Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
The disciples were amazed. “Who is this Man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey Him!”
(Matthew 8: 24-27, NLT)
I understand how the disciples felt. These were strong fishermen. They were used to bad weather. They were not weak and inexperienced. Just because you become a follower of Jesus does not make you weak. I want to tell you something tonight. In Russia, like in many other parts of the world, we know how Christians have been persecuted for their faith. It takes more character, more strength, to be a believer, than to live in the world without Christ.
God needs men
God needs strong men. Men like these disciples. They were in the boat. There was a storm and they were afraid. They did the only thing they could: they searched for Jesus, but found Him asleep. They woke Him up. Immediately they said, “Master, don’t You understand, we are going to die! The boat is filling with water.” What did Jesus say? He only said one thing, and it was not what they expected or wanted: “Why are you afraid?” – Why are you afraid? I want to ask you the same question; I believe God is speaking to every one of us who are in a storm: “Why are you afraid?”
Why are you afraid?
The difference between these men and the those who were on the shore is this: all the time the disciples were in a storm they had Jesus! I’d rather be in a storm with Jesus than live at peace without Him. When you come to know Jesus Christ, it does not mean that life will become a bed of roses, that everything will be luxury and comfort. But we do get to know the One who says to the waves, “Peace, be still”. I don’t have an easy life. And my life doesn’t get any easier. God has not called us to luxury and comfort. God has called us to serve and live for Him. God is searching for men and women today; men and women who will change the world; men and women who are not afraid to preach the Gospel; men and women without fear. What changes us from ordinary men and women into men and women of power and authority? It takes a miracle, an encounter with Jesus Christ.
A present help in times of trouble
The first thing I see about this boat, yes, it was in a storm, yes, the men were afraid, but Jesus was in the boat! It didn’t matter how fierce the storm, or how dangerous the wind and waves, all the time they had Jesus with them there was no reason to be afraid. The Psalmist says, ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.’ (Ps 46:1-3)
When you come to Christ, when you become a believer, a real born-again Christian, when you give your life to Him, when you begin to serve and live for God, it is not the end of life, it is the beginning of a new life, a more wonderful life; what is the difference: when we come to Christ, He comes into our lives, He becomes part of our life, He gets into the boat with us.
How can you be at peace in the midst of a storm? Look to Jesus; put your faith in His peace; for if Jesus can be at rest in the midst of chaos, you can also.
‘This is my desire’ used by kind permission of Vinesong