Right now, there are vast regions of our midwest that are under flood waters--especially along the Arkansas River and Mississippi River valleys. We have seen pictures of the devastating effects of these flood waters on TV news--entire homes under water! People are dealing with storms of rain, but I want to talk about storms of a different kind today.
Mark chapter 6 is a powerful passage. Read vs. 45-52. It describes the experience of the disciples in the storm, and the lessons they learned in the process of passing through it. I have entitled this Bible Study: How to Make It Through the Storms of Life. There are times when we all feel as though God has forgotten us and forsaken us. Here are some of the common kinds of storms we face: (1) Marital, (2) Mental, (3) Material (Financial), (4) Medical. Are you going through a storm right now? Listen carefully. As we will see in our text, God doesn’t bring storms into our lives to destroy us, but to deepen us, and our trust in Him. He doesn’t want us to be bitter, he wants us to be better—to build up our faith so that we might see and appreciate the One who has a perfect plan for our life. Note with me here in our text, there are five things to remember when you are in a storm (whatever trial of life comes your way):
I. HE SENT ME HERE. (Vs. 45)
A. Note: “he constrained them to get into the ship and go to the other side”. In other words, Jesus sent the disciples out to sea knowing full well he was sending them straight into a storm.
Things don’t happen by accident. We are not fatalists. This storm didn’t catch God by surprise! He planned it; He caused it as a test of their faith.
Rom. 8:28 says: “and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.”
II. HE IS PRAYING FOR ME. (Vs. 46)
Note: after He sent the disciples away, “He went into a Mountain to pray”. About what? If Jesus knew all about the storm, and the great need of the disciples who were struggling for their lives, you can be sure he was praying specifically for them, namely, for their spiritual growth in this trial. Evidently, they “had not really considered the miracle of the loaves” (feeding of the 5,000)—the lesson of simply trusting God. (see verse 52) Far too often, when we pray, we ask God to take the storm away. But the One who sent the storm has a divine purpose in it, and will not take the storm away until His will is accomplished in our hearts, and we learn the intended lesson. It is a mature believer who is able to pray: God, use this difficult trial to TEACH ME to depend on you.
What a great comfort it is to know that Jesus is praying for me. He is the great intercessor. See John 17:9 “I pray for them, I pray not for the world, but for those which thou hast given me”. Remember when Jesus told Peter that he was going to end up denying the Lord? Then He said, “But I have PRAYED for thee”. Lk 22:32
III. HE SEES MY NEED. (Vs. 48) Don’t think God is so “far away” from us that He doesn’t see what is going on in our life. Note the text: "he saw them toiling in rowing”. That’s pretty amazing in light of the fact that it was pitch dark (the fourth watch of the night). Be encouraged dear discouraged saint: God sees your need! One of the greatest statements ever made about God was made by Hagar, who was all alone in the desert: “Thou God seest me”. Gen. 16:13
IV. HE WILL COME TO ME. (Vs. 48b) Note the words: “he cometh unto them”. Listen, the Lord is committed to CARING for you in the Storms of Life. When you feel God has forsaken you—you are wrong. He has promised to “NEVER leave thee or forsake thee”(Heb. 13:5).
Jesus (the “Angel of the Lord”) came to the 3 Hebrew children in the midst of the fiery furnace, as the “fourth man in the fire”. Jesus is not about to let the disciples drown out there at sea. But He does desire that they TRUST in Him for their safety whether they can see him or not.
V. HE WILL SEE ME THROUGH. (Vs. 51) The same God who saw the Israelites through the Red Sea, and Daniel through the lion’s den, and the three Hebrew children through the fiery furnace—will see you through too. The storm will be over before you know it, as soon as you recognize His PRESENCE, and appropriate His “PEACE, be still” to your own heart.