Text: Mark 4:35-41
Title: Lessons from a Storm
Introduction: “The same day” refers to the day on which Jesus gave the “parables of the kingdom.” He had been teaching His disciples the Word and now He would give them a practical test to see how much they had really learned. After all, the hearing of God’s Word is intended to produce faith (Rom. 10:17); and faith must always be tested. It is not enough for us merely to learn a lesson or be able to repeat a teaching. We must also be able to practice that lesson by faith, and that is one reason why God permits trials to come to our lives.
The storm was a part of that day’s curriculum. It would help the disciples understand a lesson that they did not even know they needed to learn: Jesus can be trusted in the storms of life. Many people have the idea that storms come to their lives only when they have disobeyed God, but this is not always the case. Jonah ended up in a storm because of his disobedience, but the disciples got into a storm because of their obedience to the Lord.
Note: Sea of Galilee – No less than nine very populous cities stood on the very shores of the lake. The Sea of Galilee is of an oval long. It is 60 miles northeast of Jerusalem and 27 east of the Mediterranean Sea. Its more remarkable feature is its deep depression, being no less than 700 feet below the level of the ocean.
Note: Let’s carefully look into this lesson.
I. The Timing of the Storm
A. It was Unexpected – v37
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
Note – It did not take God by surprise.
B. It came during a busy season
C. It came during a time when they had a sense of security.
1. The Peaceful Seas.
2. The Saviour was with them.
Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
II. Their Testimony in the Storm
Quote – Your greatest sermon will be YOU in the valley – Dr. David Gibbs
A. Their Focus was Obstructed – v37
Note: Storms can fill you up
Note: Circumstances began to dictate their agenda
Quotes – Obstacles are those frightful things we see when we take our eyes off the goal.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Note: This is the most important focal point!
B. Their Fear was Overwhelming – v38
Note: The storm described here must have been especially fierce if it frightened experienced fishermen like the disciples.
Note: Fear can cause you to think irrationally.
Quote: How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource! We go to him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that the storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven. – George MacDonald
Quote – God often brings storms into our lives to change our perspective, to shift the focus from ourselves and our lives to Him.
He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
III. The Triumph Over the Storm
Note: How do you triumph over your storms?
A. The Promise of Christ – v35
Note: …They had His promise that they were going to the other side… His commandments are always His enablements and nothing can hinder the working out of His plans. He did not promise an easy trip, but He did promise a guaranteed arrival at their destination.
Note: He does not guarantee a smooth journey but a sure landing!
1 Thessalonians 5:24
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
B. The Presence of Christ – v38
Turn – Heb 13:5-6
Note: They could see that Jesus was perfectly at peace, even in the midst of the storm. This fact alone should have encouraged them.
C. The Peace of Christ – v39
Note: The Word of God brings peace
The winds that Satan blows can be overcome by the Word of God!
Turn – Psalm 107:25-29
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
D. The Principles of Christ
Note: Storms/trials are God’s Master’s Program to teach us His greatest truths!
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
1. Full of Fear because of no faith.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
2. Misplaced Fear – v41
Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
Note: They transferred their fear to the Lord.
Quote – We fear man, circumstances, for our safety so much because we fear God so little!
Note: Our greatest problems are within us, not around us. – Warren Wiersbe
Note: Jesus completed the lesson and then gave His disciples an unexpected examination! They had listened to the Word of God (Parables of Christ), and that Word should have increased their faith (Rom. 10:17).
Alas, they failed the test! It is not unusual for terrible storms to come suddenly on the Sea of Galilee, although this one may have been satanic in origin. The word “rebuked” in v. 39 is the same word Jesus used when dealing with the demons (1:25). Perhaps the enemy was trying to keep Jesus from arriving at Gadara, where He would deliver two demoniacs from Satan’s power. “With Christ in the vessel, you can smile at the storm”—if your faith is in Him and Him alone.
Conclusion: This was only one of many lessons Jesus would teach His disciples in the familiar surroundings of the Sea of Galilee, and each lesson would reveal some wonderful new truth about the Lord Jesus. They already knew that He had the authority to forgive sins, to cast out demons, and to heal diseases. Now they discovered that He even had authority over the wind and the sea. This meant that they had no reason ever again to be afraid, for their Lord was in constant control of every situation.