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16.WHEN THE STORMS OF LIFE COME
Mark 6:45-52 (John 6:15-21)


Our Lord had just performed the biggest miracle He had ever performed – the feeding of the 5,000 with the loaves and fishes.

1. Matthew's Gospel tells us that after the miracle, the crowd wanted to make Him King.

2. The people thought, “If He's our king, we won't have to bake bread or catch fish again!”, but Jesus didn't want to be their king for those reasons.

3. So Jesus instructs His disciples to get into a ship...go to the other side...and He would meet them there.

4. The disciples were not ready for what happened next: The disciples started across the sea about sundown. It was only about eight miles across the sea. Normally, it would have taken about two hours to cross the sea...but a storm came up!

5. They had been toiling in rowing for seven or eight hours and were only about half way there...about 3 or 3 ½ miles out...fighting for their lives...thinking they could go down in the storm...when Jesus comes walking to them on the water.

What do you do when the storms of life come? And the storms do come in life!

• Someone has said: All of us are either IN a storm... just coming OUT of a storm...or headed FOR a storm.

• Not a storm on a sea...there are other kinds of storms:

1. Storms of Disease

2. Storms of Debt

3. Storms of Domestic problems

4. Storms of Death

Storms bother us a lot more than they do the Lord.

In Mark 4 there was another storm on the sea and the disciples were in that storm too – but Jesus was with them in the boat. He was asleep in the stern of the boat – asleep on a pillow! Only when the disciples woke Him and asked Him for help did the Lord get up and calm the sea.

Our relationship and our fellowship with the Lord determines our response to the storm and to the Lord.

A little girl walked to and from school daily. Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to the elementary school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning.

The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child. Following the roar of thunder, lightning, like a flaming sword, would cut through the sky.

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Full of concern, the mother quickly got into her car and drove along the route to her child's school. As she did so, she saw her little girl walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the girl would look at the streak of light and smile. When the mother's car drew up beside the child, she lowered the window and called to her, “What are you doing? Why do you keep stopping?” The child answered, “I am trying to look pretty. God keeps taking my picture.”

Three things I want you to see about the storms of life:

I. Meaning of Storms

Why do storms come in our life? Three possible reasons:

A. They can mean you are OUT of the will of God.

• Jonah: God said, “Arise, go to Nineveh...but Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord...But the Lord sent out a great wind...”(Jonah 1:2-4).

• God sent the storm – not to do Jonah bad – but to turn him around. It was an act of grace and mercy.

• When we get out of God's will, He often sends storms into our lives – not to do us harm, but to turn us around.

B. They can mean you are IN the will of God.

• Sounds like a contradiction...but not so.

• Paul at Philippi was beaten and put in prison...for being IN the will of God.

• We need to be careful when we try to interpret why folks are going through storms and struggles.

• Let me take you to a hill called Mt. Calvary...nails in hands and feet...crown of thorns on His head...His body limp...why? Because He was doing the will of His Father.

• These men were in the storm because Jesus “constrained” them to get in a ship and cross the sea. The trip was His idea!

C. They can mean you are God's chosen person to be an example of faithfulness to God!

Job: Satan said, “If you'll send some storms in his life, he wouldn't be faithful to you. Tear down the hedge and let me at him.” Job lost his cattle...his children...his wealth and health...and said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

I'm not going to deal with this, but let me just ask the question: “Is it possible to have faith without that faith being tested?” I don't think so.

Remember this: Those were God's men in the boat, on the lake, in the storm, doing what God wanted them to do. They were in the very center of God's will.

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1. Somehow we have gotten the idea that once we come to Jesus, every problem is over. It will be one bed of roses after another.

2. If we walk with God, we can expect storms. Child of God, I promise you this – if you decide to live for God, you will go to heaven in a battered boat. You will experience the same tears all men experience. And you will experience some added tears that some do not because you do love God.

3. If we are going to experience trials if we walk with God, then how are we different from those who do not walk with God?

a. In the midst of the winds and waves we can discern God's Purpose for us.

- Romans 8:28

- We can turn the question, “Why did this happen to me?” to “How is God going to use

this?”

b. In the midst of the storm is the Presence of God.

4. There are some lessons you can't learn about yourself and your Lord except in the storm.

5. A little boy watched the evening news and being frightened, said his prayers before going to bed. He said, “Dear God, please don't let anything happen to you, because, if it does, we have had it.”

I walked a mile with pleasure,

She chatted all the way,

But left me none the wiser

For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with sorrow,

And not a word she said.

But oh, the things I learned from sorrow

When sorrow walked with me.

Isn't that true? We are enlarged when we are in distress. Faith, like film, is developed best in the dark. I don't know why that is, but it is true. The plan of God for your spiritual growth and mine includes storms and trials.

