The scripture for the message is Matthew 14:22-33.
The Sea of Galilee is subject to sudden squalls. Peter was a fisherman and accustomed to the storms. This one must have been worse. I can almost hear some of them wishing the Lord was with them in the boat. He did come. Peter walked on water to get to the Lord. That’s the familiar story of this portion of scripture, but I want to talk about contrary winds in life.
When things go wrong, the first place we need to look is at ourselves. Is there a sin God is trying to bring to our attention? However, the presence of contrary winds is no proof we’re out of God’s will. Verse 22 tells us that Jesus compelled them to get into the boat. They were where he wanted them to be. Still the storm came. Daniel was in God’s will, yet he faced a den of lions. The three Hebrews were in God’s will, yet they faced a fiery furnace. Joseph was in God’s will, yet he faced slavery. Just because bad things happen doesn’t mean you are not in God’s will. The Bible tells us that it rains on the just as well as the unjust. Bad things do happen to good people, to all people. When trouble comes, don’t be fearful. Examine yourself and go on trusting God.
A seeming lack of progress doesn’t mean you should give up. The disciples had been in the ship nine hours and gone only a few miles. Think one of them might have said “reckon we should be here?” Yes! Jesus put them there. The winds became contrary. Do you ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels and making no progress? Just keep the boat headed in the right direction. It will be all right.
The disciples experienced discomfort, but they weren’t in danger. The storm didn’t catch Jesus off guard. The corona virus didn’t. Jesus knows the storms are coming even when we don’t. Storms help us grow. Most people are either coming out of a storm, in the middle of one, or getting ready to head into one. Being saved doesn’t eliminate suffering. The curse of sin is still on the earth. It came when Adam sinned in the Garden. The storms are byproducts of sin. God is with us even in the storms.
The center of God’s will is the safety zone. We have a Savior who can relate to what we go through. Because he came to earth and lived as a human being, he knows how we feel. Jesus had a very busy schedule. In 3 ½ years he did more than we’ll do in a lifetime. Yet he had time to spend alone with the Father. When we do that, it nurtures and energizes us to face the contrary winds of life and keeps us in his will.
Jesus came to the disciples just when they needed him most. He made the Sea of Galilee, so he had power to walk on it. The Lord is always on time. When I had my first heart procedure I spent a weekend in the hospital waiting for surgery on Monday. When I was by myself my mind wandered over what I would be facing. Fear crept in. I prayed and prayed. When they rolled me through the doors a peace came over me. God was there (of course, he was the whole time). Our deliverance is timed by God and he will be on time.
They confessed Jesus was the Son of God. Verse 33 indicates that others were on board this ship besides the disciples. They all worshipped him. We too should worship him because of who he is and what he has done for us.
The Bible is full of nuggets. Be reminded that storms don’t mean you’re not in God’s will. Examine yourself. But when you wonder “where is God?” remember he’s where he’s always been and he’ll come through on time.