Surviving the Storm

 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side Mark 4:35  

And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship And there were also with him other little ships Mark 4:36  

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full   Mark 4:37  

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? Mark 4:38  

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm  Mark 4:39  

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?  Mark 4:40  

And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?  Mark 4:41  

The Purpose of Storms

            Storms arise and winds blow in the process of spiritual growth and ministry.  When you determine to obey God and be a blessing to His Kingdom, you will usually find yourself in the midst of a raging storm.     

           Storms challenge your faith and will often put you into confusion.    You may not be able to see God, hear from God or feel His presence.   You will be tempted to give in to confusion and ask foolish questions such as, “Why me?” or  “What did I do wrong?” or “Why is God punishing me?” 

            Actually, the storms in life are caused by the devil. They are devices to stop you from getting to the place God has prepared for you.   The devil is the prince of the power of the air and will pervert the forces of nature and anything else he can in order to kill, steal and destroy.  God does not cause storms.  If God causes storms then Jesus was guilty of rebuking Him in Mark chapter 4.   

           Storms in your life do not mean that God is not with you.  On the contrary, they are proof that He is with you and  He has a miracle coming your way.   Storms are not punishments or chas­tenings put on you by God… God will not create problems and difficulties in your life in order to “teach you something!”  

What Storms Are 

          Storms are circumstances and situations.   Storms are problems.  Storms are crises.  Storms are hindrances and delays and disappointments.  Storms are situations that plague us and harass us and attempt to destroy us.  Storms are tribulations and trials.  Storms are sicknesses and physical attacks. Storms are family conflicts and marriage troubles.  Storms are difficulties and impossibilities in the work place. Storms are addictions and habits that keep us in bondage.  Storms are demonic. Storms are satanic. 

          Storms will sink your ship if you do not know how to endure and overcome them.

Where Storms Come From and What Causes Them

Storms are caused by the devil.  This is a fact you must always remember.  They are demonic attacks.  They are designed to do what the devil wants to do.  He wants to kill you, to steal your goods, and to completely destroy you.  Storms are planned and birthed in hell.  They are individually designed for you personally by the devil and his demons.  They are intended to keep you as far away from God and God’s Purpose as possible.  

          The moment you decide to go to the “other side” (Mk 4:35) which is the place God has prepared for you , the devil will create a storm to stop you and sink your ship.  It goes sort of like this: you hear the voice of God… His call and His command… (this is point A) and you start out toward point B (the place where God wants you),  then on the way,  you run into a STORM.

Some of the most committed and dedicated New Testament personalities were at times caught in a storm. 

The disciples were in a small boat in the middle of the sea when they were caught in a storm.  Jesus came to them walking on the water.  (John 6)

The apostle Paul was on the way to Rome and the ship he was on was destroyed in a great storm.  (Acts 27)

Storms can cause:

Discouragement and despair. 

Storms can cause us to give up and go down with the ship.  They make us tired and weary.  They tempt us to blame God and get mad at Him.  They can destroy our peace and mess with our minds.  They can make us sick and frustrate us.  They usually put unbearable pressure on us.  Storms can strain our marriage and hurt our home. Storms can separate us from friends and destroy relationships.  Storms can keep us out of the Will of God. 

Here are some common errors believers make while they are in the midst of a storm:

          (1) Some will use their own efforts to “bail out the boat” and try to keep it afloat.  However, all human effort is futile and the arm of flesh al­ways fails.  Storms are supernatural and cannot be overcome by natural means.  All our natural reasonings and efforts are futile and useless in overcoming storms.

(2) Some will look at the storm and try to size it up and figure it out. They usually end up asking:  “How long?”  “How strong?”  “What’s wrong?”  You will never overcome a storm by studying it or analyzing it. 

          “I wonder how long this will last?”  “Look how much rain is falling and see how strong the wind is blowing….just look at the size of those waves.  My, my, my see how dark it is getting… this is the worst storm I have ever seen.  I don’t think I can survive this one!”  This kind of thinking and speaking will keep you in the storm and could sink your ship.

