Articles/Illustrations of Faith, Quotes, poetry and devotions…
Smokey Barn News Sunday September 28, 2014 Robertson County, Tenn.
“The Sunday Post” is a column comprised of articles of Faith, poetry and devotions…
Through The Storms Of Life
Without warning the winds had come, churning the Sea of Galilee into a violent tempest. Tossed about in their tiny skiff in the darkest hour of the night, the disciples feared for their very lives. (Mark 6:45-51)
Where was Jesus in their hour of greatest need? Why had He pushed them out to sea and abandoned them to the storm? Did Jesus really know? Did He really care?
How like the disciples we so often are. The storms of life sweep in. Fears begin to rise. We wonder if the Saviour knows. We wonder if He really cares. And because we are so like them, the Saviour’s care for His disciples through the storm becomes a beautiful picture of His care for His own today when we face life’s threatening storms.
First, we need to see that this is a story of faith, and the test of our faith, from beginning to end. Do you remember that Jesus made the disciples get into the boat? He literally compelled them to go. The disciples did not want to go over to the other side. They had to be persuaded. Jesus deliberately sent them out into the lake for a purpose they did not understand.
Can you see the disciples making their way across the Sea of Galilee, the waves battering their little boat? The winds buffeted them head-on, tossed them about, and drove them back. They were in trouble! What terror they felt.
But wait. Why were they in trouble? The answer is clear from the text: because they obeyed the Lord, because they pointed their boat against the winds at the Saviour’s own command. Remarkably, if they had disobeyed the Lord, they would have avoided the storm. Their obedience only brought the raging seas. Can this be so?
What is the deeper truth in this? Our Lord is saying, “Those of you who have decided to follow Me are going to be sailing your vessel into the hostile winds of the world. You are going to have trouble.” It is inevitable that we will have storms. All who give their lives to Christ will face the contrary winds that seek to shipwreck our faith.
But there is a marvelous teaching here. Moses would never have known rejection and terrible hardship if he had disobeyed the voice of God when He spoke from the burning bush. Daniel would never have faced the lions’ den if he had bowed his knee to a pagan god. Paul would never have been jailed and stoned if he had spurned God’s voice on the Damascus Road. But neither would these great men have known the winds of the Holy Spirit filling their sails or felt their “ship” propelled by God Himself.
The storm was raging. Immense waves dashed over the ship. The masts began to crack. Water sloshed into the boat’s dark hold. “Has Jesus forgotten us?” the disciples surely wondered.
No, the Saviour had not forgotten them. As Mark’s gospel says, Jesus “saw” them even though it was dark. He saw them and knew what they were facing.
As we so often face the storms of life and the hostile winds of the world, it sometimes seems as if the Saviour has forgotten us. But He has not. He sees, and He knows. As Psalm 139 tells us, Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea … your right hand will hold me fast.
Wherever we go, our Saviour is there, and He knows all the details. If you are going through dark storms, it is easy to think He has forgotten. But He sees, and He knows. If He knows even when the sparrow falls to the ground, how much more He knows the difficulties you and I are going through.
When did Jesus come to their help? Mark says, “about the fourth watch”-in other words, at about 3 A.M., the darkest hour of the night. The disciples were exhausted. They were miserable and tired, wondering if they were going to survive. Only then did the Saviour come-in the moment of their greatest need.
Have you ever experienced the same thing-the check that came in the mail at the last minute, the house that sold at the eleventh hour, the answer that came when all seemed lost?
I remember well experiencing that “fourth watch” timing years ago when I was in college. During my senior year we were expecting our first child. It was a difficult time in our lives because I was so busy. I was working full-time in a factory and taking a full load in school. All I was taking home was $73 a week for full-time work. It was two weeks before our child was due. I had calculated that by the time of Barbara’s delivery I would have $160. But the doctor wanted $250, and the hospital another $250. I knew I was going to be far short. So we prayed. It was the eleventh hour all right.
