I want to open this sermon with the scripture from Mark 4:35-41,”35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. 38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” 39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!””
Many people know this story, but not everyone knows how to apply it to every day life. I read this scripture and thought, “We go through storm like this on a daily basis.” The size of the storm and how you handle it can depend on how old you are, how mature you are, and what else you are going through at the time. When you are in Kindergarten, getting in trouble and getting your clothespin moved to the red light or getting a note sent home to your parents might feel like the end of the world. You get a little older and now you are in elementary school, and your best friend shows up wearing the same shirt you are, but it is their favorite shirt so they decide they aren’t your friend anymore. That could tear your world apart. Now imagine you are in Junior High School and you are getting made fun of because puberty is not being as nice to you as it is to some of the other kids. I personally know how this feels, because I had horrible acne as a teenager. Now imagine you are in High School and you are getting picked on for being different. By this I mean acting different, liking different music, dressing different, etc. Now all of these seem kind of trivial and something you will get over. Now imagine you are an adult, full fledged grown-up, and you lose your job, or you go into severe debt just to survive, or you get a positive test result for a disease. These storms seem huge right?
Now I want you to look back at verse 36 above. The disciples were acting like they were the only ones on the water but it says “other boats followed”. So the disciples were not alone. What I gather from this is that no matter what storm you are going through in your life there is probably somebody going through the same storm, or at least someone who has gone through it before. And once you have gone through these storms you can reach out and help others as well.
Also, I want you to notice that Jesus was in the boat with them, yet they still freaked out. We do this too, we freak out even though we know that Jesus is right there with us. I want to point out a big thing we do to Jesus when we are going through these storms. We ask him if he really cares, just like the disciples did in verse 38. The interesting thing is, if he didn’t care, he wouldn’t be there to help us. He allows us to go through the storms because he cares about us and doesn’t want us to become complacent, or comfortable. He wants us to use the storms to make us stronger and to lean on Him to get our strength. I actually have a plaque in my house that says “Don’t tell God how big your storm is, tell your storm how big your God is.” He can help us through our toughest times. If you look at verse 41 now you see that the disciples are in complete amazement when Jesus get them through the storm. Don’t we do that? When we get through a storm and we realize that it was the power of Jesus that got us through it we are amazed at the power that Jesus possess. Through these storms He wants us to develop our faith as well. Here is another storm that occurs in Matthew 14:28-32 “28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” 32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.” Most people know this story better then the story in Mark. What we see here is Peter’s faith being strengthened. We also see his faith falter. I say this because his faith starts off strong, he gets out of the boat and walks on water, then his focus is turned away from his source of strength (Jesus) and on to the storm. And he begins to sink. Now I believe in this story that Peter walks on water twice, because I saws they climbed into the boat. If Peter hadn’t walked on water a second time, hand-in-hand with Jesus, it probably would have read “then Jesus dropped Peter into the boat”. This shows that even when we lose our focus we can regain it again.
Now, what can we do in our storm to be able to get through them? It’s simple really, and it’s found in John 14:13. We ASK. “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.” Jesus says it right there. Ask anything in my name. Now, you may be saying “Ok, ask. Sure. What exactly do I need to ask for?” Well I’m glad you asked, because I’m going to tell you three things that you need to ask for.
The first is actually two things, but they go hand in hand so I counted them as one. They are advice and wisdom. In Proverbs 24:5-6 it says, “5 The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger. 6 So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers.” We see here that if we are to win in this battle with Satan (who causes a lot of storms in our lives) we have to have wisdom and knowledge, which we get from other people’s advice.
The second thing you need to ask for is patience. I know, you don’t want to pray for patience, but you need to. In Ecclesiastes 3:1 we read, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” in other words this too shall pass. If we pray for patience then we will be less inclined to try to take the power upon ourselves to get us out of these storms.
The last thing you need to ask for is strength, because It doesn’t matter how wise you are or how much advice you have or how patient you are; if you try to take on these storms in your life with your own power you will crumble. You need the power of the Lord God Almighty. We read it right here in Isaiah 40:29 “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” He will give us the strength we need.