There are some things that are for certain in our lives and storms are one of those things. All of us are going to face times in our lives when things are not sunny and calm! Here is one example from God’s word that talks about a storm:
Psalm107:23 Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. 24 They saw the works of the Lord, His wonderful deeds in the deep. 25 For He spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. 26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. 27 They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. 29 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven. 31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. 32 Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people and praise Him in the council of the elders.
These men were merchants they set out to sea like any other day to look for goods to sell and they found themselves in the middle of a great storm. How many times in our lives does it start out like any other day and then suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of a storm.
One thing I noticed in this story this morning is in verse 25 – “For He spoke and lifted up a tempest and lifted high the waves”. So we can clearly see that God himself organized this tempest! And how did the men react even though it says they saw His wonderful deeds? Just like I do many times………. they reeled and staggered like drunken men, they were at their wit’s end! When things appear suddenly in my life this has often been my reaction. I feel sick to my stomach, my thoughts become full of dread and panic and I feel small and helpless and tossed by the waves of my thoughts this way and that. It is a horrible and helpless feeling but we need to remember God is ALWAYS in control. I want this to be my first reaction and thought in a storm! God is always in control! Let’s look what the men did next after staggering around and being very afraid….. 28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. 29 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. Pretty impressive – in an instant He can create a storm and in an instant He can calm it.
Why would the God of the universe allow storms to come into our lives? One of the reasons is that many times we go our way with little thought of God , without being thankful, intent on doing what we want, pretty much ignoring Him and His blessings in our lives. Just like the men in the story we get into our own little boat and go looking for the things we think are going to fulfill us and make us happy. The storm got the men’s attention quickly and brought them back to reality and they quickly cried out to God and He heard them and answered instantly in this case. Sometimes the storms last a little longer and they need to. It gives us a chance to look inside and see the things we have put in our lives that give us a feeling of security in the place of trusting God – our jobs, houses, family, friends, health, money etc. – our own little idols, things that can easily be taken, tossed and shaken!
Here is another story of a time God used a storm in the lives of the disciples:
Jesus Calms the Storm
Matthew 8:23 Then He got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. 24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!”
We can see in this story that the disciples were very afraid in the storm but what was Jesus doing? He was sleeping – He wasn’t the least bit bothered or disturbed. When the disciples woke Him up they were filled with fear and panic thinking this was going to be their last day on earth and they were about to drown. How quickly our thoughts turn to our own mortality in the midst of a crisis or trial in our lives. And Jesus response? 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
Jesus was fully God and fully man and He was able to instantly calm the storm. And the eyes of the disciples were opened and they were amazed and asked “what kind of man is this? Even the winds and waves obey Him.” Only God is capable of such a great feat!!!!
I heard a sermon based on this portion of scripture many years ago and I never forgot it. It basically said that when Jesus is in your boat and you find yourself in the midst of a storm there are three things to remember:
1. The boat will not sink
2. The storm will not last
3. You will reach the other side
Is Jesus in your boat today? Or are you going to wait for the next storm to cry out to Him? Think about inviting Him into your life or reacquainting yourself with Him today! It is so much better in the storms of life to know He is nearby and only a whisper away because He is only one who can bring calm and peace to whatever storm you may be facing! Things on this earth have never been stormier and it is only going to get darker and as we can see God will use storms to bring us closer to Him and to be dependent on Him and to trust Him and not in our own strength which vanishes pretty rapidly when a storm hits!
Psalm 107:39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled by oppression, calamity and sorrow; 40 He who pours contempt on nobles made them wander in a trackless waste. 41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks. 42 The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths. 43 Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord.
Under His wing,