Mark 4:35 – 41
Praise in the storm
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?”
1. Notice this is Jesus’ idea: [v 35] “Let us go across to the other side.”
a. Where do the storms come from?
1.) “God’s will”
2.) “Fallen world”
b. Sometimes we wonder if God cares: [v 38] “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
c. Fear leads to doubt. [v 40] “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
1.) Doubt leads to desperation.
2.) Desperation leads to choice.
[Ill] Story by black preacher….
There was a knock at the heart’s door. Answering the door, I found an ugly individual. So I asked, “Who are you and what do you want?” He answered, “My name is worry, and I’m here to babysit your thoughts.” So I invited him in.
A while later there was another knock at my heart’s door. Answering the door, I found an uglier individual. So I asked, “Who are you and what do you want?” He answered, “My dame is depression. You are overworking Worry, and I’m here to relieve him.” So I invited him in.
Still later there was another knock at my heart’s door. Answering the door, I found a grotesque individual. So I asked, “Who are you and what do you want?” He answered, “My name is oppression, and I’m here to relieve depression.”
2. Notice there is a reason: [v 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?”
a. It is necessary.
1.) Storms are unavoidable opportunities.
2.) Even Jesus had his “crisis.”
Mark 1:12, “The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.”
b. There is something to learn.
1.) They didn’t get it so they went through it again!
2.) Mark 6:45 – 52
45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. 47 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night[g] he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
c. There is something to get past.
Exodus 6:9, “Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.”
a. Exhaustion, discouragement, anguish of spirit…
b. SLAVERY (“comfort”)
d. There is a BIGGER battle ahead.
Mark 5:1 – 8, “They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when Jesus[b] had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”
a. UNDERSTAND, God is concerned for our spiritual well-being NOT comfort or happiness.
b. God is constantly shaping us to more like Jesus.
c. The testing of our faith means dependence on God and full surrender.
James 1:2 – 4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Spurgeon: “Trials teach us what we are, they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of.”
3. Notice God NEVER withholds the storm.
a. BECAUSE it’s a compliment to:
1.) Your ability to withstand the storm.
2.) His ability to create something AWESOME out of it.
b. TWO responses:
1.) Wrong… give up, complain, self-pity, bitter, run from God.
2.) Godly… Joseph.
[Ill] Joseph: love, status, and comfort. One day he was betrayed, sold into slavery. Another day he was lied about, jailed.
For Joseph dreams became a pile of ashes and faithfulness became a crown.
3.) Godly… Job.
Job 23:10, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”
4.) Godly… Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.” [CEB]
4. Notice that God’s “go” is also His promise.
a. The storm is an opportunity to internalize faith.
1.) Mental and verbal agreement?
2.) Challenge to apply (trust, depend)
Mark 9:23 – 24: “And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
b. The problem is we can’t see beyond the storm.
(Ill.) Prayer “bouncing off the ceiling” is good because God is in the room with you.
Romans 5:3 – 5, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Psalm 31:7, “I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul.”