          (3) Some will concede to defeat immedi­ately.  Remember what the disciples said?  “Carest thou not that we perish?” (Mk 4:38)   Nobody said that every storm was AUTOMATICALLY FATAL.  The devil’s greatest lie to you is that every storm you encounter will sink your ship.  Storms do not have to sink us,  in fact, their energy can be harnessed by our faith and used to get us across to the other side.

          If you are in the midst of a storm, what are you going to do?  If you are on the way to where God really wants you, are you going to let the devil sink your boat? 

What you do in the midst of the storm reveals what manner of man (or woman) you really are (Mk 4: 41)

          How many of you right now are facing the violence of a STORM in your life?  What are you going to do?  How do you intend to handle the situa­tion?  Are you going down with the ship?  Or will you survive the Storm?

Notice our Text:

And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.  Mark 4:35  

          It was time to do something.God may be prompting you to move on to the “other side”.  Time to pack up and leave the place of “do nothing” and get to the place God has prepared for you.  In this case,it was time for the disciples to move.  It was late in the day.  Night was at hand.  

          The best way and shortest way and quickest way to get through a storm is directly through it.  Fearing it will not work.  Dreading it will not work.  Worrying about it won’t work.  Putting it off will not work.  Going around it won’t work.,  Your decision to move on and face the storm is the beginning of victory.     

          In every journey of life, Jesus wants us to go with Him.  Jesus said “Let us.” He did not say, “Let Me” or “You go by yourself.”  He said “Let US.”  He is ready today to take you WITH HIM to the place He has prepared for you.  Remember, He is in your boat and committed to go with you… no matter what you encounter on your way.

          Jesus knows that there is a miracle waiting “on the other side…”  (Remember the demon           possessed man who got free of the devil in Mark chapter 5?)  That’s what is going to happen to those who survive the storm and make it to the other side….  There is a miracle there waiting for them.  

And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.   Mark 4:36  

          Jesus wants us to be a part of your inner cir­cle.  Notice He sent the multitudes away.  He wants to be near you and with you.  He wants you to know that He is there for YOU.   He cares for YOU.  He loves YOU.  You are extremely important and special to Him.  You are not a statistic or a faceless number in the masses but a very unique individual who He has saved and redeemed and brought into His Family. 

          Jesus wants us to “Take Him” just like He is.  He was already in the boat.  He did not step out, or move out or change boats.  He wants us to take Him right where He is, not like we make Him.  Not like religion makes Him.  Not like the world makes Him. Not like unbelievers make Him.  But “Like He is…”(and He is Who and What the Bible says He is!)

          There are many other “ships” that can try to take you where you want to go.  But be sure you get in the ship Jesus is in.  There is the religious boat.  There is the denomination boat.  There is the performance boat… the good works boat.  There is the “feeling” boat.  The program and method boat.  There is the tradition boat.  There is the man-pleasing boat.  Many boats are out there, but Jesus is in only one of them.  And the one He is in is the right one.  Be sure you get in His boat. 

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.   Mark 4:37  

          Storms “arise…”  In other words, they start small and get bigger… much bigger.   They start as a gentle gust, but develop into a raging fury.  Gusts don’t hurt.  Breezes won’t matter. However, the fury can kill. The longer they last the stronger they get.  When they are left alone they grow.  They rage.  They rip and tear and destroy.  They cause terror and fear. They kill, steal and destroy. 

          The storm buffeted the ship… the very place where Jesus was.  He was in the ship with the disciples.  Where is Jesus now?  He is IN THE BELIEVER.  The fury of hell continually rages against every believer, but Jesus is right there and He will never leave you nor forsake you. It is your physical and mental man that is being shaken and buffeted.  You can “feel” it and “see” it and “sense” it.  However, Jesus in inside.    He is the Power that “worketh” in us.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,  Eph 3:20  

          The raging waves began to spill over into the ship.  When the outside gets on the inside, un­less a miracle happens, the ship will sink.  All natural reasoning and thinking is what is on the outside.  When the fury of carnal thinking, intellect  and believing that’s outside gets inside, unless God comes to our rescue, we will not survive.

