Storms reveal our need to trust God more. If Jesus said we are going over…We are going over! Nothing the devil can do will be able to stop us.
Associate Pastor Don Maddox preaches a message titled “Let Us Go Over To The Other Side”.
Pastor and I talk often about what the future church is going to look like. Will attendance return? Will people continue to be satisfied with an online experience? Whatever the new normal is, I want you to know that you are in our thoughts and our prayers.
We know God is in control…There is another side and we are going to get there!
Psalm 77:13-14 Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? 14. You are the God who performs miracles; You display Your power among the peoples.
What God is as great as our God? He is our creator! He is our Savior! He is our answer! He is our peace! He is our joy! He is our miracle worker! There is no god like our God.
Blind – see…..Lame – walk……Deaf – hear…..Dumb – speak impossible becomes possible….. That is what our God is able to do. What other god is like our God?
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John recorded over 30 miracles that Jesus performed. He healed bodies and cured diseases, cast out demons, raised people from the dead, spoke and nature followed his command.
That is not all the miracles He performed, that is just the ones recorded for us to draw strength from and to build our faith in God. There were many more that were not recorded.
John 21:25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
One of those miracles is the text of my message today. It is recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The miracle had quite an impact on all of them. I want to use two of those recordings today.
Mark 4:35-38 That day when evening came, He said to his disciples, “let us go over to the other side.” 36. Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, teacher, don’t you care if we drown?
A furious squall came up and the boat was nearly swamped. I believe Covid-19 has many feeling this way in their lives. This virus has swamped us physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. You feel like your ship has taken all it can stand.
Many thoughts have entered our minds. God do you care? Do you know what I’m going through? Are you sleeping while I’m fighting this storm all alone?
The answer lies in the first verse we read. (35) Jesus had already told his disciples…Let’s go over to the other side.” If Jesus said we are going over…We are going over! Nothing the devil can do will be able to stop us.
Matthew 8:26-27 He replied, you of little faith, why are you so afraid? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27. The men were amazed and asked, “what kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!”
Before God spoke to the storm, He spoke to the disciples. It’s important to put that in our memory bank. Before God speaks to your storm He first wants to speak to you.
The disciples, the ones who walked with Jesus, the ones whom Jesus had called to follow Him said to one another. I don’t think I know as much about you as I thought I knew. This storm has revealed a new area of victory that I never knew existed. Not only can you call me from the life that I used to live, but you can calm the storms in my life that seek to take me under.
There are several storms the disciples faced in these few verses.
It was a real storm….Wind, rain, lightning, and waves were all real. In Alabama, we know about storms, tornado’s, hurricanes, and local thunderstorms.
Pandemic is a storm that is real. People all over the world are facing this storm. God is telling us to have faith. Faith doesn’t mean to act like it doesn’t exist. I’m practicing social distancing, I’m wearing a mask, I’m washing my hands….But….I’m trusting God to get us to the other side.
We can deal with this physical storm with God’s help. We need to be careful that we don’t let this physical storm develop into something it’s not intended to be.
Storm of faith
Disciples said..We’re going to drown..Too often….We worry too much. We let fear take over our thought process. During our battle with this physical storm we are dealing with, we allow it to affect other areas of our lives. Faith in God’s ability to get us through is replaced with other emotions. We begin to lose our patience with other people. Fights over toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Statistics show that during this corona virus storm, divorce rates are increasing, child abuse is increasing, we are losing our tempers, patience wears out, crime levels are at an all time high, social unrest across our nation.
We need to stop and renew our desire to make it through this. We need to determine to go over to the other side and take everyone around us on this journey with us.
What if the miracle of God speaking to the winds and the waves wasn’t about the storm at all? What if it was about the storm going on inside the disciples? What if it was about assuring the disciples that Jesus was able to give victory over every area of their lives?
There is a spiritual battle within the heart of every person every day. What if God is saying to all of us today as we pray daily for a breakthrough in this battle with this pandemic, I want to do a work inside of you before I do a work on the storm you are facing?
I’m praying daily for a vaccine to be developed. I’m praying daily for those affected by the virus. I’m believing God is able to give us a breakthrough. What if God is stilling the storm inside of us before He calms the storm we are facing? What if God is equipping us to stand firm in an unsettled world and show the world that God is in control.
What if God is reassuring us that we are going to make it over to the other side?
Hebrews 6:18-19 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.
I can’t control the storms life sends my way. I’ve said too many times lately that we don’t get to choose our endings in life. We don’t get to choose what life throws our way, but we can choose to be anchored securely in Christ Jesus.
We anchor by our pursuit of God’s presence.
God is present in your storm, but you have to pursue his presence. God is listening for your call.
There is a rock solid place for you and I to anchor our feelings, our emotions, our thoughts, and our faith that will hold us steady during the storms life sends our way.
Psalm 91:1-4 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the almighty. 2. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. 3. Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from deadly pestilence. 4. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Peace is not the absence of storms in your life. Peace is having the presence of God in the midst of the storm.
Song says…Keep me safe until the storm passes by.
We anchor when we remember God’s promises.
We are going over to the other side….It’s our promise! Stop listening to all those naysayers and trust God!
You can’t let your storm speak louder than God’s word.
Stop telling God how big your storms are and start telling your storms how big your God is. Claim his promises for your life. His word is true.
Psalm 119:81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have my hope in your word.
I’m weary trying to keep going during this storm. I’m discouraged by others around me who only see the gloom and doom, but I’m determined to put my trust in the word of God. I don’t know how this is going to turn out but I know that I’m on the winning side.
We anchor when we realize everything that happens has a purpose.
If the disciples had understood what a valuable lesson the storm was going to teach them, they would have cooperated with it. If they had remembered the promise of God, they would have enjoyed the storm they were facing. Unfortunately, when we walk by faith we often don’t see the purpose till the storm is over.
That is the reason that God speaks to you and I before He speaks to our storms. He wants us to trust his purpose through what we are going through.
Romans 5:1-4 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2. Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4. Perseverance, character; and character, hope.
God uses the storms in your life to reveal Himself to you in ways you’ve never known Him before. He is there to sustain you and give you hope in times that seem hopeless to you.
Storms not only create character in your life, storms reveal the character you have developed.
When we understand that everything has a purpose, we understand how to persevere through our storms.
Storms reveal areas where we need to trust God to do things in our lives. Areas where our faith is not as strong as it needs to be. Areas where doubt has replaced our faith. Storms reveal our need to trust God more.
A few days ago I made a trip to the old house that I lived in as a child. All four boys slept in one bedroom. There were cracks in the floor where you could see the ground. Water would freeze in the window seal in the winter time. When I went by the other day, the house was deteriorating and part of the roof had fallen in.
I passed back through there a couple days ago and the new owner of the place had wiped the slate clean. He was preparing to build a new home where that old rundown building once stood.
That’s what God wants to do with you today. That’s what storms reveal in our lives, it shows us the areas where God wants us to trust Him. God wants us to know that He wants to remove all those ugly rundown areas of your life and replace them with a new exciting life that only He can give us.