Executive pastor Dave Williams spoke on Mark 4:35-41. Dave shared on how storms are a part of life and how the Christian faith does not say our life will be storm free, but rather, it will be storm proof. Dave also shared that there is a confidence to be had knowing that God is in control.
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
- The first thing I notice here is the setting. It takes place at the sea of Galilee.
- This was a body of water that experienced storms all the time. It is surrounded by cliffs that trap the warm air coming off the Mediterranean Sea. Some have noted that when the storm come in it is like a sheet of clouds that race down the cliffs into the sea.
- You couldn’t really time your trip across the lake to avoid the storms because they were so frequent. So you just went. People would pray to their gods, offerup sacrifices hoping that would make their trip across the lake successful. Others would make sure that to do good by others before they go on a trip across the lake hoping that their good work would appease the gods.
- Sound familiar. Instead of accepting that storms are a part of living people try to make them go away.
- Point #1 Storms are a part of life.
- Guys you are going to go through stuff. Instead of wishing it would go away it would serve you better to understand how to go through it
- James, Jesus brother, shared to consider it all joy when you are beingtried. Peter, who was in the boat with Jesus, shared that to consider it not strange when you fall into various trials.
- Storms are a part of life.
- Notice verse 36: 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat,just as he was. And other boats were with him.
- I think one of Satan’s greatest tools is to convince people that you are alone. That no one can understand what you are going through. It simply isn’t the truth.
- In this story we see Christ right along side them in the boat. In Psalms 23 we see the Lord walking through valleys with David. In Psalms 139 David goes on to say “where can I fell from your presence?”
- You don’t have to worry whether or not if God will calm storms because the maker of them is in the boat with you.
- Point #2 People are watching you.
- Other boats were with him.
- It wasn’t just the disciples in a boat alone on the sea. It was their boat amongst other boats.
- People are watching you. They are watching how you handle the good times and they are watching how you handle adversity.
- This is one thing I really appreciated about Tim Tebow. He was a phenomenal college football player, Heisman trophy winner, and national champion. Yet the higher he rose on the pinnacle of victory the more he gave God the praise.
- He saw it as a platform to reflect Christ because he knew people were watching him.
- Yet, the NFL came and truly no one wanted him. Newscasters would make fun of him and call him washed up. Yet anytime those same Newscasters interviewed him he would respond with grace and again use it as a platform to share the Gospel.
- People are watching.
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
- Now this isn’t just any storm but one the was going to sink the boat.
- The idea that Jesus was asleep is amazing. Think about it. The boats in those days were open. We would have been exposed to the wind and the waves. The rocking of the boat, the screaming of the men, the howling of the wind. Nothing wakes him. He is at peace.
- I don’t think there is another verse in the Bible that so perfectly displays the humanity of Christ and the Deity of Christ the same time.
- Here is Jesus, exhausted after a day of ministry sleeping so sounding as not to wake but at the same time the same Jesus is about to calm the same waves.
- He had to of known that before he slept a storm was coming but he also would have known that it would not last and he would be the one to calm it. So he can rest.
- Guys, this is why you can rest too. Just like we spoke about last week. God has this.
- Point #3 God has this.
- Jesus was resting.
- Today a great man died. Billy Graham. He was an awesome evangelist that loved God and his people so well.
- The past few years he hadn’t been able to preach like he did and just a couple of years ago his wife passed away and the end of his own life was becoming increasingly clear that it was soon. At this moment he was Asked what he’d like people to say about him when he died, Graham said, “I want to hear one person say something nice about me and that’s the Lord, when I face him. I want him to say to me, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’”
- Here was a man that just rested in God. What people thought, what circumstances he found himself in just didn’t matter. He rested because God rested.38 And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
- Point #4 Satan’s other great tool is to try and convince you that God doesn’t care.
- How many times have I heard that God doesn’t care? How many times have I said it? We take his seemingly inaction or lack of a response for a lack of care for us.
- We forget that it says in 1 Peter 5 “to cast all your cares on him because he cares for us.”
- His silence doesn’t mean he isn’t listening. It means he is waiting for the perfect time to act.
- His lack of response doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. It means that his care for you is on display through the storm.
- Paul says in Phillipians 3 “that he has suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish so I might gain Christ.”
- Paul lost everything. The storm stripped him of earthly possessions. God didn’t stop it from happening and Paul was fine with it because he knew that the loss only made Christ—his true possession—more clear in his mind.
- God cares. And all that he does and allows will reflect it is we are searching for it.
- But what prohibits us from seeing it rightly?
- Let’s look at the next verse:39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
- I see a few things. The first being that just as God spoke the world into existence he used his words to calm storms.
- That is how powerful God’s words are. He doesn’t need a staff like Moses, a cloak like Elisha. He is God. He calmed the storm.
- Point #5 God’s words have power.
- So when God says, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 we can take him at his word.
- He says he loves you, forgave you, and died for you. Take him at his word. They are more powerful than any others.Fear and faith
40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
- But fear prevented them from seeing God that day.
- See they knew that God could do miracles but when their own lives were at stake the weakness of their faith was exposed.
- Is God big enough to save me? Is he big enough to love me?
- The author of Hebrews addresses it this way: “5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Heb 13:5-6)
- In this story this is what Jesus is getting at. He is telling his disciples that He has this. They are his, they can trust him.
- Tonight, he is saying the same thing. He has this, you can trust him.