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Posts Tagged ‘Mark 4:35-41’

Storms

May 15th, 2015

“Who is this Man that even the winds and waves obey Him?” Mark 4:41 NLT.

Life requires that you learn to safely navigate any storms.

My thoughts and comments today are about “storms.”

Life requires that you learn to safely navigate the storms you cannot avoid. On a vacation cruise with friends, Gayle and I experienced a violent storm at sea, a major hurricane off the Pacific coast of Mexico. To avoid the storm, the Captain turned from the coastline out to sea, intending to sail safely to our next port in calmer waters.

Then it happened. The hurricane had bounced off shore right into the path of our ship. There were high winds, extremely rough seas, and frightened passengers, even a few wearing their orange life vests, just in case. For a prolonged 36 hours, what the Captain had attempted to avoid, he now had to confront. Life happens like that sometimes. Some unwanted circumstances have to be confronted.

For practical reasons, I was cautiously optimistic. I believed the Captain and crew were experienced and prepared to navigate the storm. Also, I reasoned that a ship is built for success in its element, to sail safely in good and bad weather equally. Its element was the sea, not designed to be moored safely in port. And, I knew this storm was a temporary aberration of weather not a permanent condition. Convictions of truth will comfort and encourage you.

Life can be turbulent, personally and professionally. In such times, assumptions are shaken and uncertainty abounds. Days grow uncomfortable and tomorrows feel tentative. Those proclaiming “doom and gloom,” as well as those with wishful, but empty reassurances seem to drown any voice of reason and balance. Life is a storm through which you must navigate, neither a brief inconvenience nor the end of the world.

As a ship is designed and constructed to withstand stormy weather as well as gentle winds and calm seas, your faith is made for stormy weather. The disciples found themselves in a raging storm that left them fearing for their safety. “Jesus rebuked the wind and the water. Suddenly the wind stopped and there was a great calm. Filled with awe, they said, ‘Who is this man that even the wind and waves obey Him?’” Read Mark 4:35-41 NLT. Real faith is made for times when sickness intrudes, when resources are scarce, when relationships are strained, when questions exceed answers, or when others despair. In every storm, Jesus is with you.

Similarly, Jesus warned Simon Peter of personal storms ahead, but also assured him, “I have prayed for you that your faith fail not.” Luke 22:31-32 NIV. Jesus is praying for you; you should be praying too. Prayer makes a difference in your faith, “an anchor for the soul.” Hebrews 6:17-20. It’s always time to seek God; it’s time to have faith; it’s time to trust and believe. Your faith will “weather every storm” when you pray, know and trust God’s Word, and listen for God in your heart.

Today, I pray for you to live courageously and confidently through any storm.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Journey

August 19th, 2011

“Let us cross over to the other side.” Mark 4:35 NKJV

The effect of any trial can be a new, unshakable conviction that God will do something amazing.”

My thoughts today are about “the journey.”

Life is a journey, but sometimes getting “from here to there” can be quite a challenge. When you start out, you never know for sure what you will face along the way; be prepared. Jesus had a powerful day of teaching; the large crowd was attentive. He told insightful stories about the Kingdom of God. When evening came, Jesus directed His disciples, “Let us cross over to the other side (of the lake).” Mark 4:35 NKJV. How apparently simple and straightforward their journey should be, or so it seemed.

The weather was compliant; the sea was familiar and calm. But then unexpectedly, everything changed dramatically. They encountered a storm of such consequence and peril that seasoned fishermen that they were, they feared for their lives. And all of that was when Jesus was in their boat. Know this; Jesus’ company does not assure you will have no problems. Jesus presence makes all the difference in the completion of your journey.

With all the ships that sank in storms on that sea at one time or another, their story would have a dissimilar end. The difference was not the courage, skills, or seasoned experience of sailors and fishermen on that frequently tempestuous sea; Jesus is the difference! Jesus commanded the storm, and calmed the disciples, “And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39-40 NKJV.

Ordinary days do not always remain ordinary. Familiar routines are occasionally disrupted by unforeseen emergencies. When your journey gets stormy, you need to listen for a word from God. Hearing is impaired when one’s heart panics. You know what you are saying; you know what circumstances seem to be suggesting. They saw the storm and projected their demise. That’s exactly when you need to hear what God is saying. In troubled and troubling times you need to hear a “word from God to walk in.” See Matthew 7:24-29 NIV.

Their fear made them forget what Jesus had said before the storm ever happened. God’s Word has not changed when your situation does. Remember, Jesus had said, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake!” The “other side” was not only their projected destination; the “other side” was factually their destiny! Your worst storm cannot change God’s intentions and promises. Jesus would not have spoken of “crossing over to the other side,” if the end of their journey was not safely on the other shore.

The journey can be overwhelming at times. It was for King David at times. Here’s what he learned; “When my heart is overwhelmed . . You have been a shelter for me . . from the enemy . . I will abide . . I will trust in the shelter . .” Psalm 61:3-4 NKJV. The Apostle Paul experienced such times, “. . burdened beyond measure, above strength so that we despaired of life . . that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.” See 2 Corinthians 1:2-11 NKJV. The outcome of whatever you are experiencing is not your destruction; the effect of any trial is a new, unshakable conviction that your God will do the unthinkable and impossible. Read Ephesians 3:20-21 NLT.

My prayer for you today is that you walk in God’s peace until that displaces your panic.

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