Where Does Jesus Need to Calm the Storm in Your Life?
By: Elizabeth L. Creecy
In Matthew 8:23-27, Matthew shows Jesus Christ’s power over the natural world. The fact Jesus could do such is a miracle! Let’s look at the verses:
Jesus Calms the Storm:
23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”
Jesus and His disciple were crossing to the other side of Galilee in a boat. Most likely, the boat was a fishing boat, as many of His disciples were fishermen. The Sea of Galilee is a unique body of water – stretching 13 miles long, 7 miles wide, and 150-feet deep. The shoreline is 680 feet below sea level.
It’s not unusual for large, intense storms to suddenly appear, creating waves that can get up to twenty feet tall. Seeing as the disciples were professional fishermen, it is important to note they did not intentionally set out to sea in the middle of a storm. In fact, they were traveling at night, which significantly lowered the risk of running into a storm.
When the disciples realized they were facing a furious storm with waves breaking into the boat, they knew their danger was real.
How would you feel being in a boat with waves towering over you?
What the disciples failed to remember was who they were following and who was in the boat!
As the disciples were panicking about the storm, Jesus was in the boat sleeping. To sleep through this storm implies how exhausted Jesus was from His earthly ministry duties as well as His human nature.
Of course, the disciples seeing Jesus sleeping most likely only created more panic within their souls. Filled with panic, fear, and uncertainty, they frantically ran to wake up Jesus shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Can you imagine how the exhausted Jesus must have felt as He was rudely and abruptly awoken?
Personally, I imagine Him being awoken like how a terrified young child may wake their mother, but on steroids. There’s no logic running through their minds, only fear!
Perhaps they were feeling hopeless, believing only Jesus could do something about the matter.
One can only suspect how frustrated Jesus was with His disciples’ growth. We know He was not in the best of moods when He awoke because the first thing Jesus does is rebukes His disciples by saying You of little faith.
The disciples were very familiar and aware of Jesus’ power and authority at this point. The reality is the disciples could have very well calmed that storm too. They had failed to take their knowledge and understanding of His power and apply it to the situation. Such thinking most likely prompted Jesus to ask, why are you so afraid?
The disciples wanted Jesus to fix the problem, and Jesus wanted His disciples to trust Him. How many times have you been in a similar situation?
One discipleship pointer we learn from these scriptures is that there is NO ROOM FOR FEAR if you want to be a true disciple. Of course, it takes time to grow, renew your mind, and mature in this area, but for you to do that, you have to take ownership and accountability of that fear if it’s showing up in your life.
The actions the disciples showcased were more a result of a lack of faith or disbelief. The Greek word for “afraid” (diloi) means “cowardly fear.”
Can you imagine the sting of Jesus calling you out like that? He was and is the truth, and that truth had to sting for His disciples, just like it does for us when He calls us out for our sin. Thankfully, He quickly forgives us when we acknowledge our misstep(s).
Jesus wanted them to see that they were acting like cowards when they needed to have acted with their faith in their teacher. They needed to see with their spiritual eyes, not their carnal minds. We see that even though the disciples had witnessed Jesus do mighty and godly acts, they still had not grasped that Jesus was God and had God’s power over all of creation.
Nonetheless, Jesus stepped up to the plate. Where you are weak, He is strong. Jesus stood in the stern of the rocking boat and rebuked the storm. And, “just like that,” the storm stopped! Proof that Jesus is never out of control! Immediately the disciples were amazed. They were still questioning and failing to grasp who the mighty Jesus was.
When Matthew recorded this event, Christian persecution was beginning. Many see this story as an analogy of the persecution and trials of the early church. However, we can take it one step further, too.
Storms are going to come in this life – both figuratively and literally. As believers, we must remember that our peace does not come from that storm being gone BUT from a relationship with Jesus. Believing and holding on to the truth that Jesus has ALL the power over ALL the storms can bring tremendous tranquility if you let it.
Our souls become troubled when we see a situation not going the way we hoped it would. Quickly we can become frustrated, discouraged, and even hopeless when it appears to our human minds that it will never end or go the way we prefer. In these times, it is easy to have a tantrum in front of God – crying out to Him, pleading with Him, and begging Him to know why He’s not doing what YOU think is best in the matter and when YOU think it’s the best time.
However, when you truly realize who God is and that He controls both the storms of nature and the storms of our troubled heart – your contentment, faith, trust, and hope in Him will prevail.
Jesus’ power calmed the storm immediately! He can also help you deal with the problems you face. Sometimes, all you need to do is ask for His help!
Other times, you will need to have patience, trusting that His timing and ways are the best. It can take time for your mind to be renewed. In those moments, when your soul is breaking because you feel you are never going to get your problem solved, remember these things:
If you will delight in Him honestly and sincerely, He gives you the desires of your heart (Ps. 37:4), and His ways are tremendously more satisfying than yours.
Remember, God doesn’t want your heart to be troubled (John 14:1). He wants you to trust Him instead. In those moments, say this, I refuse to let my heart be troubled. Instead, I cast all my cares on to Him (John 14:1;1 Peter 5:7).
Choose to be content and grateful where you are.
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT).
Next time you are facing a life storm, remember Jesus is still the master! He is in your boat with you! You are not alone. He may not stop the storm when you want Him to, but sooner or later, the storm will cease.
Here are a few key lessons:
Sometimes the only person who can do something about the matter is Jesus. Choose to trust Him. Keep praying. And don’t give up hope.
No matter how bad it appears to your human mind, God is in control.
Jesus has drastically more resources than you do. It’s not over until He says it’s over. He makes the impossible possible.
Those hopeless situations are the best situations to trust in God’s preserving power. Choose to grow from them.
You have the ultimate power, and it Is Jesus Christ. Trust Him. Stay Obedient and focused on Him! Believers get the final Victory!
Prayer: Father God, In moments of weakness, temptation, tremendous storms, and the sufferings or pains of life, do not let me lose sight of You or what is important. Father, I know it is easier to be devoured by the devil when I am exhausted, facing danger, and consumed by emotion. Teach me how to be strong. Please do what you must to grow my faith and help me to remember you are my everything. Would you please help me to remember You are in my boat during EVERY storm I must embrace? I do not want to be fooled or let my guard down to the enemy’s ways, but I know you are strong in my weakness. Father, help me to learn how to navigate every storm of life through Your Son. If You will not stop the storm, then use the storm to make me more like Christ. Your Word says I am to do greater works than He did (John 14:12). I want to honor and live that verse. Teach me how to operate in Jesus’ authority and use every storm to do that. In Jesus’ name, Amen.