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Though it’s calm now and the waters
receded, left in the wake is devastation still to this day.
Oft in literature life is compared to a
voyage at sea. The same is so in music—such as the song “The
There's a Lighthouse on
that overlooks life's
When I'm tossed it sends out a light
that I might see
And the light that shines in darkness now
will safely lead me o’er
If it wasn't for The Lighthouse
my ship would sail no
And I thank God for The Lighthouse,
I owe my life to Him
For JESUS Is The Lighthouse,
and from the rocks of
He has shone a light around me,
that I might clearly
If it wasn't for The Lighthouse,
where would this ship
Or, “’Til the Storm Passes By”
In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my
While the storm howls above me,
and there's no hiding place.
'Mid the crash of the thunder,
Precious Lord, hear my cry,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.
Till the storm passes over,
till the thunder sounds no more,
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky;
Hold me fast, let me stand
in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.
The Apostle Paul also used the metaphor, like
2 Tim. 4:6
For I am now ready to be offered, and the
time of my departure is at hand.
The word departure is a nautical term meaning
to pull in the anchor and set sail.
Our text today finds Jesus and His disciples
on a literal sea, and we can learn much about our voyage thru life by way of
All of us at times are storm tossed, and some
today may feel they are about to go under. Well, there’s peace and
stillness on the way for you, if you’ll listen to God’s Word now…
1. The Problem
Actually 2 problems: a Sinking Ship and a
Let’s remember that the disciples were led
into this storm by following their Master.
v. 23 They followed Him right into a
storm. Some believe that storms come for the Christian only when they rebel
or disobey God, but that’s not true. God’s will isn’t always smooth
This kind of a storm is not out of the
ordinary on the Sea of Galilee. Kimberly has been there…it’s really more of
a big lake—13 miles long and 8 miles wide. It’s surrounded by mountains and
hills. The cool air comes over the mountains and mixes w/ the warm sea air
and violent storms can erupt w/out much warning.
And that’s just how the storms of life come,
isn’t it?! One minute the sun is shining, and the next the lightning is
flashing, thunder booming, and the winds and the waves go wild. The phone
rings and in seconds your life is changed, you’re in the midst of a storm.
You have a routine Dr. visit that was to be quick and simple, but the look
on his face tells the story even before the words are out of his
mouth…you’re in a terrible storm!
It can happen as you go thru an intersection
in a flash, or when your boss calls you into the office, or when you open
that hospital bill. Storms arise suddenly and violently, and without
Storms come due to a variety of causes:
·Sometimes we blow up our own
storms. These storms are of our own making, like in Jonah’s case. He
decided not to do God’s will. It’s amazing as you read the story how many
times it says that Jonah ‘went down.’ After he decided to go his own way it
says he went down to Tarshish, down into the heart of the ship, down into
the sea, down into the belly of the whale. And once you decide not to
follow God’s best there’s only 1 way to go and that’s ‘down!’
This storm was brought on himself by Jonah
and his stubborn will, and he holds the distinction of being the first man
in history to spend the night on a foam blubber mattress! But in the end
you can’t keep a good man down and God used even that storm in the life of
His child and though he was spiraling down, down, down, he eventually came
·Some storms God creates
Himself. Such as in Matthew 14 and John 6, after He fed the 5,000, the people wanted to
make Him a king. [See
sermon] Oh how tempted the disciples must’ve been to give in to
the pressure of popularity but Jesus said, no, get in the boat and go to
Capernaum, and along the way they again ran directly into the middle of
another storm. Why? I believe He did it to divert their attention from
something that would have created a bigger problem in their lives.
Sometimes God sends us a little storm to keep us from heading into a bigger
Ill.—a little boy was playing w/ his sailboat
at the edge of a lake…it got away from him and he couldn’t reach it. He
didn’t want to lose it, and ingeniously he thought of a plan. He started
picking up rocks and tossing them on the other side, past the boat. The
waves brought the boat back to him, and his outstretched arms. And when we
drift away from the Lord He sometimes does the same, and the storm drives us
right back into the arms of Jesus!
·Some storms are Satanic in
origin. The devil himself is sometimes the source. Most Bible scholars
believe this storm in Matt. 8 was devil driven, because in v. 26 it says
Jesus ‘rebuked’ the storm. Jesus is oft said to have ‘rebuked’ demons. In
Luke 8 the same storm is written about and Jesus said to it, “Be still.” In
the Greek language it’s the word for muzzling a dog. It’s possible that
this storm was another attempt of Satan to destroy Jesus, while He was
sleeping no less! But Satan had no power to take the life of Jesus…only He
Himself would be able to give His life, laying it down willingly for us!
The soldiers didn’t take His life, He ‘gave up the ghost.’
Sometimes Satan kicks up a storm in our life
to try to get us off track. On one occasion the Apostle Paul said, I would
have come to you, but Satan hindered me. [try that on your boss next time
you’re late for work!]
Another reason I believe the devil was behind
this storm is because it was extraordinary in nature. Understand that most
of these disciples were raised on this sea and had fished it for years…they
no doubt had been thru countless storms, but in this case they all thought
they were going to die, it was so severe. They were frantic.
So, we have a problem…a sinking ship, and to
make matters worse, we’ve got a sleeping Savior.
v. 24b ‘He was asleep’. This is the
only time we find Jesus asleep, and it’s in a storm. Several other times we
find the disciples sleeping when Jesus has important business, but this time
He’s asleep and they are biting their nails to the quick!
