Storms are a natural occurrence in life.

Your boat gets rocked and water might even get into the boat. When those times hit, it is very possible that we switch into panic mode.

The disciples of Jesus were shaken because of the storm.  I probably would be too. But here’s the thing:

It doesn’t matter what goes on outside the boat as long as Jesus is in it.

Because Jesus is the Prince of Peace, I can trust that I can face any storm as long as He is with me.

He is both the Peace Maker and the Peace Giver.

He is able to make us at PEACE WITH GOD and give us the PEACE OF GOD.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Here’s a message I shared to explain this further.

Fear has a way of taking over.

Fear stops us dead on our tracks, hindering us from moving forward in faith.

Jesus was with His disciples on a boat on the Sea of Galilee when a squall hit. (Mark 4:35-41)

It wasn’t unusual for storms to build on the Sea of Galilee. When the cold air from Mt. Hermon which is north of the lake mixes with the warm mist of the Sea of Galilee, explosive weather results.

And it usually comes without warning. (Luke 8:24)

How I wish life’s storms come with warning. Unlike Hollywood movies that have background music to prep us when a bad scene is about to happen, unfortunately, life doesn’t have that.

But it is critical to remember the last thing Jesus told you before the storm hit.

In the case of the disciples, Jesus said, “Let us go over to the other side.” (Mark 4:35)
He didn’t say, “let’s go under” nor did He say, “I will be the only one to go to the other side while you all drown.”
He said we will all cross over to the other side.

Never doubt in the dark
what God has told you in the light.

Jesus’ word should be more than enough. Because God said it then that should settle it.

While the disciples are panicking, Jesus was sleeping.

Their question to Jesus, “Don’t you even care?”

This is predictable and typical. This is our normal response when we go through a difficulty.

My parents are about to split up, God, don’t you even care?
My sister is pregnant out of wedlock, God, don’t you even care?
My brother has cancer, God, don’t you even care?
My friend falsely accused me, God don’t you even care?

Here’s a lesson I’ve seen through the years.

If God brings you to it,
He will bring you through it.

His promise is that He will be with us to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)

He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

 

 

Have you ever broken anything in your life? A vase, a mirror or an iPhone.

I did a couple of years ago when I dropped my iPhone. The glass broke and it was an expensive lesson. It was a lesson on carelessness. I was trying to carry too many things at one time. You know how that goes.

But when God is the One who does the breaking, it is never out of carelessness. There is always a purpose to the breaking.

In Matthew 14, Jesus fed 5000 plus people. The disciples told Jesus to dismiss everyone because it was getting dark and they had no food. The only thing they had was 5 loaves and 2 fish.

Jesus told them to keep the people there and have them sit.

Jesus TOOK the bread, BLESSED it, BROKE it and GAVE it away. While this was a process Jesus used to perform a miracle to feed the 5000, I wonder if this is also a process God does whenever He deals with us.

You see this all throughout Scripture – God takes, God blesses, God breaks and God gives away.

God took Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, blessed him with a son, broke him in Mt. Moriah to see who his top priority was when God asked Abraham to offer Isaac and then as a result, gave him to be the father of many nations.

God took Moses from the Nile river while in the basket, blessed him to be part of Pharaoh’s household, broke him when he was forced to live in the desert for 40 years and ultimately to be given away to be the deliverer of the Israelites from the clutches of the Egyptian empire.

God took Joseph into a journey towards Egypt when he was sold into slavery, blessed him with a great job in Potiphar’s house, broke him when he was thrown into prison because of a false accusation by Mrs. Potiphar and then gave him to be the 2nd in command all over Egypt to save both Egypt and Israel from famine.

God took Jesus from heaven, blessed Him when He announced that He is His Son of whom He is well pleased, broke Him on the mountain of Calvary only to be given away to become the Savior of mankind.

A.W. Tozer said it beautifully,
“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”

Today, you may be in the TAKING stage. God is taking you on a journey. And when He does, it can be disorienting because you don’t know where He is taking you. But hold on tight, because He is holding your hand. You may not know what the future holds but at least you’re assured that He holds the future.

Some of you may be in the BLESSING stage. That is wonderful! God desires to bless His children. Enjoy it and share it.

Others may be in the BREAKING stage. Understand that blessed are the broken, for they shall see God. It was in the desert of brokenness that Moses saw God via a burning bush. Actually, the breaking is really a blessing. God has to break our pride, selfishness, self-will. Some of us, God has to break our dreams because He is wanting to replace it with better ones. There are those of you are coming off a broken relationship. God is taking you to a new journey. He had to break that to allow you to discover Him in the process.

There are those in the GIVING stage. It is in this stage that God takes the brokenness in our own lives and gives it away to a broken world. We all are essentially wounded healers. With the comfort we’ve received, we comfort others who are going through the very same thing we went through.

You see, this is the process God brings us through. When we realize this, we will stop struggling and start cooperating with His dealings. Then and only then will you realize that God has done a miracle in your life.

In the recent calamity that hit the Philippines via typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), I had a few thoughts regarding the storm that just hit us.

We don’t like storms and rightly so because of the damage it creates and the loss of lives that it potentially brings like the recent one we’ve just experience.

But in the middle of the storms of life, there are unseen opportunities that we might miss out on if we’re not aware.

1. OPPORTUNITY TO WITNESS THE POWER OF GOD.

When Jesus told the disciples to go with him to go to the other side of the lake, they were met by a “furious squall.” It was so bad that the waves broke over the boat so that it was nearly swamped.

The disciples asked Jesus, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38)

Did Jesus not care? He can’t NOT care. The Bible says He is love.

At that moment, He got up, rebuked the wind and said, “Quiet! Be still!”

It didn’t even take minutes when the supernatural turn of events happened.

“The wind died down and it was COMPLETELY calm.” (Mark 4:39).

We don’t like storms (in life), but guess what, it is an absolutely amazing opportunity to see God’s power at work.

2. OPPORTUNITY TO WALK ON WATER.

While the passage in Matthew 14 was not at a time when a furious squall was at hand, there were winds and waves.

Jesus, in the middle of the night, was walking on water moving towards the boat of the disciples.

When Peter heard the voice of Jesus saying “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”, he replied by saying, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”

Jesus told Peter to come and he did walk on water… for a moment.

How come? Because when he saw the winds and the waves, he was afraid and started to sink.

We often sneer at Peter’s experience and jeer at his unbelief. But because of his courage to step out of the boat, he is the only man recorded in history that actually walked on water aside from Jesus.

3. OPPORTUNITY TO TRUST GOD THAT HE IS IN CONTROL.

In the middle of the storm, Jesus was peacefully sleeping. While the disciples were panicking, Jesus was counting Z’s.

The disciples woke Jesus up and told Him, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

Without saying a word, Jesus got up and the Bible says, “He rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.” (Luke 8:24).

After this, Jesus turned to the disciples and asked a simple question, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25).

Storms rock the boat. Storms cause us to panic. Storms put us on unstable footing.

However, when storms come, it is indeed an opportunity to see who is in control because we definitely see that we obviously are not.

Storms are opportunities to witness the power of God, opportunities to walk on water, and to trust that God is in full control.