          Notice, the ship got full (Mk 4:37).  Your ship may be full.  The outside may have gotten inside.  But remember, Jesus is in the ship with you and God is going to come to your rescue.    Renew your mind.  Start thinking right. .  Believe right.  Talk right.  And don’t panic.

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?   Mark 4:38  

          Jesus was not alarmed.  He refused to be affected by the storm the devil created.   Satan was no problem to Him.  Nothing Satan can do or could do was any danger to Him.  And nothing the devil does can harm you IF you think like Jesus, believe like Jesus and talk like Jesus. 

“Nothing shall by any means hurt you…”  Luke 10:19

          He was in the “hinder part” of the ship.  That is where the rudder is located.  He was at the place of choosing the direction of the ship and He was asleep and oblivious to the storm.  No worries.  No fears.  No problems.  No danger.  He was at rest.

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.   Hebr. 4:9  

          He was calm but His followers were in a frenzy.  They were hysterical.  They were filled with fear.  The disciples were convinced that they were going to die.  They even said so.  “Don’t you care?  We are in serious trouble.  We are going to die.”   (Mk 4:38)  We need to set a watch over out tongue when we are in the storm.  It’s much better to confess what you want than to talk about what you see. 

          To accuse Jesus of not caring is to call Him the opposite of Who He really is.  What you say is what you get.  What you believe is what will happen.  What you fear is what will come upon you.

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.    Job 3:25  

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.    Mark 4:39   

          Jesus got up and then He spoke up.  He spoke up because His faith was up.  His faith was up because He knew the Word. To rebuke means “to admonish or charge sharply.”  He rebuked the wind.  (This was the cause of the waves.  You need to speak to the CAUSE of your storm not the RESULT of it). He “said” to the sea.  “Said” means com­manded.  As you exercise your authority as a believer, you can command things to happen with the words of your mouth.    

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?    Mark 4:40  

          Jesus dealt with the imminent danger, and then He turned to His disciples.  “What’s wrong?” “What’s the matter?”  “Why are you so afraid?”  “Why have you decided to die?”  “What made you give up?”  “Don’t you know WHO is WITH YOU?”  That is exactly what He is saying today to those caught in a storm. 

          “Why are you so empty of faith?”  “Did the seriousness of the situation limit your ability to believe?”  Jesus wanted to know why they were afraid and why they had no faith.  What an in­dictment!  We have no right to complain about what we permit.

And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?    Mark 4:41  

          How amazing!  They were even afraid of their deliverance!    They were afraid of the wind.  They were afraid of the waves.  They were afraid of the sea.  Then they were even afraid of Jesus!   No won­der He rebuked them for  having no faith!

          Then they began talking to one another.  They did not talk to Jesus, they talked to one an­other.  When you talk to one another, you usually talk facts and not faith.  Most of the time facts are embellished and exaggerated and truth is either ignored or denied.    When you talk to Jesus, fear will decrease and faith will increase.

          Unless YOU KNOW what manner of Man Jesus is (possess a genuine revelation of His Person and Work) you will always find yourself in disturbances and storms and threatening situa­tions. 

          He commanded the wind and the sea.  Why should not the wind and sea obey Him?  He created them.  His Word brought the wind and the sea into being. Natural creation can hear.    Jesus spoke to things that did not have “ears” but the things He spoke to heard what He said.   The wind and the sea will always obey Him because they recognize His Voice.  They were created by that Voice.  When they hear His voice they say,  “It’s that Word again…”  That Word is The Word.  The Word  has power over all creation.  Because God has given us the Power to become the sons of God (John 1:12) we, too, can exercise the miracle-working power of the Word.  We can speak and declare that Word in faith.  And when we do, all creation will obey our voice as well.

