The message was brought by Rev. Eddie Foster.
We’re in a storm, a great one. I thought about the disciples on the Sea of Galilee and a great storm came upon them. They woke Jesus up. He was asleep in the back of the boat. He calmed the storm.
Luke 8:22 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. 23 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
Jesus taught all morning and then went down by the sea. There he taught lots of parables. Approaching evening he told the disciples they were going over unto the other side of the lake. He got in the boat and went to the back and went to sleep. Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. He got tired just like you and I do. After a whole day of teaching, he was tired so he went to sleep. Even today the Sea of Galilee is apt to have strong storms. Though many of these guys were fishermen, a bad storm scared them. They knew they needed help. We too need help today. I’m glad the medical professionals are there to help us, but listen, we’re in a bad storm and we need the Lord.
Fear and faith cannot coexist. When the disciples’ faith dwindled, their faith did as well. II Timothy 1:7 says For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Fear causes us to do nothing. Afraid of failure, Christians do nothing. We have to go ahead and try. I was building onto my house and doing the roof. On one side it wasn’t real high off the ground but on the back side it was pretty high. My knees would tremble. I had to go on and eventually I could do it. Christians have a fear of witnessing. What is witnessing but simply one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. If you drive by a building and the second story is in flames, fear would not stop you from going to warn people on the first floor. We have to tell people they will go to hell if they don’t accept the Lord.
There is a good fear. After saying what I just said, how can I say there is a good fear? Proverbs 1:7 says The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Even in difficult storms of life we should have a calm confidence in the Lord. Have confidence that God is still in control. I read a story of a child on a plane. It got into turbulence. People were scared, but this child wasn’t. After it was over, the child was asked why he wasn’t afraid. He said his dad was the pilot and he trusted him to get him there safely. We have a heavenly Father who loves us; he has never lost control. He still rules over all and we can have a calm assurance when we give ourselves over to him.
Notice this. The arrival of storms doesn’t mean God has left us. Jesus arose from the grave and then ascended to heaven. He left us, but he dwells in the heart of every believer. He has not left us. Job had to learn this lesson. He lost it all. His wife told him to curse God and die. He would not. May we have this kind of faith. Just because the storm had come, remember Jesus had not forsaken the disciples. He will not forsake us.
On the cross our sins were laid upon Jesus. He had not committed one sin; he was the only one worthy to bear the sins of mankind. For a little while the Father turned his back from that sin unable to look upon it. Jesus cried “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.” For just a while God allowed it so Jesus could bear this sin. Jesus told us he would never leave or forsake us.
God’s presence is no assurance nothing bad will ever happen. Some say that once a person is saved, there will be no more trouble. That’s not so. It rains on the just as well as the unjust. Look at Job. It’s also not recorded that Joseph sinned. I’m sure he did, but it’s not recorded. You say, well these stories are in the Old Testament. What about John the Baptist. He was beheaded for preaching the truth. Paul was beaten, stoned, and imprisoned. He lost his head. Even if you live for Jesus, you’ll have storms.
You would think that knowing Jesus was in the back of the boat that the disciples would not have been afraid. They would know it would be all right. Jesus had told them they were going to the other side. Jesus has promised to get us to the other side too. We’re in a big storm, as big as I’ve ever seen. I trust God. I’m a winner either way. I’m living. I still have health. I had a roof over my head last night and clothes to put on. Life will end for all of us one day. God will take us to a better place. Nothing will happen to us without the permission of God. As the old song says, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me. Let me hide myself in thee.” He’s still a good place to hide.
He can calm the storm in your life, whatever it is: be it domestic, financial, or health. Right now our biggest storm is this corona virus. God gives us peace that passes all understanding. This virus has gotten everyone’s attention. Even those who say “I am not religious” say it might be time to look to Jesus.
A seaman long ago named John was nothing but a blasphemer. He awoke one night to a ship full of water. He deserved no mercy but he got it. They all survived. He never forgot it. He returned to England and wrote the greatest song ever: Amazing Grace. It saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see. Let this virus storm lead you to Jesus.
Realize that salvation only comes through Jesus. The disciples had sense enough to realize it. Man puts his trust in a lot of things. You can turn over a new leaf, but it won’t get you to heaven. Everybody is a sinner. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. While we were yet sinners, he died for us. Whosoever calls on his name will be saved. I’m glad to be a whosoever. I was a sinner and asked Jesus to get me to heaven. What are you trusting to get you there? It’s not a family plan. You’ll not get there because your family does. You have to accept him yourself. He’ll take you if you respond to the call to be saved.
In the storms of life, God is still in control. Don’t let this storm destroy your faith. Trust him more. He’ll get us through. Just keep trusting the Lord.