It's Time to Deal with Your Stuff

If you feel tired, overwhelmed, anxious and fearful, tempted by doubt and unbelief about God's promises and love for you, and sometimes feel like are not alone! These symptoms are widespread today in the lives of many of the people of God. If you haven't experienced them, rejoice, because you seem to be the exception.

One day, Jesus and the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee when they encountered a ferocious storm. Mark 4:35-41 You probably know the story and have heard messages about it, like...Jesus slept even while the Disciples were terrorized believing they were going to drown, Jesus rebuking the storm, Jesus rebuking the Disciples lack of faith, etc. But one truth we never hear about is this...

(v.36) Leaving the crowd, they *took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him.

These other small boats were caught in the storm also. They were following Jesus and were equally affected by the storm's violence. They weren't the boat in the spotlight of the story, but that didn't minimize what they were experiencing! When others are suffering for the sake of Christ, we who are following Him are affected too. They need our prayers and care like we would have for ourselves. We are all in this together! When Jesus rebuked the storm, it became calm for everyone, not just Jesus' boat. When one suffers we all suffer. When one is blessed we all are blessed. Other Christians aren't our enemy. Remember that. And sometimes the Lord requires everyone to learn the same lessons all at once.
Therefore, I wonder what was happening in the hearts and minds of those fellow sailors in the small boats? It would be reasonable to assume they had to deal with fear, terror, a lack of faith, and wondering why God didn't care about them, just as did the Disciples. Remember, the twelve in Jesus' boat plainly questioned His care for them. "Don't you care that we are all perishing?" (v.38)

This is a picture of what is happening in the lives of Christians today. A storm of opposition has descended on us all, and even if you aren't the focus of it right now, just wait, because you too are going to have to deal with your spiritual issues just like those who are. What spiritual issues? The issues of doubting God's promises, His love, and His goodness. Storms have a way of revealing those things. Deal with them when the waters are calm. It's much easier that way.

For example, we may not currently be under attack by ISIS for being Christians, but thousands of our brothers and sisters are around the world. Their issues are ours and we need to address them. We may be in the small boats and not the focus, but the storm is real nevertheless.

Notice what happened when Jesus rebuked the storm...

(v.39-41) And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"

One fear replaced another in the hearts of the disciples and it was a good thing. They were afraid of the storm until Jesus calmed it. Then they were "very much afraid!" Now they feared God greater than the storm. That's where we want to be...Fearing God with reverence, trust, and love, more than anything the enemy can send our way.


God is requiring every one of us to deal with "our stuff". Don't focus all of your attention on what you are going through right now. Rather, identify what the storm is revealing about any lack of faith and trust in God in you and deal with that. Then you will easily deal with the storm and be free of all the feelings of being overwhelmed, abandoned, and wanting to quit.

"HOW?" You Ask.

Get back in the Word. Remember what He has done for you, what He has spoken about you, and revealed to you. Then lay down and take a nap.

Thank you for helping us change lives
with the truth of the Word of God!
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