It seems like theres always something to worry about, and lately it seems the number of crises we face is growing. As a nation we face the prospect of an emerging flu pandemic, a world-wide war using terrorism rather than armies, earthquakes, hurricanes and even the apparent warming of our earths atmosphere. And then as individuals each of us has our own set of circumstances to deal with whether it be crime, disease, family crises, raising children, caring for the elderly, employment or finances. Even our Christianity brings with it its own set of challenges. As believers we have an awakened concern for the spiritual condition of others, we experience various types of persecution for our faith, including spiritual opposition and temptation, and we can even worry that were not becoming more Christ-like more quickly.
In the account of Jesus stilling the storm we find the disciples caught in a dangerous situation and responding in fear. When the storm was over Jesus made it clear He was deeply disappointed in the way they had handled the crisis. Clearly He did not want His disciples to be afraid. And since the potential for fear seems to be something we are going to deal with more and more, we need to examine this event to see if we can discover how Jesus wanted His disciples to respond. Because frankly, if we had been in the boat with them many of us would likely have reacted just the way they did.
Lets look more closely at the event of Jesus stilling the storm.
1) Jesus ordered them to cross the lake.
2) They were headed to the eastern side of the lake to deliver a man with a legion of demons.
3) A furious storm arose and might have killed them.
4) The disciples were fishermen and tried to handle the storm with their own skill.
- They knew the danger on that lake when they saw it; the danger was real (13 miles long; 7 miles wide; 680 ft. below sea level)
5) The disciples grew angry at Jesus for sleeping.
6) Jesus rebuked the wind and sea.
- Mark 1:25; Luke 4:38-41
- Ephesians 2:2 the prince of the power of the air
7) Jesus told His disciples their fear was evidence they lacked faith.
8) The disciples did not understand but grew fearful of Jesus power.
Why was Jesus frustrated with His disciples?
1) He wanted them to act on the principles He had been teaching them.
2) They bailed rather than prayed.
3) They didnt discern what was happening - the source of the wind.
4) They would have discovered the power of God if they had rebuked the storm themselves.
a) God didnt prevent the storm from arising.
b) God didnt calm the storm until someone with faith rebuked its spiritual source.
c) The problem wasnt that Jesus was asleep. By now Jesus had taught them enough that they should have discerned the situation and rebuked the storm in His name. Jesus was frustrated asking, How long will you remain spiritually passive.
How does this event apply to us?
Jesus models how He wants us to face trials. He wants us to:
1) Stop worrying.
2) Start praying.
3) Expect discernment on how to minister.
4) Use the authority God has given us.
- Mt 7:7 Ask and it will be given
- Mt 28:18 All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
- Mt 18:18 whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose
5. Bring peace to the storms around us.
Why is prayer necessary?
1) Were on a battlefield in the middle of a war.
2) Satan is the ruler of this world.
3) Gods kingdom must be invited and His faithfulness believed.
4) Fear is a symptom indicating we have not spent enough time in prayer.
5) If not corrected fear renders us powerless and invites defeat.
6) Prayer produces faith, discernment and guidance.
Unless we get these facts in our head, and consistently pray, we will be defeated in ministry.
Observations about prayer
1) Diligent, solitary prayer is very hard to do.
- The enemy opposes it (mental assault, interruptions).
- Learning to control your mind takes practice.
- Changing schedules damage our routine.
- Sabbaths, prayer retreats.
2) Gathered prayer is also opposed but mainly requires that we show up.
- We strengthen one another.
- We model for each other how to pray.
- There is increased authority in agreeing prayer.
- We are reminded to pray for each other.
1) Name a storm that our nation is facing.
2) Name a storm you personally are facing.
3) Has prayer helped you face these storms?
4) Read Philippians 4:6-7. Sum up this statement in your own words.