While driving down to my in service on Tuesday I listened to a sermon by Dr. David Jeremiah. It was excellent. I will try to highlight some of the sermon, but if you can, follow this link and go listen to it for yourself. It continued on the second day, so when I left Charity's house I got to listen to the second part. (Let me just say that there was a point in my life where I never thought that I would enjoy listening to a sermon. I always wondered how anyone could listen to "that stuff". How grateful I am that I have grown since that time. There are still sermons that don't appeal to me or seem over the top, but some like this one have really blessed me).
The sermon was based on Mark 4:35-41, verses that most of us are probably familiar with. It was the story of Jesus calming the storm. I thought that I knew pretty much how the story went...Jesus and disciples get into boat, Jesus goes to sleep, storm crops up, disciples get scared and wake Jesus up, he calms the storm....end of story. How wrong I was. I never knew that there could be so much taught (or learned) from those 7 verses.
35That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
41They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
The rest of what I'm going to say is all paraphrased and maybe quoted from Dr. Jeremiah. If I have comments, I will make them a different color.
Our storms are like the storm the disciples went through. They teach us to trust Jesus. They also come up suddenly and without warning.
This story is the first of 4 miracles in Mark that show Jesus' power. The first story is his power over the elements. The second his power over demons. The third his power of disease. The fourth his power over death. We have a powerful God.
Four of the disciples in the boat that day were fisherman and grew up around that lifestyle and the sea. They had seen the sea at it's worst before. Why would today be any different? Why would they be scared today?
Jesus slept through the storm. The disciples woke him up and said basically, "don't you care about us?". He said, "Peace be still" and there was a great calm. There were two miracles that day, the miracle of calming the wind and the miracle of calming the waves. When there is a storm on the sea, even after the wind stops, the waves continue to be rough for quite awhile.
Jesus asked them "do you still have no faith?". They had been with him and seen him work miracles. After all they had seen him do and had heard of him doing, they still lacked faith that everything would be OK.
Fear should be neutralized. Faith is not something we can store up.
1. God's word assures us of a safe landing. If Jesus says we are going to the other side, we are. There are so many promises in the Bible and if God says something is going to happen or that he's going to protect us, or that he'll never let us down- it will, he will and he won't! Got that?
2. Believers are not protected from the storms of life- even when we are near him. He gave examples of pastors and friends of his, and himself included and some medical problems and diagnosis of terminal diseases that they have. The 12 disciples were following Jesus and they went through a storm. The storm struck the boat, but didn't sink the boat. Smooth sailing is not guaranteed. Our trials may attack us, but with Christ they won't sink us.
There is a lot to think about there. I do not do the sermon justice, but I know very few if any people will actually take the time to listen to it. It is so very worth it. I have had several people ask me why God allows people to go through hard times and trials in their lives. This will give you a lot of insight into that. I learned so much from this sermon. I hope that if/when I go through another storm in my life that I remember the things I learned.
I will post part two of my notes tomorrow.