Ironically, the only place in the gospels where we see Jesus sleeping is during a storm.
Text: Mark 4:35-41
Title: “Keep Calm and Trust God”
Sometimes God arranges encounters with adverse circumstances to develop our faith and demonstrate His power.
It’s nighttime. After a long day of ministry and teaching, Jesus has his disciples prepare for a relaxing row to the Western side of the Galilean sea. What would have been a peaceful, restful, replenishing journey is interrupted by a fierce gale of wind. Apparently this was no gentle zephyr. The text almost ascribes a personality to the storm. So intense are the winds and waves that the experienced fishermen in Jesus’ cadre fear for their lives. Somebody has the bright idea to wake Jesus up. After all, he can do something about the storm.
What we read, however, is not a respectful request. They rebuke Jesus. They sarcastically accuse him of not caring about their pending, perhaps eventual demise. A sleepy Jesus gets up off the pillow and calms the sea by making the wind stand still. This is nothing short of amazing! The text describes the calm in the same manner it did the storm – Great. Jesus brought great calm out of a great storm. The disciples say with awe, ‘who is this… that even the wind and waves obey Him?’
Life has storms. Following Jesus will at times lead to danger. What can we take away from this stormy night in Galilee?
1) Take Jesus with you!
- The disciples take Jesus with them in the boat. It may sound strange that those who follow Jesus must also take Jesus with them, but it makes a good point. Life has a lot of trouble that you can avoid if you take Jesus with you. What relationships, activities, and heartaches would we avoid if we practiced the presence of Jesus? Simply put, if what you are doing cannot invite the commendation of Jesus, don’t do it.
- Just because you follow Jesus does not mean that danger won’t find you. In a day of popular teaching promoting an easy, undisturbed life of discipleship this text says something different. You take a risk in following Jesus... Albeit a much better risk than living in self-reliance.
2) When Jesus is on board, you can make it over without going under.
- The reason following Jesus is a good risk is this: He is Lord of your storms. Adversity bows before His command. Just like the wind and waves settled down at Jesus words, so too all of what God created is subject to His commands.
- God is after your development, not your destruction. If ever you encounter adversity as a result of following Jesus, you can be sure that God is building and refining you. The circumstances don’t deserve your highest attention. They are simply the earthly means to God’s end. When God gets through, your confidence in Him will be greater than your trust in anything else.
3) God is still in control.
If nothing else, we are reminded in this passage that God is still in control. There are moments in life that seem to suggest that God has lost control. But this text reminds us that God will use terrifying circumstances to demonstrate that He is still God. I don’t know about you friend, but I’m thankful for that. Ours is the only God who can still storms – not just on the sea, but in your heart too.
Peace, Be still. Or shall I say it like the British Government of 1939? “Keep Calm, and Carry On."
Published on Monday, May 6, 2013 @ 4:01 PM CDT