“Then He (Jesus) got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. Suddenly, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then He rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was perfectly calm.”
What do we do in those most fragile moments of the journey when suddenly our mind and/or body seem to be on the verge of being taken over by the storm swells of life? One moment there is a calm and tranquil peace within our spirit, then suddenly we’re overtaken with unsteady anxiety, weariness, and often a ferocious fear of spiraling downward into the depths of darkness. It’s a feeling of dreadfulness in which you truly believe you’re going to drown in what seem the unnerving realities of the moment. I’ve also attempted to describe these moments to someone as if you were on a “Free-fall” ride in an amusement park, waiting at the top for the safety latch to release, sending you plummeting down at break-neck speed, hoping that the breaks will stop you before you completely hit bottom.
The disciples found themselves in what appeared to them a horrifying circumstance in the middle of the sea with a mighty storm bearing down on them, waves overtaking them, and the fear of literally drowning. Such circumstances would produce anxiety and fear in the hearts of any of us. Yet, these were experienced fishermen, well aware of the possible dangers of the sea, who had probably been through many storms and high seas similar to what faced them on that very night. However, even with all their collective years of experience on the sea, they were scared to death even knowing all the while Jesus was with them, sleeping soundly in the front of the boat.
In their moments of great despair, the disciples cried out to Him pleading with Jesus to save them. Knowing this was a test of their faith, He awoke and asked, “Why are you afraid?”, then proceeded with a spoken word perfectly calming the sea. The disciples had lost sight of who was in the boat with them, much like them we so often forget the reality of Jesus as our constant companion in the raging storms of life. The spiritual realities of the disciples were violently shaken by the storm before them, causing their sense of fear to strengthen and the faith in the One who was with them to fade. We, much like the disciples, forget that God is with us especially in our weakest moments when we feel like we’re going to drown. Call out to Him, rest in Him, because He will be faithful to calm the storm.
Connecting Faith & Life:
Father, when my mind and body are weak, when the ‘storms of life’ are bearing down, please bring Your peace through the power of Your spirit and the truth of Your word. You are the One who is always in control and able to calm the storm within me. Remind me of Your constant presence in all circumstances of my life, along with the reality that I am never completely out of the reach of Your mighty hand of protection. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
“Once you were separated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled (to be made right in relationship to Himself) you by Christ’s physical body through death (Jesus’ death on the Cross) to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel..”
The essential promise of the Gospel message (The Good News) is that Christ’s death on the cross allowed us to be restored into a right relationship with God, our Creator and our Heavenly Father. Unable to meet God’s standard of perfection, which was tarnished by sin (anything in our lives that does not please God or agree with his word disqualifies us from a close relationship with him until He sent Jesus (John 3:16), because of his amazing love for us. We had once been separated from God through our sinful, evil actions whether committed knowingly or unknowingly, we were separating ourselves from Him.
But God, sent Jesus to die on the cross, paying for our sin, thus giving us freedom from accusation, and setting us free to live in a close relationship with him. Not only so, but now if we have received God’s free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), and have surrendered our life to Christ, God looks upon us as if we are completely clean, holy and blameless. For when He looks at us, He sees Jesus covering us with His grace poured freely over our lives daily, allowing us to “continue in faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.” Our hope is held firm in the truth of Jesus’ loving sacrifice for us and God’s promises to be with us always and to carry us through any season of life. Because we know He is faithful and understand that He has infinite knowledge of what is best for our lives, as well as what He desires to do in and through our life’s journey for our good and His ultimate glory.
Today, understand that you have been set free from any accusation of past, present, or future sin, if you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Jesus paid for them all on the cross as He was the ultimate sacrifice through His death, but moreover defeated death and the grave through His glorious resurrection. As you grow in His grace, understand that any false accusation in your life, whether from within or from sources without are not from God, but originate from our enemy to discourage and distract us from the hope by which we are “not moved” because of the power of the Gospel message in our lives. The faith we have in Christ allows us to live in freedom moment by moment, day by day in full assurance knowing that we are free indeed.
Connecting Faith & Life:
Father, thank You for the promise of The Gospel message in that we have been truly set free through Your Son Jesus’ death on the cross in final payment of our sins. Thank You that because You sent Him into the world to save us, we can now be in a right relationship with You, free from accusation, and filled daily with the hope of eternity in Heaven. May You continue to grow us through Your grace and the truths of Your word, allowing us to stand firm not being easily shaken in the storms and trials along this life’s journey. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
"Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.
Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let not your hands be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well."
Solomon, one of the wisest men ever known, brings us the Lord’s wisdom in the book of Ecclesiastes regarding making the most of our opportunities in life - despite obstacles, conditions, or our perception of personal limitations. There are times when we can potentially miss opportunities to “live life to the fullest” within the boundaries set out for us by the Lord, miss opportunities to serve the Lord, grow spiritually, or minister and care for others in their time of need. As Solomon begins, he cautions us about always waiting for the “right conditions” before we take action – “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”
He continues in his wisdom reminding us that we never know what God is doing, even through our seasons of suffering, trial, and hardship. “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in the mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” What a comfort to know that God knows all things, is in the midst of all things, and is working in all things, on our behalf, even when we cannot yet see the evidence. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposes.” This truth of God working in “all things” means, “all things,” even the things we cannot understand, the broken, shattered pieces of a situation we cannot put together, when we cannot see directly the work of His hands. Pastor Johnny Hunt comments, “When we can’t trace God’s hands, we can trust His heart.”
Solomon concludes this stanza with a call to action, “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” We are to be active in our faith, pursuing opportunities to grow in our relationship with Jesus, taking advantage of opportunities to serve the Lord and others, learning to trust Him fully to lead and guide us in all wisdom and truth, leaving the results up to Him. We are simply called to faithful obedience, sometimes out of duty regardless of our feelings and at other times we’re able to walk in complete obedience to God because we desire to please Him. God is ready and willing to use us for His purposes despite our weaknesses and limitations, as well as using our life experiences, “working in all things,” to make us most effective in drawing others to Him.
Connecting Faith & Life:
Father, thank You for this day You have made as an opportunity for me to both live for You and press into You through small steps of obedience. Lord, there are moments when taking those first intentional and most vital steps beginning at the first glimpse of dawn as my feet hit the floor, that I am in desperate need of Your strength within to press on. Remind me often throughout this day of your enduring presence with me and Your faithfulness to me hour by hour, moment by moment as I surrender to You. Help me sow seeds of faith with each step of obedience toward You, looking for opportunities to love, to care for, and to serve others pointing them to the true hope only You can provide. In Jesus’ name, Amen.