why are you so afraid?” and “Do you still have no faith?”.
He is hoping that his faithfulness in the past will cause you to trust him in the future.
Is. 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
When we ride the roller coaster, we look forward to the thrill that we’ll get out of the ride. We are not really scared because of the harness and the safety measures that are in place. But what if before riding the roller coaster, you read assign that says “WARNING: There is a 50% chance that this roller coaster might breakdown during your ride due to worn-out parts!” Will you still go for the ride? The reason why you are thrilled riding in the first place is because of the confidence and security that your ride will be safe.
We are actually riding the roller coaster of our lives. Jesus is our harness and our security. And no matter how bumpy the ride will be – with all the ups, downs, twists, turns, flips, dips; you can be confident because the One holding you is reliable and trustworthy. In fact, we can let go of our hands!
3. Jesus will calm the storm.
Storms are temporary. At His perfect timing, He will speak to the elements of the storm “Quiet! Be still!” We need to be patient and just see the deliverance of God.
1Pet. 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
4.  Jesus reveals himself in a storm.
Mark 4:41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
The disciples have seen miracles in the past- healing of the sick, casting out of evil spirits, etc.  But the disciples saw the Creator and Lord that even the wind and waves will obey Him.
In the gospels, the disciples keep coming to new revelations of who Jesus is in the context of some crisis. Abraham knew God as Jehovah Jireh as he was going up Mt. Moriah. Noah met God as a giver of new life in the storms and flood. Daniel met the tamer of lions in the lion’s den. This is also true in our lives. Expect to know God deeper in a crisis.
If you don’t understand God’s hand, trust his heart.

Source: Faith