Storms in Life

6 August 2017 AM – Mark 4:35-41 – Mr17 – Scott Childs

Introduction: (Read text). This is an exciting story but it was a terrifying event for Jesus’ disciples as they battled that life-threatening storm. We are likely to face severe, terrifying storms in life as well.

Transition: As we work our way through this passage I want to point out ten reminders about the storms in life that can help us.

1.        The Lord is always with us during storms (v.35)
a.          Note the words “let us”. Jesus was with the disciples during this storm. Jesus was “in the ship” (v.36) with them.
b.          We must remember that the Lord is always with us during our storms as well. The Psalmist wrote, (Psalms 139:7-12) “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” This is especially true if you know the Lord as your Saviour. (Hebrews 13:5) “… for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
2.        We are not the only ones enduring storms (v.36)
a.          Note in verse 36 the sentence, “And there were also with him other little ships.” The disciples and Jesus were in a fairly large ship. What happened to His followers who were in the little ships during that huge storm? They may have been having a more difficult time than the disciples.
b.          The devil wants you to think that you are the only one experiencing a storm. That is simply not true. If you look around, you are sure to find others in storms that may be worse than your storm.
3.        Christians are not except from severe storms (v.37)
a.          Note the severity of this storm.
1)         It was “a great storm of wind”. The word storm refers to a violent attack, a whirlwind, or a cyclonic wind.
2)         The storm was so great that the waves beat against the ship and came over the sides.
3)         The ship had quickly filled up with water.
²  When I was a teenager, I went canoeing down a river with our youth group. At one point my canoe hit a rock and overturned filling with water. I soon learned that boats do not float well when they are full of water, and getting the water out of the boat is not easy.

b.          God sometimes allows very severe storms in the lives of His children today as well. I know of good Christians who have suffered car accidents, fires, cancer, death of loved ones, tragic fatal accidents and wayward children. These are severe storms.
c.           The God-fearing man Job in the Bible suffered greatly. He lost all his possessions, his ten children all died in a violent storm and his wife told him to curse God and die. Yet in all that, God had a plan. He was teaching Job. He was able to say, (Job 13:15) “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”
4.        The Lord never panics during our storms (v.38)
a.          Jesus “was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow.” Even in the midst of this violent storm that was sinking the ship, Jesus was peacefully sleeping. It was not that He did not care. It was simply that He was not concerned.
b.          When we are tempted to be anxious and worried during the storms of life, we must remember that the Lord is not the least bit fretful. For this reason He is able to say to us in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
5.        We must pray when storms first attack (v.38)
a.          In desperation the disciples eventually awakened Jesus. Instead of asking for His help, they questioned His concern for them. They shouted above the wind, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” They could have avoided a lot of panic and worry if they had simply prayed first instead of waiting until they were in critical danger.
b.          This is a great rebuke to me because I often panic and worry first and pray second. We know what the Psalmist wrote but we need to put it into practice. (Psalms 55:22) “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
6.        We need the Lord’s help during every storm (v.39)
a.          The disciples had done all in their power to save their lives, but they were failing. I can imagine that as they were franticly yelling and baling out the water that they debated among themselves as to whether they should awaken Jesus.
b.          That is so typical of our human nature. We try to calm our storms and solve our problems ourselves.
c.           The truth is, whether in sunshine or in sorrow we need the Lord. The hymn writer Annie Hawks penned these words to “I need Thee Every Hour” Great Hymns of the Faith p. 318
1)          I need thee ev’ry hour, Most gracious Lord. No tender voice like thine Can peace afford.
2)         I need thee ev’ry hour; Stay thou nearby. Temptations lose their pow’r When thou art nigh.
3)         I need thee ev’ry hour, In joy or pain. Come quickly and abide, Or life is vain.
Chorus: I need thee, oh, I need thee; Ev’ry hour I need thee! Oh, bless me now, my Savior; I come to thee!

7.        The Lord is greater than any storm (v.39)
a.          Jesus simply arose and rebuked the wind with two commands.
1)         His first command was “Peace!” Literally he commanded “Be silent!”
2)         His second command was “Be still!” This command is literally “Having been muzzled stay that way!”
3)         With those two commands, the storm instantly stopped and there was a great stillness on the lake. Isn’t that awesome!
b.          No matter what storm comes into my life or yours, the Lord is greater than that storm. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. (Jeremiah 32:17) “Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:”
8.        God can calm any storm but He may not (v.39)
a.          Jesus chose to calm the storm on Galilee that day. There were other times during His ministry that He chose not to calm storms.
1)         In Mark 5 Jesus allowed a young girl to die.
2)         In John 11 we read that Jesus allowed Lazarus to die.
3)         In Acts 7 the Lord allowed Stephen to be stoned to death.
4)         In Acts 27 He allowed Paul to be shipwrecked.
b.          God has the ability to calm your storm, but He may know that you need the storm. Whether He calms the storm or not, He will comfort us during our storms if we will draw near to Him (Psalm 91:1-4). “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”
9.        Faith can overcome fear during storms (v.40)
a.          Jesus asked His disciples two pointed questions.
1)         Why are ye so fearful? This word means timid, cowardly or fearful.
2)         How is it that ye have no faith? They lacked bravery because they lacked faith in the Lord to protect them. Their opinion of the Lord was too small.
b.          The more we know about the Lord’s trustworthiness and the more we depend upon Him, the greater our faith will become.
10.   Storms that God allow are for our benefit (v.41)
a.          The disciples saw a new side of the Lord because of their storm. They learned that He was the Lord over all nature.
b.          In every storm in life there is a lesson for us to learn.
c.           One of the storms in the Apostle Paul’s life was his thorn in the flesh which God would not remove. (2 Corinthians 12:9) “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Conclusion: I find that it is easier to talk about the storms of life than to endure one. I need these ten reminders. Perhaps you do as well. Let’s ask the Lord to increase our faith.

Song: I Need Thee Every Hour, p. 318