IN STORMY TIME HOW DO YOU ACT IN FAITH?
Luke 8: 22-25
It is a simple fact that at any given moment, everyone is either
just coming out of a storm,
about to enter a storm,
or right in the middle of a storm.
I’m sure that you would have to agree that storms are just part of living. We don’t enjoy them, but we all must face them. You may be in the midst of a storm today, or things may seem fine at the moment, but they can change in an instant.
It is no secret that we are living in difficult times. These are the most trying times that I can remember. It seems as if we have been in the midst of a storm within our nation for a long time. We face the storm of COVID 19, a storm in the world - Ukraine and Russia conflict. We hear of folks every week who are facing a storm due to physical afflictions.
Life is filled with storms. So, if we all have them, what can we do to make it through them? If we can’t avoid them, we must learn to survive them. Let me say, there is hope, even in the midst of a storm. For those who will but look to Jesus, there is an Anchor that is sure. If we are to survive, and even prosper, in the storms of life, we must learn to trust in Jesus.
Clearly the disciples found themselves in the midst of a storm, but they had to learn to trust Jesus. As we look at this account, and ponder the storms of life, I want to preach on: IN STORMY TIME HOW DO YOU ACT IN FAITH?
The Truth of the Storm (Vs. 22-23)
22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger.
Our text reveals some truths concerning storms that are consistent with each and every storm we face.
A. Storms are Unpredictable (22)
We find a description of the time that this storm arose. One day he got into a boat with his disciples. We find nothing in the text that reveals there was anything special or even controversial about this day. It is described as One day, just an ordinary day.
We do know, according to Mark 4:1-33, that it had been a productive day. Jesus had entered a boat by the shore of Galilee and taught a multitude of people. This was nothing unusual. Jesus often took time to teach the multitudes. I’m sure that the disciples felt it had been an ordinary day with the Lord. But, it was on this certain day that the storm arose. These men had no way of knowing in a few short hours they would fear for their lives.
Storms of life are unpredictable. They come to us on certain days, days that we have absolutely no idea that anything will arise. There is no way to predict them.
B. Storms are Unpreventable (22)
22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out.
Now don’t go away thinking that I’ve said that we can live as we please without having to deal with the consequences of our choices. There are circumstances in our lives that we could and should avoid. However, there are some things we face in life that are absolutely unpreventable.
Jesus went with the disciples into the boat. He gave the command to set sail to the other side. These men were in the will of the Lord. They had obeyed His command. They were simply doing what Jesus had asked them to do. The storm that these men faced had nothing to do with sin in their lives; it had nothing to do with their being disobedient to the Lord. The storm they were about to face was out of their hands. There was nothing prior or at the present time that could be done to avoid this storm.
There will be times in our lives when we are faced with storms and trials of life that we can’t do anything about.
Job was an upright man and he was faced with a terrible storm. You can try and hide within the “shell” of life and still be faced with storms. They are simply unpreventable. Storms will come and we must endure them.
C. Storms are Unmistakable (23)
23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger.
When a storm comes, you will know. This storm hit suddenly. The winds began to blow, the waves began to rise, and the boat began to fill with water. They were in danger. These men were in a dangerous or vulnerable situation.
I’m sure that most of us could identify with the disciples. We have all faced situations in our lives that were very real. It may not have seemed like much to those around us, but to us we were in danger. If you haven’t been there, you will face an unmistakable storm. Sadly, many times we don’t seek the Lord until we are faced with a storm.
2. The Tempest/Disruption of the Storm
This storm had the potential to do much damage to the boat and their lives. It was a strong storm that caused much concern. The physical effects were minimal compared to the spiritual and emotional effect that this storm caused. Let’s consider how storms affect us.
A. They Affect our Focus (22b)
and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out.
Jesus had given the command to launch forth unto the other side. He was in the boat with them. I don’t know about you, but I always want to be where the Lord is! These men were in the will of God. They had witnessed the power of Jesus before. They had seen Him heal the sick and raise the dead. They were convinced that He was the Christ, but yet they lost their focus. I’m sure that they were confident in the Lord’s ability, but they failed to look to Him and looked at the storm instead.
These are hard lessons to learn. Peter would make the same mistake again as he walked on the water. Who among us has not been guilty of allowing a storm to redirect our focus?
For example: How we move to Imphal
It is within our nature to look at the storm rather than the Savior. In times like those we need to be reminded of whom we serve. He is the Creator. He is the Sovereign God who is in control of every situation. You will never face a storm that Jesus is not aware of and in complete control of!
B. They Affect our Faith (24a)
24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?”
Faith is the opposite of that panic or fear.
These men went to Jesus in fear. Mark records some additional information. Mk.4:38 And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
These men actually thought that Jesus wasn’t concerned, that somehow He just didn’t care. The faith that they had in Him was being tested and they were failing the test. They responded in fear rather than in faith.
Now, before we get too critical, I am certain that we have all responded in the same way. There has never been a time when Jesus has failed us, but we are quick to forget His goodness and grace. We have all had those pity parties where we questioned if God still loved us. If He cared for me then why am I facing this situation? It isn’t because the Lord doesn’t love you or has forsaken you. He may just want you to depend more on Him. If you are saved, you are secure in Jesus.
3. The Triumph of the Storm
A. They Regarded His Presence (22a, 24a)
22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, 23 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”
Even though their were not able to trust or have faith in that moment, they never forgot that Jesus was in their midst. The storm was terrifying, but Jesus was still there. When it seemed all hope was lost, they turned to the Lord.
It always makes a difference when He is in the midst. He is always there, but at times we fail to see it. When troubles come, seek the comforting presence of the Lord.
B. They Realized His Power (24b)
24 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm.
When Jesus arose from His sleep, He confronted the storm. With the word of His mouth the winds ceased, the raging waves subsided, and there was a great calm.
Jesus is the Master of the storm. He may allow us to go through them from time to time, but He is always in control.
C. They Recognized His Person (25b)
And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”
Upon calming the storm, the disciples made a profound discovery. The Lord was Master of their lives.
No doubt these men never forgot that day. Jesus revealed Himself as One of absolute power and authority. Their faith in Him was confirmed even more. When storms come our way, we need to see the Person of Jesus.
Storms of life will come. Many times they will be frightening and difficult to endure. In those times we must remember to whom we belong.
When you face the storm in life and think that He doesn’t care or love us, I just want you to remember this:
On the cross Jesus experienced the greatest storm possible, the storm of God’s wrath - storm of divine justice coming down and because he loved us he just obediently bowed his head into that storm and took it for us and if I see him loving me that much that he has to bow his head into that storm, than any other storm that comes along I will never say “O Lord do you not care?” I know he cares. So have faith in Him. Remind yourself of not only who Jesus is but what he did for you.
Sovereign in the mountain air
Sovereign on the ocean floor
With me in the calm
With me in the storm
Sovereign in my greatest joy
Sovereign in my deepest cry
With me in the dark
With me at the dawn
In Your everlasting arms
All the pieces of my life
From beginning to the end
I can trust You
In Your never failing love
You work everything for good
God, whatever comes my way
I will trust You