May 18, 2004
Encouragement for Today
Surviving the Storm
Micca Campbell, Speaker, Writer, Assistant Director with Proverbs 31 Ministries
Mark 4:37; 39, But soon a fierce storm arose. When he woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the water, "Be Still!" Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. (NKJ)
When you're in the midst of a raging storm whether it's financial, relational or an unexpected illness, does Christ seem far away and unaware of your situation? While I know that's not true, the weight of my own burdens can often make me feel as if I'm carrying them alone. Even in situations that seem reasonable for me to handle, I frequently find myself asking, "Where are you God? I need to know that you are near."
While the disciples were experienced seamen, they found themselves in a desperate situation that only Jesus could overcome. The angry sea was tossing them about as water filled their boat. Surely they would drown. And where was Jesus? He was asleep in the boat unaware of the storm, or so it seemed.
Defeated by their own efforts to save themselves, the disciples became afraid and anxiously cried out to Jesus. Responding to their cry, Jesus rebuked the wind and calmed the storm. Then he asked, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?"
Good question. What comes to the surface when you're in a raging storm-faith or fear? If Jesus promised to never leave us or forsake us, then that means there is nothing to fear. Jesus is always in the boat with us. Yet, in order to survive, we must keep our eyes on Him instead of our circumstance.
To survive the storm, we need to trust that:
1. Even though Jesus was asleep in the boat, he was aware of their situation. The storm didn't wake him, but the cry of his disciple did and he responded powerfully and without delay. Jesus was in control of the storm. He is also in control and aware of your storm. Matthew 10: 29 says, not even a sparrow can fall to the ground with out your Father knowing it. Jesus is aware of your situation.
2. Jesus will answer your cry for help. Sometimes it may seem like Jesus is asleep but he may be allowing us to reach a point of desperation. The disciples were experienced fishermen, yet they were in a storm only Jesus could handle. Sometimes we have to come to the end of our own self-effort and depend only on God. He wants us to know he is sufficient in the midst of our storm. When we give up and cry out, he will answer our call.
3. With Jesus, you can make it through the storm. Every one of us is going to face hardship, but only the child of God has the promise of his presence with them in the midst of a storm. Although Jesus never promised us a life of smooth sailing, he did promise us a safe journey. God will not leave you abandoned in the middle of your hardship.
Henry Blackaby, the author of "Experiencing God," says, "The effects of the storm were not the truth of the disciples' situation. The Truth was asleep in the boat." Our circumstances in life do not have the final say, Jesus does. And He says in Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteousness right hand. When the waves of trouble come crashing in on you, know that you are not alone. There's no need to fear. Instead have faith that Jesus is in the boat. And with Him, you can survive the storm.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Jesus, Thank you that you are my provision in the midst of my storm. I need to know you are near. Help me to see that you are with me. Help me to trust you to overcome my burden even when I can't see land for the rain, thunder and clouds. I trust you will lead me safely through. In Jesus' name I pray. A-men.
Just as storms are part of nature that comes again and again, so are the storms of adversity in our lives. It's only by trusting Jesus that we survive. Cling to him throughout the day and rest in His care until He calms the storm around you.
What is your first reaction to a problem - fear or faith?
What steps can you take to turn your fear into faith?
Do you need to stop trying to fix your own problems and lay them at the feet of Jesus?
Are you trusting Jesus over your circumstance?
Have you thanked Him lately for being your provision and help?
Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord. (KJV)
Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shall not be burned; neither shall the fame kindle upon thee. (KJV)
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strenghteneth me. (KJV)
Psalm 31:24 Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye who hope in the Lord. (KJV)
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (KJV)
Coming out of the Dark, by Mary Southerland
Radically Obedient; Radically Blessed, by Lysa Terkeurst
Where is God When Bad Things Happen, book/tape by Mary Southerland
Originally published Tuesday, 18 May 2004.