While travelling across a lake with Jesus, the disciples have encountered a storm so violent that even the experienced fisherman on the boat believe they’re all going to die. We’re going to be looking at what Mark has to say about this today.
Mark 4:36 – “There were also other boats …” on the lake. They were caught in the same storm, but Jesus was not in their boat. Don’t you wonder how people manage to endure trials and handle adversity without having Jesus with them?
As the storm continued to get worse, the disciples weren’t looking at Jesus and they weren’t worried about, or praying for, the other boats on the lake, the people without Jesus. They were only thinking of themselves and how difficult their lives had become since they began to follow Him.
In Mark 4:37, Satan, “the father of lies,” (John 8:44) has convinced the disciples that they were all going to die in this storm because waves were breaking over the boat and it “was nearly swamped.” Now, in Mark 4:38 – the devil has them believing that, because Jesus “was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion,” He doesn’t really care about what’s happening to them.
“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
The disciples are asking the one who emptied Himself of all His heavenly Glory, the one who had become flesh so He could endure the cross for them, the only one who could take the penalty for their sin, the only one who loved them enough to suffer excruciating agony so they would be spared the hell they deserved; they have the audacity to ask the “the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world,” if He cared.
Aren’t we guilty of doing the same thing when we’re going through a trial? Don’t we tend to pray more often and more fervently when our lives are being swamped? We may think we’re praying, but aren’t we actually trying to wake up Jesus and get Him to pay more attention to what’s happening to us?
“Jesus, Wake up. I need You. You promised to heal. You promised to provide. Why aren’t you keeping your promises? You said you’d always be there for me, but where are you now? When we find ourselves panicking in prayer instead of praising Him with joy, we know we’ve been paying too much attention to the storm and have taken our eyes off Him.
Regardless of how dark the night or how violent the storm, no matter how difficult the struggle or how unbearable the trial, don’t EVER allow yourself to question or doubt these three absolute, eternal truths:
1. The Lord is always with you. (Matthew 28:20)
2. Nothing can ever separate you from His love. (Romans 8:38-39)
3. He cares for you. (1Peter 5:7)
Jesus is our example in all things. He leads. We follow. He speaks. We listen and obey. If He’s not bothered by the storm, why are we? This is when our faith is really needed.
When we find ourselves being swamped by one violent storm after another, we need to be asking ourselves: Do I believe what the Bible says or not? Do I believe the Lord loves me or not? Will I keep trusting Him or not? Is there any other hope, any other answer, any other solution? Is there any other way to be saved, any other Savior?
In the middle of everything that was going on around him, Job declared, “though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.”
Jesus, – things don’t really good right now. But could you move over a little? I’d like to lie down and rest beside you until this storm is finally over. You are my only source of comfort and strength. Fill me with your peace that passes all human understanding.
Mark 4:39 – “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”
Someday I’ll stand before the Lord and be held accountable for my life and the ministry that was given to me. I’d rather be guilty of misguided faith. I’d rather hear Jesus say, “Allen, you believed it with all your heart, but you misunderstood my word. Your faith was misguided.” I’d rather be accused of an incomplete faith. “Yes, Allen I did say those things, but I said many other things that you failed to take into consideration. Your faith was incomplete.”
But the one thing I never want to hear Jesus say to me is what He said to those twelve disciples.
Mark 4:40 – “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Mark 4:41 – “Who IS this? Even the wind and waves obey Him?”
The disciples had just learned something new about Jesus. Every time our faith is tested, we learn something new about Jesus. That’s why our faith is tested. That’s how we become “mature and complete, not lacking anything.”(Janes 1:4) Their faith has just been tested and it’s a lesson learned, right? The next time this happens, they’ll be ready for it, won’t they? They won’t make that mistake again, will they?
The problem is that no two tests are exactly the same. There’s always a little twist to catch us off guard. There is always something else we need to learn. There’s always something more we need to discover about Jesus.
Next Tuesday, Lord willing we’ll look at another time when the disciples’ faith was being tested. I hope you’re finding these posts worthwhile. Why not encourage someone else to follow along with you? I’m sure we all know someone who loves the Word of God. someone who is hungry to hear the Word of God or someone who needs to hear the Word of God. Invite them to get into God’s Word with pastorbuj.com
I welcome responses, comments, suggestions. I’d love to hear from you.