          Storms can be threatening.  Storms can be frightening.  Storms can be fatal.  Storms can be destructive.  Storms can change things.  But, when dealt with just like Jesus dealt with this storm, they can be turned into blessings.

          Here are some suggestions for you when you find yourself in a storm:

Be Calm

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow  (38)

          We need to be like Jesus.  Jesus never suffered fromfear, panic, anxiety or nervous tension.  He was never stressed out.  He was calm, cool and collected.  In this case, He was asleep in the storm.     He was at rest and in rest.  He was totally covered by His confidence in God.

          At times of great stress and crisis, my children slept right through some of the greatest storms of my life. They were as­sured that I had everything under control and that I would be able see take care of them and protect them from any danger.     

          Your storm can give rise to reason and doubt as you look at it and give in to it.  When reason begins to function the next step ispanic and despair.  David said that God “prepared a table before him in the midst of his enemies…”  The Word says that we are to roll all our cares over on Him because He cares for us (1Pet 5:7).  If God is our Father, and He is, then He will take care of us and see us through.  Every time.   In every storm.  In every crisis. 

Speak the Word

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.   ( 39)

          The Word spoken in faith and prayed in faith always produces peace. In this storm, Jesus rebuked the wind and said to the sea… There is a time to pray and there is a time to arise and speak the Word.  Faith-filled words will make the natural submit to the spiritual. 

          If “no-faith” which is what the dis­ciples had (“how is it that ye have no faith…?”) yields to the destructive power of storms then faith (which is what Jesus had) makes the de­structive power of storms submit to the power of God.    

          You cannot speak the Wordif you do not know the Word.   And you cannot act on the Wordif you do not believe the Word.  In the beginning, words that were full of God’s faith released God’s power and brought cre­ation into existence.     God’s Word spoken and prayed in faith will move mountains and stop storms.

Don’t be Afraid

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful?  (40)

          The one thing that will negate faith is fear.  As a matter of fact, fear is the opposite of faith.  Where fear is faith is not.  The disciples were consumed with fear because they were moved by what they saw.  They were “walking by sight” and not by faith.

          Jesus refused to listen to what they were saying about the storm.  Their words were confessions of their lack of faith.  As they talked about the wind and the waves; about sinking and dying, Jesus spoke words that were confessions of His faith.  And His Words had more authority and more power than the wind and waves of the storm. 

          Jesus knew Who He was and what He could do.  When we know who we are and what we can do, it won’t be hard to speak to storms and talk to “situations.”

Exercise Your Authority   

What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?   (41)

          When we consider just “what manner of Man” Jesus is, we will be reminded of what manner of man we are.  

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.  1Jo 4:17 

          Jesus said that you and I would do evengreater works than He did because He was going to the Father  (John 14:12).  When He returned to the Father, the Holy Spirit was released into the earth, and the Church on earth was given power to function in God’s place. If we can believe, He tells us that all things are possible to us.  (Mark 9:23)

          God has given believers the ability, power and authority to do what He says they can do.  “I can’t” is a cop out and denies everything God says His children can do.  No matter what your situation may be, you can overcome it because God says you can!  It has absolutely nothing to do with how difficult or impossible it may be or how violent and relentless your storm is.

          Do you realize you are actually a misfit on earth?   When you are born again you are supernaturally made to live and function by heaven’s laws and principles.  You have God power, God life and God authority.   You can survive any and every storm.  You can conquer your storm.  And you will be enabled and empowered to get to the place God wants you to be.  

          You can rejoice and be glad be­cause the winds of your storm will be captured and contained by God and be used to  drive you to the other side!  Right to the place He has prepared for you and where He wants you to be.  

I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me…   Phil 4:13

          You can walk through the fire and walk on the water… defy devils and cast out demons… witness with power and preach with effective­ness… possess the wisdom of God and have the mind of Christ.  You can be whole and healed and delivered.  You can live your life filled with all the fullness of God!

You can survive your storm because God says you can!

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