Monday, February 5, 2007


This past Sunday's message David spoke was really good. So good in fact, I decided to type up my notes as a blog entry. If you weren't there, read along and I'm sure you will be encouraged as I was.

Mark 4:35-41
That day when evening came, He said to His disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to His disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!"

Every believer, and non-believer for that matter, will go through hard times. It's a fact of life. I will go on a tangent here and say that as I typed that last sentence, the theme music for the show The Facts of Life just ran through my head. For those of you who are old enough to remember that show, I'm sure right now as you're reading this the theme music is going through your head as well...sorry! But I digress. The "furious squall" the disciples found themselves in can be compared to a hurricane. Massive amounts of wind and rain, waves that were 30-50 feet high. I don't know if any of you have ever been through a hurricane, but they are frightening. Growing up in Florida, I went through several hurricanes and they were scary. But I was in the safe confines of my home, or in the more severe ones, we went to my dad's hospital and spent the night there in his office. You can hear the wind howl and the constant loud cracks of trees snapping in two. I can't imagine the shear dread the disciples were feeling being out in the middle of the open water in the middle of this hurricane. I'll admit, when I first became a Christian, I for-real thought that my life was going to be all peaches-n-cream from here on out. I'll go even farther to say that I'm sure most new Christians believe this too. They then realize, as I did, that this is totally not the case! In fact, life gets a little harder unfortunately, whether by divine destiny or just attacks from the enemy (read Job). Divine destiny? Yes. Take this passage for example. Jesus took them out on the boat. He's the one that said, "Let us go over to the other side." Hurricanes will come in your life, no doubt. As I've said before, seasons are difficult, but necessary. You may be going through a season right now in your life where you would describe it as being a hurricane. Or, you may describe it as being a desert. However you portray it, know that God longs to show Himself true and strong in the situation. One of the most discouraging things about being in a hurricane is that you have no control over the boat! You are at the mercy of the storm. You did nothing to cause it; you can't do anything about it, and you can't stop it! I say this is one of the most discouraging things, but you know what, it's the perfect place for you to be. We are in a society now where we find ourselves saying, "Just let me do it." Things are chaotic at work..."just let me try and fix things." Relationship struggles..."just let me try and do things to make it right." Whatever we try to do on our own power and strength will fail. The waves will continue to get higher and higher, and the wind and rain will become even more devastating.

So what are we supposed to do? Let's look back at the passage. It says first that Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat...or maybe He was pretending to sleep, I don't know? If He was truly asleep, that man Jesus was a heavy sleeper! Then the disciples went to wake him up. I wonder how long it took for them to finally realize, "hey, we need to wake up Jesus!" I wonder if they tried to "ride it out" in hopes of it getting better on its own? Sometimes we do this. "I'll deal with it just one more day," then we hope that the next day is better than the former. Or maybe we do this because we don't want to bother God with our problems? Anyway you look at it, the important thing is this: Jesus is not concerned with storms or hurricane, nor even the desert. The thing Jesus was concerned about was the disciples' hearts. He wanted the disciples to come wake Him up! The disciples asked Jesus, "don't You care if we drown?" Other translations say, "don't You care if we die?" Do you know that He DOES care if you drown? Maybe you don't know this? The key is to not pretend that you do, you are not helping're not fooling God! Just ask the question...He is waiting on you to simply come and ask Him.

Now let's take a look at Jesus' response: with just 3 words everything was restored; the storm was calmed! "Why are you afraid?" Jesus asked. He then ties this to their faith. He was looking at their heart! Again I'll ask, do you trust Him? When you are in a hurricane or desert, you CANNOT fix it! Will you draw back in fear? Or, will you go to him? He's here! He's in your boat (if you are a believer). The Word says that He will never leave or forsake you! If you are not a believer, then maybe you are one of the other boats that went out with them (v. 36). Know this, He wants to get in your boat!!

In v. 41 it says that the disciples were "terrified." This word here in the original text is not the same word used in v. 40. The word used in v. 40 means a "cowardly fear." The only other reference to this type of fear is in Revelation 21. The meaning of the word "terrified" used in v. 41 means a "fear of God; reverance." This word is used throughout the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. The disciples revered Jesus in how He was able to calm the storm.

So again, rest assured that hurricanes WILL come in your life, but will you trust God? Will you fear Him with a Holy reverance of His sovereignty? God will use these times to show Himself strong! Some of the most profound encounters with God, where you truly meet Him, will be during times when you are in the valley; in the depths of your very being. So hold on Beloved! Help is in your boat!! Go to Him; trust Him!

Grace and peace.

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