I just made it through a very stressful and challenging week. In the midst I found myself working through the book of Matthew. As I came to Matthew 8, where Jesus and the disciples are in a boat, in the middle of the storm. As read,I stopped and spent time looking over this account. Because, in the midst of my own storm, I knew the answer to the question of how to get through it, how to get to the other side without drowning, lie in these passages.
Here is a rundown of what happened on that day. Jesus is teaching and multitudes of people are pressing in. Seeing the crowd, Jesus gives a command that that He and the disciples would cross over to the other side of the lake. Once they got into the boat and away from shore, a furious storm came on them. The wind was howling and the waves were sweeping into the boat. The Amplified Bible indicates the violent storm was of hurricane proportions ( Mark 4:37 Amp ). However, Jesus is sleeping in the stern of the boat.
Seeing that they were in great danger, the disciples wake Jesus and tell Him they are perishing ( Matthew 8:25 ). Mark’s account even records the disciples saying, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” ( Mark 4:38 ). Luke records that the disciples called Him “Master” before announcing the boat was going down ( Luke 8:24 ). Jesus wakes up, rebukes the wind and tells the waves to be still. After calming the storm, He asks the disciples why they are afraid and how it was that they had no faith.
Instead of taking a cue from Jesus sleeping in the midst of the storm, the disciples focused on the storm and the dire situation. Interestingly, Jesus chides them for not having faith. The disciples just did what any of us would do when it seems we are going to drown, we say it like it is and we prepare for the worst However, if we are going to survive this life and all the trying situations we face, we have to look at how Jesus responded to these things and take our cues from Him not from the situation.
Three Things I learned from this Account
First, if Jesus says “you are going to the other side.” then get ready, you’re going!
If Jesus rebuked the disciples for panicking, waking Him and speaking of their destruction then this is the first thing we absolutely cannot do. This is hard. If the situation is bad, it is our nature to focus on it and want to talk about it. We want to focus on the wind and the waves because sometimes it is hard to see anything else. However, notice that Jesus was sleeping through the storm. It was like a hurricane but it did not trouble Him. He was in the midst of it with them, in the same situation and He did not respond to it like the disciples. Why? Because in the beginning He said they were going to the other side of the lake ( Matthew 8:18, Mark 4:35, Luke 8:22 ). He looked to the outcome and called it finished. In faith Jesus spoke about going to the other side and acted on that even though a storm was coming.
In the midst of our own storms, we need to focus on the finish and speak the outcome instead of the problem ( Mark 11:22-24 ). The disciples had a word from God that they were going to the other side. The storm didn’t change that. God calls things that are not as though they are ( Romans 4:17 ). We too must have this attitude and practice speaking faith especially in the midst of dire situations. If you have a word from God that you are going to the other side, then you are going! Act on that word, especially when the storm comes.
Secondly, you will not drown if the Jesus is in your boat!
Can you imagine the Savior of the World drowning? Can you imagine redemption being put on hold because the key player was no longer available? No, absolutely not! This perspective that Jesus is in the boat with you, and will not drown, is necessary when the waves are sweeping into the boat. Knowing that you are going to get to the other side and that the Savior is there is all you need to know. Then you can stop focusing on the situation and start applying Biblical principles.
Rejoice Always - Philippians 4:4-9
Consider it pure joy - James 1:2-8
Let the peace of God rule your heart - Colossians 3:15
Be clear minded and self-controlled so you can pray - I Peter 4:7
Cast all your cares on the Lord because He cares for you - I Peter 5:7
Now is the time to show the Lord your faith! Faith please God ( Hebrews 11:6 ). Now is the moment to shine! Victory is near, show God you trust Him, show Him your faith, show Him that the waves and the wind do not compare with His glory, power and might. Take His attitude that the situation does not dictate or affect the outcome!
Lastly, the question “Lord, don’t you care that we are perishing?” is never appropriate to ask when the Savior of the world is in your boat!
This must have been a devastating statement to Jesus. After all, His purpose of entering into humanity was to save it ( John 3:16-17 ). And the disciples woke Him, looked Him in the eyes and asked why He didn’t care they were going to drown. It’s not even that they woke Him to prepare or inform Him of what was going on, they woke Him to accuse Him of indifference, callousness, blatant disregard of their lives. What Jesus must have thought! After all He was in the boat with them.
I was thinking about this, because in the midst of my own storm, I kept asking to Lord to save me, when His word clearly tells me that I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me ( Romans 8:37 ). I asked Him where He was in the midst, when His word teaches me He will NEVER leave or forsake me ( Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5 ). I asked him, “Lord, don’t you care that I am perishing?” and He responded, “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” ( Zephaniah 3:17 ).
If I would have had Jesus’ perspective about getting to the other side instead of focusing on the water rushing into my boat, these questions would never have been asked. Instead I would have shown the Lord my faith, I would have known He was right there with me seeing me through the whole thing solely because He cares!
This lesson is not soon to be forgotten. I hope to always have the attitude and perspective that Jesus had when responding to problems, situations, people and life. I want to respond based on how Jesus responded. I want to show my faith and trust in Him in all things. I want to get to the other side unscathed by the wind and waves knowing He was with me the entire way!