Calming Your Storm
March 15, 2017
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Recently we had the biggest storm in five years in Southern California. Almost 10 inches of relentless rain fell in one day, along with high winds and flooding in several areas. It’s hard to imagine a storm like this would have been possible in our sunny city, but once you’re in the midst of it, it can seem like there is no end in sight. You may wonder if the storm will ever end.
Perhaps storms in life are all too real for you. Financial hardships can drench our thoughts with worries. Relationship troubles can flood our hearts with sorrow and pain. Health problems can turn our lives upside down. But no matter what you may be facing today, Jesus Christ has the power to calm your storms.
We find a literal example of this in the Bible in Mark 4:35-41:
Jesus and His disciples were traveling on a small boat when they were suddenly hit by a furious squall. As waves pummeled the boat and threatened to overtake it, Jesus was sleeping soundly on a cushion in the boat’s stern. His disciples woke Him and exclaimed, “Teacher! Don’t you care if we drown?”
In the midst of a personal storm, we can either panic or we can pray.
During the direst circumstances, the best thing to do is to reach for a power outside of ourselves as we recognize our own limitations for answers or control. We witness this in our own lives when we face struggles with loved ones or money or health problems that bring us to the brink of death. We have witnessed this unfold as a community after the Northridge earthquake in 1994. We even witnessed this as a nation, when millions turned to God after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Whenever we are facing difficult times, God wants His children to call to Him and ask Him for help. As Joel 2:32 says, “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Going back to the story in Mark 4:35-41, imagine what a peculiar sight it was for the twelve disciples to see Jesus peacefully asleep in the middle of such a violent tempest. How can you and I find such peace in the midst of our own turmoil? Jesus fully trusted in His Father and knew that God was in control of all things. When you have lost all control, who better to trust than the One who has total control?
The next scene is pretty powerful.
Awakened by His disciples’ cries, Jesus got up and said to the storm, “Quiet! Be still!” as simply as one would shoo a fly or hush a barking dog. And the squall became completely calm. The men who witnessed this amazing feat marveled and said, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!” Jesus can conquer any storm you are going through today. He can save, redeem, deliver, guard, protect, and free you. All you have to do is call out to Him, just as the terrified disciples did on that tiny boat. If your storm is more than you can bear, turn to Jesus and He will see you through it!
There is a common misconception that once you decide to become a Christian your life will be free of tribulation. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Jesus repeatedly warned those who followed Him that they would experience troubles and suffering because they believed in and followed Him. The reality is, everyone, believers and unbelievers alike, will encounter the storms of life—no exceptions, no exemptions. Furthermore, whatever storms you may be weathering today, there are others who are facing the very same thing. These storms vary in size and shape, but the Lord calms both the storms and our fearful hearts.
Once the sea was peaceful again in Mark 4:39, Jesus asked His disciples,
“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Fear chases away faith, and faith chases away fear. Too often, we lack faith. We have a difficult time believing that God can handle our children, our finances, our health, our schedules, and our other problems. Yet if we learn to entrust the cares and worries of our lives to Jesus in faith, there is no room to fear.
Jesus challenges us to recognize that God gave Him power not only over the winds and waves, but over all seemingly hopeless situations. He wants us to fully put our trust in Him. Jesus continued to astound the disciples by His power as they walked with Him further and grew in their faith. Likewise, by walking with Jesus daily, we too can experience His power in our lives to deepen our faith and calm all our storms.