Yesterday was one of those days where I was pushing rope. It seemed very little I attempted would work correctly, and the things that I got to work, didn’t turn out as I had expected they should.
There is reason to count such situations as reassurance for us. Read on to see how ‘stormy’ can be light on our path…
Note from Kip…
We don’t typically look at the storms in our lives as good things. Challenges yes, encumbrances absolutely, irritating almost always, but these storms should provide us a peace that I think we often miss out on because we are not cognizant of why the storm has come upon us.
Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 (CSB)
Strength in adversity is something that comes with growth as a follower of Jesus. Not necessarily out of our own strength, because we are frail and the flesh is weak.
The storms are points at which we need to consider two things.
Call Out To Jesus In Faith
First is that we serve the one who created all things and there is nothing that He isn’t willing to bring to bear on the storm.
He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die? ”
He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still! ” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Then he said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith? ”
Mark 4:38-40 (CSB)
The disciples woke Jesus in a panic, fearing that their lives were about to be taken by the storm. Jesus straightaway rebuked the storm and with His command to be still, it was replaced with a great calm.
There really isn’t sufficient information that describes what the ‘great calm‘ really was, so I have to take the text for what it says. Not a light breeze, it was a great calm. This means to me now these threatening waves were reduced to a placid sea of glass surrounding them.
Now that the storm had been dispatch, He turned to His Disciples, they were next in line for a rebuke. How be it not as stern as that which the storm had been given, but more voicing his dissatisfaction with their fears. “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
I picked up on the fact that he didn’t say to them that their faith was insufficient. What he said was that they had ‘no’ faith.
I reflect on this and consider that with our faith abated, every storm that comes our way appears to be a threat to life and limb. But with our faith and hope vested in Jesus the storm is abated by the power of His Word.
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
1 John 4:4 (CSB)
The storm will subside, it will be reduced to a placid calm upon His command.
The Disciples only did one thing wrong here from what I can see. They panicked due to a lack of faith. Jesus assessed that they lacked faith, he said they had no faith.
What they did correct however was turning to Jesus when the storm was upon them.
If they had faith and came to Jesus, do you think that he would have refused them? I doubt that their cry of fear and terror in the midst of their complete failure of faith, could have had a superior impact to the Lord’s willingness to deal with the storm, than simply waking Him, informing Him of the storm around them and ask if He would put it to rest.
So for me this story is about maintaining faith in the storm. Are we going to be strong in our faith and calmly ask Jesus to quell the storm? Or are we going to run to Him in panic and plead for our preservation, lacking any faith what so ever?
Understand The Source Of The Storm
The other is, that these storms can be natural occurrences, or they can be the result of the enemy fighting against us to attempt to stall us winds and high seas of frustration and doubt.
We live in an imperfect world which as been dealt a blow by the corruption of sin. Gone are the idyllic conditions of the Garden of Eden.
I’m not to going sit here and tell you that all bad things that come our way is because we are ‘not doing’ what we should be doing. I am going to insist that if it were not for the fall of man, there would be no storms as we know it.
With the fall, nature became a force that still provided sustenance for mankind but it also came with the thorns and crusted soil of a corrupt world. The fall didn’t just affect Adam and Eve’s relationship with God or their residence. It changed them and the world they lived in.
Bad things happen to good people, but who among is is truly good? The scripture says none are good. We are all born into corruption, and we exists in a world corrupted by sin. Because of that corruption, there are storms in our lives and it is a natural result of our fallen condition. It’s the result of the defiance of Adam and Eve to rebel against God, which flows down to every generation since.
This will continue until there is a ‘New Heaven’ and a ‘New Earth’, once again created to be a perfect utopia. Until that time, we have storms, pain, and suffering.
What Kind Of Storm
For the Christian, if we are doing the will of God and being obedient to Him, there can be a different storm that comes up on us.
Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.
1 Peter 5:8-9 (CSB)
We tend not to regard of the devil as being our adversary, but he is exactly that.
We are the foot soldiers in a war against Satan and his evil. We are locked in constant battles for the hearts and souls of those lost to God’s Grace.
If we are being faithful (unlike the disciples in the boat) and seeking to do the will of Christ in our lives, we are most certainly going to face a storm of opposition from the enemy.
The more what we are doing glorifies God and expands His kingdom the harder the enemy will press against us.
You can believe this with certainty that the devil doesn’t want us accomplishing anything that forwards the will of God. Satan is in direct opposition and he hates God, he hates what God has purposed for us, He hates us and will do everything within his grasp to delay and thwart the believer in their drive to fulfill that which God has appointed them to.
To this point, I do, and I would suggest that you do as well, become a bit uncomfortable when there are no storm clouds about. This is because, when the enemy is beating at the door I know I’m doing something to upset him and that is just fine by me.
His time is about up and he’s enraged but the victory has been secured.
The next two verses in Peter.
The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. To him be dominion forever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:10-11 (CSB)
You see, we are called by the one who has dominion over all, forever. We will be reinforced with restoration, God will establish our foundation, strengthen us and support us, through the storm.
Remembering that nestled in 1 Peter 5:8-9 are these words, “Resist him, firm in the faith“.
And the sea will become tranquil and smooth like glass, because faith is the victory that over comes the world. Regardless if those storms are sourced from a corrupted nature battling against us or the enemy knocking at our door, Jesus tells us to have faith and not to fear the storm.