Scripture: Luke 8:22-25
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. 23 As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.
24 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. 25 Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”
The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
You have heard me say a thousand times that life is a series of storms. You are either in one, coming out of one, in between one or headed into one. Some storms of our own making but some come on us without warning and we have no explanation.
I. STORMS HAPPEN: THEY HAPPEN TO EVERYONE.
In concluding the sermon on the mount, Jesus said that both foolish and wise face storms… [Matthew 7:24-27] “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
Storms come to everyone, to the good as well as the evil. Job was a good man who feared God and hated evil. He was literally and figuratively hit by a horrific storm.
We should not worry about storms–We cannot prevent storms: they happen.
Jonah made his storm but the Disciples were not in disobedience, they had done exactly what Jesus told them to do. Jonah created his own storm by his rebellion but these guys have not rebelled. They are simply doing what Jesus told them to do and bam, the storm hits.
II. STORMS CAN ARISE SUDDENLY WITHOUT WARNING
This particular storm came out of nowhere and hit suddenly. If you have been to Israel, you probably know that the sea of Galilee is 600 feet below sea level and it reminds me of a stadium or arena. It is feed from the north by the Jordon river. On the east bank of the river there are clefts hundreds of feet high. The Jordan begins at the foot of Mount Hermon with the water from the snow melt on Hermon’s peaks. It is a very small river. Matter of fact, it no larger than Flint Creek. The river bed cut through the hills of Galilee on the west side has the high clefts on the east side making the river bed is a type of conduit. When the cold air from the north meets the warmer water and air from the South, you have turbulence. The lake is not that big but these storms can blow in so quickly that boats do not have time to get to land.
The thing about a storm is they can come when you least expect them. This is why we need to walk humbly, low to the ground. When I look back at the major storms in my life, they came out of nowhere. I didn’t have a clue. Paul said, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” [I Cor. 10:12] Sometimes when you think things are going great, bam! The storm hits.
III. STORMS TEST OUR FAITH AND CHARACTER
Jesus used this storm as a teaching point. His disciples were lacking in faith and understanding. They knew that Jesus could do incredible things that they couldn’t understand but they had no idea that He controlled the weather.
When the storms come and we are being tested: the test is not for the teacher’s benefit. Jesus knew before the storm that the disciples had little faith.
Storms are a part, a big part of our sanctification. We learn more about ourselves and God during the storms.
IV. STORMS TEACH US TO DEPEND ON CHRIST ALONE
I don’t know what the disciples did initially but I am willing to bet that it was not to wake up Jesus. Jesus is probably exhausted from the day and needs rest desperately. The boat was filling with water so I imagine they tried bailing the water out but their effort was hopeless. I can see them calling on Peter, “Go wake Jesus up, tell Him we are about to drown.” Peter probably said, “I’m not waking Him up. I have already heard His “O ye of little faith sermon,” if you want Him awakened, you do it yourself. Finally, they went together.
Over time, we all learn, as did the disciples, that Jesus is in the STORM with us, don’t be shy about calling on Him. We learn as the Joseph Scriven wrote years ago…
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
IV. STORMS BRING US TOGETHER
Storms have a way of making us see our need for others. The Disciples were not arguing about who was greatest here, they came to gather and petitions Christ.
V. STORMS REVEAL THE POWER OF CHRIST
The disciples were terrified [phobeō] and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
The disciples were awestruck, they were overwhelmed by wonder. What this means is: they had a worship service right there in the boat.
I think about this all the time: what is missing in today’s worship? It’s not music. They didn’t have any music on this night unless you count the thunder. It isn’t the preaching. Jesus didn’t preach. We have good music and preaching; what we are missing today is the awestruck wonder.
A lot of people try to create the wonder and awe by artificial means [lights, sound effects, talent] but this kind of wonder and awe is not man made. Only the glorious presence and power of Christ can produce this kind of wonder and awe.