You’re in the storm with His presence and you’re in the storm for his purpose. Think about this. Jesus said, “Let’s go to the other side“. Who’s idea was it? Jesus. Why was he taking them to the other side? Jesus was God in the flesh and he knew on the east side of the sea was a guy that was hurting himself because he was possessed with an evil spirit. And Jesus was taking the disciples to the other side and Jesus was going to bring healing into this guy’s life. Jesus being God in the flesh knew that there would be a storm that blows up. Jesus knew that he was taking the disciples on the boat into and through a storm. So from that line of logic, we can say that they were not in the storm because they were out of God’s will they were actually in the storm because they were in God’s will. Some of you will get mad at me right now and think, “So you’re telling me that God caused the storm? God brought the storm?” I can’t believe any human being has the ability to one hundred percent of the time understand God’s ways so I’m not pretending to. “His ways are higher than our ways.” Isaiah 55:9 Did God cause the storm or did God, in His sovereignty, allow the storm? I cannot tell you exactly that God caused the storm but since he is all powerful, He did allow the storm. But what I can tell you with certainty is that God always uses the storm to do work inside of us. I believe with all my heart, that’s why James the brother of Jesus, could say something so powerful,
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
“Consider it pure joy,” in other words, move to the state of worship within your soul. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Wait a minute! That sounds just ridiculous that you rejoice in the middle of storms. But that’s what James said. Why? “Because you know that the testing of your faith,” Somebody right now, guess what? You are in the middle of a test and a good teacher will always have a test. Why does a good teacher test you? To pass you and promote you. That way, you know you passed. At the end of the year you take a final exam and if you pass the test you move to a new level. God in his love is allowing you to experience something that tests your faith promotes you to another level of belief! And this faith “produces perseverance” A vital attitude that lives inside of you. James says, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” The reality is I just have to call it like it is. In our church we have a lot of people who are very young in their faith and we need some maturing.
How does God mature us? In a lot of different ways: He matures us as we get to know his word which renews our minds. He matures us as we discover our spiritual gifts and we make a difference in someone else’s life. He matures us as we go through certain storms. Why? So that God does something in us.
For some I would say the difference between where you are and where God ultimately wants you to be is the storm that you have yet to endure. I don’t know how many of you know somebody who is just rock solid in their faith. What I can promise you is that they’ve been through some storms with Jesus!
They know His faithfulness. They know His presence. They’ve learned that there is a purpose in every single storm but God is often doing something in us and teaching us something in the middle of the storm that we couldn’t learn it in any other way. Did He cause it or did He allow it? I can’t say with complete certainty, but know but I do know He always uses it.
Jesus was on the boat. Jesus had a plan. And the disciples had not yet gotten there yet. They’re panicking, “Jesus, we’re going to drown. Wake up, Jesus, wake up.” And what is Jesus do? I love this, verse thirty nine:
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4:39-41
“He got up, rebuked the wind,” I don’t know what that looks like – Bad wind! Bad, bad wind! Stop it wind! You’re in timeout! “He got up, rebukes the wind and he says to the waves ‘Quiet! Be still!” that’s cocky. I love that!
“Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” then Jesus looks at his disciples, “What are you guys afraid of? Don’t you remember me opening blind eyes, healing deaf ears? Don’t you don’t you remember that I the author of life is with you? “Why you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified. And ask each other all “who is this even the winds and the waves obey him!” What happened? Notice what they call him at the beginning. “Teacher, teacher, do you care if we drown? Teacher, teacher.” at this point, Jesus was just their teacher. What did they call him AFTER the storm? Lord.
Perhaps right now you’re in a storm. If you’re a follower Jesus, I’m going to asked you this, “why you so afraid? Have you forgotten you’re in the storm with the presence of God and he is for you, with you, working in all things to bring about good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose? You’re in the storm with His presence and you’re in the storm for His purpose. So why you so afraid? And as you get to know him and he matures you as you grow through some storms and you endure some storms with him. Suddenly here’s what happens: in the middle of the storm you can be afraid. The boat looks like it’s going to sink. Suddenly your hope is no longer in the boat. But your soul is anchored in the lord. And that changes everything. I used to be so afraid of many things, paralyzing ongoing fears. But my hope is no longer in the boat you see my soul is anchored in the Lord because he is on my boat is in my house he dwells within me. He is with me and he is for me. Therefore, “He has not given me a spirit of fear. But of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Why are you so afraid when Jesus is with you in the boat?
Some of you today, He is not in the boat because you have not invited Him in your life. Storms will come. But with Jesus you will not be alone. Everything will have new meaning and purpose with Jesus.