Ever been in a storm of life and it seemed
like God was sleeping? “Where are you, Lord? Don’t you know what’s going
on? Don’t you care?”
When I go thru a storm I feel like I have it
all figured out. I know what the Lord ought to do, how He ought to do it,
2 hard lessons: 1. God doesn’t need my
advice. 2. God doesn’t work on my timetable. He’ll do it in His way and
His time. He doesn’t need a wake up call, and He never oversleeps. He’s
always on the throne and in full control.
Remember Lazarus? They sent word to Jesus
that His friend Lazarus was sick. But the Bible says specifically that
Jesus stayed where He was for 2 more days. Then when He finally arrived
there Lazarus was dead, and I want you to know that Martha was waiting for
Him. She said, if you had been here our brother would not have died.
Translation: “Well, look who has finally decided to show up! Hope it isn’t
too much of an inconvenience! It might interest you to know that He’s dead
The rest of the story: “Lazarus,
It may seem sometimes like He’s asleep or is
late, but we need to remember His ways are higher than our ways, and though
God is sometimes early, He’s never late!
Joke—man asked the Lord, “Is it true that for
you 10,000 years is just like a minute?” Yes. “And is it true that a
million dollars to us on earth is like a penny in heaven?” Yes. “Lord,
could I have a penny?” Sure, just a minute!
We move now from the problem to the
2. The Prayer
v. 25 Notice what they did and what
What you do during a storm reveals who you
are and what you are.
What’s your first impulse in a storm? Run to
a friend? That’s not entirely bad if they will give you Godly counsel, but
it’s not the first response you should have.
[Run to nearest exit? / Try to make your own
way out thru diversion or drug? The storm will still be there when you come
back down! And maybe more will await you due to your bad behavior.]
The disciples went to Jesus first, and so
should we. Character is revealed in the storm. The storms of life will
either draw you closer to the Lord or further away, but no one will emerge
on the other side of the storm the same as they went in! Either you will
become bitter or better!
What they did—they went to Jesus.
What they said—Lord, save us: we
perish. It’s one of the shortest prayers in the Bible. And when we’re in
trouble, we cut down on the long, fancy prayers and ramblings and get right
down to business. It happened when Peter walked on the water and took his
eyes off Jesus and looked at the storm and began to go under, but then he
prayed his famous 3 word prayer “Lord, save me!” He didn’t have time for
“Oh God of Jeroboam and Rehoboam and all the Boam boys” or “Oh God of
Jehoshaphat and all the Phat boys…”
There’s a contradiction in that prayer.
“Lord, save us” is the language of faith. “We perish” is the language of
fear. Now, isn’t that just like us humans? Trying to have faith and fear
at the same time?! And yet they are mutually exclusive…spiritual
opposites! Faith and fear cannot cohabit the same heart at the same time.
When you are looking at the storm you are filled w/ fear but when looking to
Jesus you are filled w/ faith!
v. 26a Fear is looking at God thru your
circumstances. Faith is looking at your circumstances thru God!
Here’s 3 reasons they shouldn’t have mingled
fear with their faith:
·They had a promise from Jesus
that they were going to make it to the other side. [parallel passage in
Mark 4] And God’s commandments are God’s enablements. He won’t ask us to
do something we cannot do w/ His help. He didn’t promise a storm free, easy
trip, but He did indeed guarantee success! And that’s what faith is,
really, is just trusting in the promises of God!
·The Lord Himself was in the
boat with them! That very day they had seen Him cleanse the leper and heal
countless others and cast out demons…by now they should have complete
confidence that He can handle their situation. This is good reason for all
of us to keep a prayer journal. Not only a list of requests but of the
answers and the dates. They serve us for life as a reminding testimony of
·They could see that the Lord
Himself was at perfect peace. When you have a situation and you see someone
you respect is calm as they view it, it has a calming effect on you. The
opposite is true if they react in a fuss.
Ill.—I wrecked by bicycle as a kid and
skinned my knee…it didn’t hurt, I was fine. I went home…and when momma saw
the blood caked on my leg she went ‘ape-doody’! I cried!
We need to learn how to weather the storms of
life…not just pray for them to go away.
Ill.—our kids get scared in a thunderstorm,
and they run to our bed and ask if we are scared. Oh no, we say…[even if
we are!] and that calms them.
It should calm us to know that whatever we’re
going thru, our God is not shucked…He’s not wringing His hands in despair
wondering what’s next. He’s in full control.
The problem…the prayer…
3. The Power
v. 26b Then He arose…
v. 24 said a storm arose, and now it says in
v. 26 that Jesus arose! He calmed that storm. He doesn’t always do
this…sometimes He calms you, His child! Always, He keeps us safe ‘til the
storm passes by!
The problem that day was not the storm, the
sinking ship, or the sleeping Savior…it was the unbelief in the hearts of
the disciples. Jesus asked them, “Why are ye fearful?”
Here’s some verses written hundreds of years
before this storm, that the disciples should have trusted in, and we should
They that go down to the sea in ships,
that do business in great waters;  These see the works of the Lord, and
his wonders in the deep.  For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy
wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.  They mount up to the heaven,
they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their
wit's end.  Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he
bringeth them out of their distresses.  He maketh the storm a calm, so
that the waves thereof are still.  Then are they glad because they be
quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
“Sheltered in the Arms of God”
So let the storms rage high, The dark clouds
They won't worry me
For I'm sheltered safe within the arms of God
He walks with me, And naught of earth shall
For I'm sheltered in the arms of God.
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