FS Sunday Sermon
Sermon: Who is in the storm with you?
Passage: Mark 4:35 -41
We encounter the literal storms, hurricanes, blizzards, snow and hail. And storms of life can come about just like that. And storms are a part of life we all go through them. There is the figurative storms related to our work, business, marriage, family relationship, finances and illness. and right now there is a storm raging. The storm that is having a devastating impact on the world, and of course sadly individuals.
For some of us this storm maybe only 10 feet high, 20 feet, or full-on 30 feet high, never the less it’s still a storm, and the storm is raging and your boat is swamped with seas water, its dark outside, thunder crashing, your ship is buffeting and the wind is howling.
You are looking for the storm to quiet down to pass over, for the morning light to appear, so the disciples started to help to bail out the seawater and help with the rigging, to pull in the mast, and fear is in the boat with them it crept up. Perhaps they thought that they were not going to make it through this storm, the boat was going to smash in the waves, the waves would roll the boat over.
And so, in their distress, although the bible does not tells us that they were distress but I can surmise that perhaps they were. The disciples went to the stern of the boat, which is the back of the boat, and saw Jesus asleep on a cushion. Irritation probably took over at this point, Jesus is sleeping through the storm. The men are trying to battle the boat, whilst everything else is going crazy, whilst the captain is trying to draw in the sails, and pulleys are being pulled. And Jesus is asleep. Asleep on the cushion!!!.
Master, don’t you care that we are about to perish? You could probably hear the fear in their voice.
This storm is not where you face the enemy. This storm is where you meet God. The disciple had forgotten who was with them in this storm. The disciples did not realise that they had the peace of God with them and that His presence is ever near, secure in the knowledge that He is at one with the creator. And that He is constantly with them no matter the storm. They had forgotten who Jesus was.
The word himself was in the boat with them. The bible tells us that in the beginning was the Word and that the word was with God and the Word was God. The word was in the storm with them. Who is in the storm with you? For many, the living word can become dormant in your lives, and only when we have called everyone and told them that there is a storm. When have tried to do it by ourselves, exhausted every avenue only then do we look to the word, only then do we look to the living God.
Jesus said let’s go over to the other side, Jesus had a destination in mind and a soul to save. This trip to the other side was for a purpose there was a deliverance service on the other side. Jesus did not take them onto the boat so that they should perish, that was not his desire. Jesus wanted them with him to participate in His work. You see when Jesus said “let us pass over to the other side”, I believe that Jesus was saying it’s time to go, I have done what I have to do on this side and now there is more to do on the other side of the lake, there was further work to be done on the other side.
In following Jesus we will go through some darkness, we will go through some rough times, there will be sorrow and there will be sadness. But in this storm, you are not alone. God is with you.
Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for though art with me, For though art with me! God is with you in your storm.
And in this storm as with any storm on a boat, you have got to hold on. Hold onto to Jesus in this storm. hold to the Word so that you do not go overboard. Jesus is in the storm with you that is who we hold onto, he is in the boat with you. Look to the word, look to Jesus the author and finisher of your faith.
And after this raging storm, you will come out of this fearless, secure and steadfast. But whilst in the storm look ahead to the shore. Believe that God will hold you, watch over you and that he loves you.
There was a reason for this journey to the other side. Jesus had an appointment on the other side, however, the disciples could only see that they were going to drown.
Jesus then got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea Peace, be still and the wind ceased and there was a great calm. He then asked them a question, Why are you so fearful? how is it you have no faith? In the NIV bible, it said do you still have no faith? Here Jesus was asking them to reflect on the situation to examine their faith. This is the time to examine your faith.
When Jesus is in the storm with you, it is times like this when we need to stand on the word of God. Yes, they went to Jesus and asked Him if he was not concerned? Indeed Jesus is concerned and indeed cares for all of us as we go through this storm even now weather the waves are 10, 20 30 feet high. God is more than able to hold you above the waves.
When we read on the people on the boat said Who is this? that even the wind and sea obey Him. Who is this? After seeing what Jesus had done, the only answer to this rhetorical question is. He is the Son of God! God s presence, as well as His power, is limitless.
The disciples had limited Gods awesome power in their own mind, could not comprehend the greatness of God’s awesome power.
We cannot avoid unpleasant circumstances that may come our way, but rather a submission to whatever the circumstances God may bring into your life. God does not take you into the middle of the sea to cause you to drown.
He takes you and me across the sea so that you can take part in the work that needs to be done after the storm has passed. And it then we will see Gods power over the storm, it is then you will see how God carried you through the situation.
It says in chapter 5 “When he came out of the ship”. This tells me they did not have to swim ashore, they did not have to cling onto logs to float to shore. They came out of the boat, they walked onto the land. You too will come out of the boat, the boat may have been battered, damages from the force of the waves.
We may find that after this is all over that we too may be battered but not broken, that your work life may change, you may find yourself unemployed, the plans your future business may be delayed, the plans that you made at the beginning of the year may have to wait, your financial circumstances may have taken a battering, and sadly businesses may no longer exist.
It is in the storm where we will meet God, We must not look at the storm as long-lasting for it will pass, it must pass. We are to look ahead to the shore, for it is then you will see how your life can be transformed, I believe that this storm has been preparing you for when you get to shore. Many of you have been involved in serving the community with food parcels, food banks, ministering to others and serving.
Many involved in serving where usually your day to day workload would not give you the opportunity as you would like to serve. Perhaps this may change your attitude to work reconsider your work balance. Put into order your priorities.
After this storm after this encounter, your life will not be the same. You may find that how you worship may have changed, your relationship with God may change, your outlook to ministry may change, your relationship with family, friends may change.
This encounter will cause you to think differently, Your experience in this storm must cause you to think differently.
For the disciples, I believe that, that encounter with the storm and witnessing the power of God that even disciples would not have been the same.
You may well find that things are no longer the way you left it at the start of the pandemic. I don’t know the plans that God has for you, But I do know the storm will pass over and you will get to shore and look at your surroundings and you will see what the Lord has planned for you.
You will walk to the shore, there is work for you to do on the other side.
Remember, No matter what the circumstances in your life you are not alone. The comforter is with you, The peace of God is with you.