Have you ever been in that place where everything in life seems to go wrong? When things pile up, one on top of another, and you feel as though you were drowning in a storm of disaster? Maybe you have looked at other people who are in a place of distress and wondered how on earth they have coped, without a living faith in Jesus Christ. You, though, do have a faith and a testimony, but now when everything is going wrong you don’t know how to cope either. You find yourself engulfed by the outer storm of circumstances and an inner storm of worry, shame and fear.
What I have just described is true to life – we have all been there. So, how can we survive?
Fear of being overcome and desperation for life filled the minds of the disciples when they found themselves in a similar place. A windstorm had come upon them, stirring the sea, and the boat was taking in water. As experienced fishermen who were used to the sea, they knew an impending disaster when they saw one. Although Jesus was actually with them in the stern of the boat, just when they most needed him – he slept!
Have you ever wondered where Jesus is just when you need him most? It can feel as though he’s gone to sleep at our most desperate, critical, life-or-death moment.
I wonder how the disciples awakened him. Did they quietly touch his toes? Gently shake his shoulder? Whisper in his ear? Death by drowning was only moments away. No, I bet they seized hold of him while they yelled at the top of their voices: “Help! Help”! And I imagine Jesus looked at them, felt their fear, saw the waves breaking into the boat, heard the roaring of the wind, and asked them what on earth was disturbing them! You see, the disciples were looking at the storm, while Jesus was looking at his Father’s purpose, secure in his Father’s love. He firmly rebuked the wind and the waves, and they instantly obeyed him. (Significant Note: in Greek he rebuked the storm in the same way he rebuked demonic spirits.)
Who was in charge of their journey? The raging elements? Or was it Jesus, even though he seemed to be asleep, and ignorant of their circumstances?
You see, Jesus had given the word; “we are going to the other side’”. That was business settled. There was nothing a massive, perhaps demonically inspired, physical, noisy, threatening storm could do about it. That is why he was saddened by the disciple’s lack of faith. That was why they could have overcome the storm themselves. When Jesus had said it, that had settled it. They were going to the other side.
What help do we have today in our own crisis, then? Here are a few tablets to take as a prescription to encourage you.
Firstly, whatever your storm looks like, however threatening and overwhelming, he will be in the boat with us.
“He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”Deuteronomy 31:8
“God is for you, so who can be against you?”Romans 8:35
“The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”Deuteronomy 33:27
“The LORD will fulfil his purpose for you; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.”Psalm 138:8
Our God, whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace.”Daniel 3:17
Jesus said that:
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”Romans 8: 35-37
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”Romans 8:28
It doesn’t mean that God caused your crisis, your storm. Rather, he is able to take those circumstances and use them to deliver you into a new and appointed place, just as he did with the disciples in their storm. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Heb 13:8
We have a future destination to hold onto. However fierce the storm, we have a secure promise: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Rev 21:4
Heavenly Father, help me to take my eyes off the storm so that I can fix my eyes on you instead. Please strengthen me and fill me with faith to trust your Presence and your Promises. I rebuke the raging circumstances in Jesus’ name. Lord, you alone are my strength and my shield, my defender, my hiding place until the storm is passed. Amen