“Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22, NKJV)
This morning I found a small folded piece of paper on the floor. How it got there I do not know—must have fallen out of something. I was surprised to see handwritten Bible study notes from long ago. I had not dated it or noted the teacher’s name. On the back of a bank deposit form (obviously found in my purse) I’d written “Storms of Life.” I’m sorry I cannot credit the one who taught this lesson, but I feel the words are still relevant today. Join me as I attempt to reconstruct the speaker’s thoughts from my jotted notes.
Storms come for various reasons:
- Some things happen just because we live on planet earth. It’s life.
- Some circumstances that come our way are directed by the enemy.
Whatever the reason for the storm we face, the Lord has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
Three Storms, Three Responses
Mark 4:35-41 tells of a time when Jesus was in a ship with the disciples, and a great storm of wind and waves threatened their lives. Jesus continued to sleep as the storm raged. The frightened disciples cried out, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (verse 38). He arose, rebuked the wind, and commanded the sea to be still. His response to the storm was immediate.
After one of His greatest miracles, feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes, Jesus instructed His disciples to get in the ship and head to the other side (Mark 6:45-51). He then sent the multitudes away and went alone into a mountain to pray (verse 46). As evening came, Jesus could see the disciples struggling to row against an adverse wind (verse 48). For many hours they toiled but to no avail. Then in the dark hours before dawn, between 3:00 and 6:00 AM, Jesus walked upon the sea to them and said, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” (verse 50). When He entered the ship, the wind ceased. He saw their struggle in the storm, but He delayed responding for many hours.
The apostle Paul endured many hardships during his ministry, including storms and shipwreck. Acts 27 records the story of his voyage to Rome. Against Paul’s warning, the shipmaster set sail instead of waiting for a safer time for the voyage. It wasn’t long before the ship was caught in a terrible storm, and eventually all hope was lost (verse 20). But the man of God was onboard and in touch with the Master of the seas. Paul assured them that although the ship would be lost, all lives would be saved. This storm was not just hours; it endured for many days. The situation was desperate, and fear overwhelmed them. Although God responded many days later, He responded at the right time for His plan.
God Controls the Storm
Storms will come into our lives. We may feel buffeted by strong winds and overwhelmed by the raging seas but be assured: God is in the storm with us. Whether He comes immediately, after hours of delay, or even weeks of delay, He knows the best time to step into our situation. He responds at just the right time.
“Peace, be still . . . and there was great calm.” (Mark 4:39)
Prayer: Although storms may come into my life, thank You, Lord, for the assurance that You walk with me in the storm. Help me to patiently wait for Your perfect timing as You bring peace and calm into my situation. When You bring me safely through, all glory belongs to You and You alone.