Well, our baby came. But before that, something happened. When Barbara went for her final examination, the doctor looked over the charts and noticed for the first time that I was studying for the ministry.
The doctor had no Christian background and was not interested in such things, but he said, “I am not going to charge you.” Great! Now we only owed $250 to the hospital!
When I went to the hospital to pick up our daughter, I was going to bring her home no matter what they said. Though I had only $163, I was determined to put that down and walk out with my baby. But do you know what happened? Our timing had been just right. We had only been charged for two days instead of three. The bill was $160. I had $3 left over to buy flowers for my wife! You see, Jesus came to us in the dark part of the night when we had been toiling and were afraid about what was going to happen. What a wonderful surprise!
When Christ comes to us in the midst of life’s storms, why are we so surprised? Here again how much we are like the disciples. “When they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.” Perhaps this is understandable. It was dark, the wind was howling, they were barely hanging on to their lives. Through the misty sea spray they saw a figure coming across the water. The disciples were ready to dive overboard.
But should they have been so surprised? Did they not remember the miracles? Did they not remember who Jesus was? Was it too much for the Creator of all things to walk upon the seas He had made? Did they not understand that Jesus would not abandon them in their distress?
Though we are so often like the disciples, it is amazing to remember Jesus’ response. He comes to us–despite our fear and doubts-with His voice above the storm: ”Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” And when we truly hear His voice, all is changed. Some, like Peter, even have the courage to take unthinkable steps of faith. The winds cease, fear is banished, and we, like the disciples, welcome the Saviour into our storm-tossed life.
Following Christ will certainly bring us into contrary winds. This is the lot for all of us. That is a promise. But be comforted- He knows all, He sees all. He under stands our troubled thoughts, and He loves us better than any other ever can. What a beautiful truth!
Are you facing life’s storms right now? Remember, He sees. Believe that, rest in it, take hold of it. Rejoice that the Saviour’s gracious help is on the way before you even see it.
Do you wonder if there is a way out? Remember that He comes to us in the hour of our deepest need. Look to Him in faith believing-“I will never leave you or forsake you …. My strength is made perfect in weakness …. My grace is sufficient
– R. Hughes
This week’s Bible Quiz – According to the Bible, what is the oldest profession in the world. It’s not what you might think…Hint it is in the first book…
The answer will be revealed in the next “Sunday post”
The answer to the last Bible Quiz – “In the beginning was the word” John 1:1…… Who is the word?
Answer:John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 – And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
There’s an old saying of Samuel Rutherford:
“Believe in God’s love and power more than you believe in your own feelings and experiences. Your Rock is Christ, and it is not the Rock that ebbs and flows, but your sea of feelings.” If we build our faith upon the certain Word and finished work of Christ, rather than upon our fickle feelings, we shall have the blessed assurance and sense of security we need. Then let the rains of sorrow, the floods of adversity, and the winds of doubt and difficulty come; they shall not be able to destroy the house of our salvation. Our spiritual life is eternally secure, founded upon the Rock of Christ’s promises (John 10:28-29) and the firm foundation of His immutable Word (Eph. 1:3-11).
“I believe hundreds of Christians have not got the assurance of salvation just because they are not willing to take God at His Word” —D. L. Moody.
You can’t quit Jesus cause it would be an….
Act of ingratitude
You ought to be ashamed of yourself, quitting on Jesus
You’ve had good times,
God has blessed you,
God has brought you from a mighty long ways,
God has heard your prayers, God has delivered you from the hand of the enemy.
Even as a child and only the judgment will tell how many times Gods arm protected you from the hurt and the harm.
What you have God gave you, What you know God taught you, And where you are God brought you
It’s an act of ingratitude….Get up and get back to your post cause you are grateful
Think about the good times…So, you’ve had it rough for a while but they that suffer for Him shall reign with Him
You tell Him “I’m grateful Jesus and I’m goin go on and keep goin on for you.
Rise up and serve the Lord, get back to your post because you’re grateful
When you accepted Jesus Christ, You set out to see him face to face to go where wicked is gone, suffering is gone…..