Storms are a fact of life on this side of glory: sickness and disease . . . suffering and disappointment . . . loss of employment . . . financial reversal . . . loneliness . . . wayward children . . . marriage difficulties . . . shattered dreams . . . death. And these are just a few of the storms we may face!
So how have you been doing at weathering the storms of life that you’ve been facing lately? When was the last time you thought, “WHERE IS GOD?!” as the waves of challenge were crashing over you and the boat you had been smoothly sailing?
When [Jesus] got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold! A severe storm arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered by the waves; but he himself was sleeping. Then they went and woke him by saying, “Lord! Save us! We are perishing! So he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” After he got up, he rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became absolutely calm. Then the men were astonished, saying, “What kind of a man is this One, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:23-27)
Many of the disciples were professional fishermen; the Sea of Galilee was their workplace, and this certainly was not their first encounter with a sudden storm. The Sea of Galilee was notorious for unexpected, violent storms, as winds swept down from the mountain elevations over the waters of the sea. Yet the disciples were filled with great fear—that had to be a bad storm! And all the while, our Lord, exhausted from His works of ministry and the press of the crowds, lay sound asleep.
And what did the disciples do with their fear during this serious storm? It is the most important lesson we need to learn in this life: they went to Jesus.
This is the first thing we should do as children of the Most High God. When the storm winds begin to blow, we must turn to Jesus. We cry out to Jesus, just as the disciples did: “Lord! Save us! We are perishing!” Indeed, the Lord invites us to, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psalm 50:15).
I take great comfort in the fact that the disciples had to wake Jesus. Our Lord was not stressed out, startled, or surprised by the storm that was blowing. He was sound asleep, resting with complete confidence in His relationship with His Father in heaven, He who never slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:3-4). What a tremendous picture of “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) for us to remember when we find ourselves in the storms of life!
I want to point out something that might easily be overlooked. Jesus was with His disciples in the middle of the storm. He is with us too. Regardless of whatever storm winds may be blowing, Jesus is with us. Jesus is not some “fair-weather” friend, found only when the sky is blue and the clouds are fleecy. He is right there with us in the middle of every storm. He has promised us, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus!
Jesus has been with you in every storm you have ever faced. Every storm is used by God for His glory and for your good. And yet we live in a fallen and broken world where some storms never fully pass. Do you remember the story of the apostle Paul and his “thorn” storm?
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
God does not calm every storm, but He is in control of all of them. God knew the thorn was best for Paul, and He knows what storms are best left blowing in our lives too. And one day we will face the inevitable storm that comes to us all in the valley of the shadow of death. And in this final storm we will ever face, Jesus will be with us and will deliver us from it. When we breathe our last and are absent from this body, we will be present with our Lord.
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
”O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” . . .
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15:54-56, 58)
The Good News of the Gospel tells us that we are not only washed clean by the blood of the Lamb, but we have been purchased with that same precious blood. Because we are His, we can face any storm wind that blows with the confident assurance that He is with us every step of the way.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!