- Sermon Notes
JESUS CALMS THE STORM
October 4, 2020 (PM)
When we read about the various miracles in the Bible, don’t we consider all of them awesome?
But if you were to think about the ones you are most fa-miliar with, how would you vote for the most famous ones?
Perhaps turning water into wine?
Or what about the feeding of 5000?
One of mine is the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
But perhaps the most famous miracle of Jesus is based on how many people are familiar with it or how often used in everyday speech?
In the early part of chapter 14, we read that Jesus had just been informed about the death of John the Baptist. Hav-ing heard that tragic news, He wanted to withdraw from there to a lonely place with his disciples.
They got into a boat and crossed over the Sea of Galilee, but when they arrived at the other side, a large crowd of people had gathered, wanting and needing to receive from Him.
Apparently, they had seen their boat crossing the sea and ran around the north end of the sea to find him. Jesus saw they were like sheep without a shepherd so he ministered, taught them, and healed them.
Later in the day the disciples came to him telling him that He should send people away so they could buy food. But instead He answered, “They do not need to go away, you give them something to eat.”
What great lessons for us in that story. The disciples only could see what they lacked, but Jesus then took five loaves and two fish offered by a little boy and fed the crowd of 5,000 plus women and children.
I. Storms Are Part of Everyday Life
Jesus meets his 12 disciples floundering in a boat on the sea of Galilee and comes to them walking on the water. What difference does that make to us today?
He has just fed the 5000 on the N side of Galilee in Caper-naum – had the disciples get into the boat to go to the oth-er side. Then afterwards, He departs to pray in the even-ing.
Perhaps another way to reflect on what Jesus told them was that He compelled them to get into the boat. We know from the story the disciples had already tried to suggest He send the people away. I suspect this is one of those times he pressed them.
John 6:26, Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which en-dures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
I’m convinced this story demonstrates to the disciples that He was truly the Son of God, but also to demonstrate that He calms storms. We need these lessons for our lives, par-ticularly today like no other time.
A. We are sharpened by storms
So the scene has been set, the disciples had been sent out in a boat to face a storm. The boat battered by waves and wind against it. Jesus came out to them walking on the sea.
Did he physically and actually walk on water?
Colossians 1:16; For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He created the world and every law of nature in the world – so no problem with me to believe He suspends those laws anytime He wants.
Disciples cried out in fear – Jesus says don’t be afraid it is I and He rescues them. A great story could end right here.
There can be little doubt that Jesus sent them into the storm. He knew what they would encounter, and how He would answer. He promises us storms to!
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribula-tion, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
B. Refuge only in God’s will
Peter – Lord if it is really you….command me to come to you…he did it and Peter climbed out of the boat and did just that. Lord said come…
Someone might say, “It’s difficult being in the will of God if it means we may be in a storm.” But you know what’s more difficult than being in the will of God? It’s being out of the will of God.
v30 – The wind blew them and Peter became afraid and began to sink. Get the picture? Peter, like a toddler with his arms out to reach Jesus – until he took his eyes off Je-sus, looked at the circumstances around him – he sank the Bible says.
v31 – Immediately Jesus took hold of him – “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
v32 – When Jesus climbed in the boat the wind stopped. They worshipped. Truly you are the son of God.
That’s the first time the disciples made such a declaration. They were learning something about who Christ was and that He was stronger than any storm.
II. Lessons Learned From Storms
The question for you to ask is; What difference does this story mean in my life? When tomorrow morning comes and I get up and go about my business, what lessons do these storms teach me?
There’s a story in the Old Testament that relates perfectly to what Peter did in our story and what many of us do in the midst of challenging circumstance – perhaps those in-cluding conflict with others.
It occurred in 1 Kings 18 – the top of Mt Carmel in Israel – you can visit it today – above the Jezreel Valley – the antic-ipated place of Armageddon.
Elijah the prophet vs King Ahab, who was married to Jezebel – an evil person – not jewish, not Hebrew – a politi-cal marriage – came with an agenda – to eradicate God and Elijah, her enemy…
So after all God did for Elijah, he became afraid, took his eyes off God and looked at Jezebel.
Just like Peter walking on the water.
An absolute meltdown spiritually. After all that God has done for us, we sometimes find ourselves clutching the wrong answers – fleeing God for worldly solutions…
A. Be faithful to God
Have any of you been in these shoes? Like either one of these men; Peter or Elijah. Then take your eyes off the Lord for some reason?
Some of you may have done it today or you are online without your eyes on the Lord in some storm right now.
Or you may be resting in the Lord today and think-ing…I’m never…
B. Give fear an answer
We Need to know how to get back in the boat and spiritu-ally reorient ourselves and focus our eyes on God.
We need the process the Bible gives us to reorient ourselves on God again and give fear an answer.
In 1 Samuel 30 we are told David strengthened himself in the Lord – – we are to encourage ourselves in the Lord…some need it weekly, some daily, hourly…
You may be thinking, how do we do this?
I’m sinking – how do I restore my spiritual focus.
“Covid has stripped me of my normal life – how do I resist all the things tugging at me; attitudes, disunity with others and the list grows…”
C. Faith strengthened by faith
I have 4 steps for you – no amount of doubt or problems can run through this process and NOT bring you back in-to fellowship – but you have to do the work – God will help you because He’s waiting on us to do it every time.
During Covid you have heard it over and over again from Christians around the world – the church has left the building! So if you are waiting on the church building to build you up, you are already in the midst of many storms.
1.) Start resting in the sovereignty of God
Psalm 135:6; Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
Many Christians admit to His sovereign control in the gal-axy, but rob themselves of blessings – but it also extends to every minute detail of life.
Matthew 10:29; Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
Not one detail in the universe that God doesn’t have under his control. Jobs, relocations, finance, child problems, health & yes, Covid – the one thing the Bible is clear about – the sovereign God of the universe is in control of my life.
Psalm 46:10; “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
2.) Must remember God’s plan in our life is perfect
Jeremiah 1:5; “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Psalm 139:16; Your eyes have seen my unformed sub-stance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.
Jeremiah 29:11; For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
His plan started in eternity past. For our good.
If I start sinking – it helps to go back and know –
• every piece of my life was scripted out by the God of the Universe
• there’s a divine and eternal significance to my life
• it’s all on a divine schedule whether I understand it or not
Rest and then remember His plan is an eternal perfect plan. No accidents, no coincidences – only the perfect plan of God.
3.) Remind ourselves God’s promises are unbreakable
Romans 8:28, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Hebrews 13:5; Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ev-er forsake you,”
Hebrews 6:19; This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, a spiritual anchor for our soul.
Have these promises on your fingertips, so trials do not consume you. Reminding ourselves that His promises are unbreakable.
4.) Recall God’s power is greater than any trials we may face
Jeremiah 32:27; “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”
Peter walking on the sea – his problems started when he forgot that God’s power calms the storms.
People focused on God still face significant challenges but the difference is that you keep your eyes on the Lord in the midst of it and trust Him.
God’s power greater than any problem – greater than any boss – any pandemic – any politics. He can handle it – the answer is the same – God is bigger and His power greater.
No waves so high or problems so great that we can’t walk on them spiritually and emotionally.
People understand obstacles and problems still exist – but we need to remember God’s power is greater than any storm we face.
Is your focus today the storm we are living in or the Lord Himself?
Without the Lord, even the tiniest problems will consume you.
Hebrews 12:1; Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every en-cumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Keep your eyes on the Lord and you will not sink.
22 Immediately He [a]made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was already [b]a long distance from the land, [c]battered by the waves; for the wind was [d]contrary. 25 And in the [e]fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out [f]in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”