In the New Testament, you will find where Jesus ordered his disciples to get into a boat, knowing that it was headed for trouble! I am serious! Turn over to Matthew 14, look down to verse twenty-two where it says,
“Yeshua quickly made his disciples get into a boat and cross to the other side ahead of him while he sent the people away” (Matthew 14:22)
King Jim’s version says he “constrained [them]” to get into a ship; a ship that was headed for stormy weather; to be tossed around like a bobbing cork. The disciples would be thrown into a mini-Titanic experience — and Jesus knew it would happen the whole time! What? No, seriously, where was Jesus while His disciples were being tossed around?
Well, the Scripture says, “he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Oh, great! He went up to a mountain to pray the whole time the disciples’ boat was “in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.” Yeah, right. Contrary? Wow! What a way to put it.
What was Jesus doing the whole time he was up in the mountains overlooking that sea? “He was praying . . .” Praying? Oh, great; for what? He was praying for them not to fail the test He knew they had to go through. The boat trip, the storm, the tossing waves, the winds were all a part of a trial His Father had planned. They were about to learn the most significant lesson they would ever learn: how to recognize Jesus in the midst of a storm!
Did a light bulb pop-on in your head with what I just said? At that point in their relationship with Jesus, the disciples recognized Him as the miracle worker, the Man who turned loaves and fish into a miraculous meal. They recognized Him as the friends of sinners, the One who brought salvation to every kind of humanity. They knew Him as the supplier of all their needs, even paying their taxes with money from the mouth of a fish! They recognized Jesus as “the Christ, the very Son of God.” They knew He had the words of eternal life. They knew he had power over all the works of the devil. They knew Him as a teacher, teaching them how to pray, to forgive, to bind and to lose. However, and here is my point, they never learned to recognize Jesus in the midst of a storm.
My friends, this is the root of many of our trouble today. We trust Jesus for miracles and healing. We believe him for our salvation and the forgiveness of our sins. We look to him as the supplier of all our needs, and we trust him to bring us into glory one day. But when a sudden storm falls on us, and it seems like everything is falling apart, we find it difficult to see Jesus anywhere near. We just can’t believe that He would allow any storms to teach us how to trust.
Look, I know this messes with our Theology. We are never quite sure He is really nearby when things become rough. But, there was only one lesson for the disciples to learn in this storm — only one! A simple lesson — not some deep, mystical, earth-shattering one. Jesus simply wanted to be trusted as their Lord in every storm of life. He merely wanted the disciples to maintain their cheer and confidence even in the blackest hours of trial. That’s all!
Oh! We need to take some time to pray:
Father, I enjoy your miraculous provisions. You have given your son to provide me with eternal life; you have walked with me every day since I have called to you and invited you to share my life and during this time you have shown me many wondrous things . . . but when the struggles and frustrations have come, I have accused you of being unfair or, at times, neglecting my needs.
I stand this morning broken and humbled at your Love and Care for me and ask that you would forgive me for my rash and often, harsh words to you. I have begun to renew my mind on your Word, and I am amazed that even in the storms of life, you care for me.
I love you, Lord; you are my strength. My rock, my fortress, and my savior; You are the one I cry out to in the storms of my life and find safety and protection. You are my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety (Psalm 18:1-2). Be Glorified this morning as I awake and journey with you throughout my day. Amen, and amen!
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