10 years ago, August of 2004, Hurricane Charley went through Florida. With winds of 150 miles per hour, it was a Category 4 hurricane. It was the strongest hurricane to hit southwest Florida since 1960. Damage totaled over $13 billion and caused 10 deaths. We were on vacation near Orlando. It was the worst storm I’ve ever experienced.
You may have never been in a hurricane or seen a tornado, but you have probably been through a storm of life. Health, Finances, Relationships bring storms that cause fear as any natural storm.
In Mark’s gospel the disciples and Jesus are hit with a storm.
And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? (Mark 4:35-41)
I found four truths from this story that will help you in a storm.
1. Storms will come.
Storms are inevitable. Peter tells us, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12).
We live in a fallen world. And as Jesus said, “[God] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). In other words, good and bad happen to all.
Storms sometimes happen right in the middle of God’s will. The disciples were doing what Jesus wanted them to do. Storms even happen to those closest to God, like the 12 disciples.
2. Jesus will be with you in the storm.
Jesus does not abandon His disciples in the storm. However, the disciples wondered how he could sleep through the storm. He was tired after a long day of ministry and had complete peace and trust in His Heavenly Father.
They had words of criticism toward Jesus. How easy it is for us to complain and criticize God for not coming to our aid.
3. Jesus will calm the storm.
Jesus, abruptly awakened from a deep sleep, arose and without speaking to the disciples spoke to the wind & waves, “Peace, be still!”
At the perfect time during the perfect storm He exercised His power over the storm. God is never in a hurry, and the reason he is never in a hurry is because he knows exactly what to do at exactly the right time. He does not go by our time. It may even be when we get to Heaven that our storm finally finds peace. His timing is perfect. He will calm the storm at the right time.
4. It is only in the storm that we really know who Jesus is.
Jesus did not stop with calming the weather, for the greatest danger was not the wind or the waves; it was the unbelief in the hearts of the disciples. Our greatest problems are within us, not around us.
They could hardly have been ready for the reply. ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ This is the crux of discipleship. They needed Jesus to do things; He wanted them to trust Him. His very presence among them was all that they needed to survive.
I think the most amazing part of the story is the disciple’s reaction to Jesus. When Jesus asks them why they are afraid, it is the Greek word meaning fearful in the moderate sense. But after Jesus calms the storm, the Bible uses a different Greek word that means ‘great fear.’ They were afraid of the storm, but they were terrified of Jesus. They realized who it really was who was with them in the boat. It is one thing to be in the boat with someone you believe was sent from God to be a great teacher and spiritual leader. It is quite another thing to be confined in a small space with One whom you suddenly realize is the Lord of the universe.
Storms will give you a greater vision of Who Jesus is.