God never makes a mistake when He allows storms to come into our lives.

He Maketh No Mistake

My Father's way may twist and turn,

My heart may throb and ache,

but in my soul I'm glad I know,

He maketh no mistake.

My cherished plans may go astray,

My hopes may fade away,

But still I'll trust the Lord to lead

For He doth know the way.

Tho' night may be dark and it may seem

That day will never break;

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I'll pin my faith, my all in Him,

He maketh no mistake.

There's so much I cannot see,

My eyesight's far too dim;

But come what may, I'll simply trust

And leave it all to Him.

For by and by the mist will lift

And plain it all He'll make.

Through all the way, tho' dark to me,

He made not one mistake.

A .M. Overton

God often puts us in the storm to discover our “Give-up” point.

1. For nine hours they had been rowing. They were about four miles out – which means they had rowed about six hours and had gotten almost nowhere.

2. It's a fact of life that sooner or later all of us want to quit. There's not a person among us who has never experienced the desire to quit in some endeavor or activity.

3. You've heard the old cliché. “When the going get tough, the tough get going.”

Sometimes when the going gets tough, some of us want to find the nearest exit. We want to quit. And yet, if we do what we are supposed to do in the midst of life's struggles and frustrations, we refuse to quit.

II. Ministry In the Storm

What does Jesus do when we are in the storm? Mark four things:

A. He Prays. Verse 46

1. Jesus went up to a mountaintop alone after sending His disciples out into the sea (John 6:15). Do you know what He was doing up there? He was praying (Matthew 14:23).

2. From that mountaintop, Jesus had a perfect vantage point. He saw the clouds as they began to roll and boil. He saw the sea as the waves began to rise. He saw the disciples rowing desperately. He saw the whole thing (Mark 6:48).

Jesus saw it all, and He was praying. The disciples may not have known that Jesus had His eye on them, but He did. They couldn't see Him, but He saw them. He never took His eye off them. And there on that mountain, Jesus was interceding for them. They were graced by His prayers.

3. Are you in the midst of a storm? If so, you can say, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” Jesus is watching over you, and He is praying for you.

B. He Saw Them. Verse 48

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• He watches over them.

• He knew where they were...He knows where you and I are!

C. He Came to Them. Verse 48

1. He comes walking on the very thing that was their problem.

2. Why was He walking on the water? It was not just theatrics, I can assure you.

3. He wanted to teach them and us...whatever is over our heads is already under His feet!

4. But notice: He didn't come until the “fourth watch”...why?

5. Did you ever notice how often God brings us to the edge but does not allow us to be taken over?

6. He didn't show Abraham the ram when he left home to take his three-day journey...nor after he built the alter and tied his son, Isaac, to it. The ram was only seen after Abraham raised his knife to kill his favorite son.

7. Just at the right moment, Jesus arrives.

8. We have all said, “God never puts more on us than we can stand.” That is not true. It is when we get to the point of all we can stand that we say, “God, I've done all I can do. It's in your hands.”

D. He speaks to us. Verse 50

1. “It is I; be not afraid” literally says, “Don't be afraid, I AM.”

2. At the burning bush God said to Moses, “My name is I AM.” Jesus is the “I AM” in the midst of the storm.

3. Tony Evans tells of the time he and his wife were on an Alaskan cruise. The captain told the passengers that they were headed for high winds. “Prepare for choppy seas.” Later, as the boat rocked, Tony's wife, Lois, was angry and sent a message to the captain, “Why did you take the ship into the storm? Could we not have waited?” The captain replied, “Relax, this ship was built with this storm in mind.”

4. Whatever storm comes our way...this ship is built with this storm in mind...Jesus will be there!

5. If Jesus doesn't deliver you out of the storm, He will deliver you through the storm.

III. Message of the Storm

1. There will never be a time or place where Jesus won't come to you...in good times, yes...but in the storms, too.

2. You cannot learn of His Ability without Adversity.

3. You will be made a better person because of the storm.

If He doesn't make it calm Around you, He will make it calm Within you.

“I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,

Very deeply stained within, Sinking to rise no more;

But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,

From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

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Love Lifted Me! Love Lifted Me! When nothing else could help,

Love Lifted Me!”

No, Never Alone

I've seen the lightning flashing, And heard the thunder roll,

I've felt sin's breakers dashing, Trying to conquer my soul;

I've heard the voice of Jesus, Telling me still to fight on,

He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.

The world's fierce winds are blowing, Temptations are sharp and keen;

I feel a peace in knowing My Savior stands between;

He stands to shield me from danger, When earthly friends are gone,

He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.

No, never alone...No, never alone,

He promised never to leave me,

Never to leave me alone;

No, never alone...No, never alone,

He promised never to leave me.

Never to leave me alone.