Wednesday, February 4, 2009

LESSONS ABOUT FAITH DURING TOUGH TIMES- Part # 2


Again, I want you to look at this passage Mark 4:35-43. Here Jesus is teaching His disciples and us some important lessons during tough times.


When you read this passage, Jesus had just given His disciples some important lessons and teachings about the Kingdom of God. To see if they had been paying attention, Jesus decided to give them a “pop quiz” or a practical test to see how much they had really learned. Paul tells us in Romans 10:17 that the hearing of God’s Word is intended to produce faith. You see it isn’t enough for we who are believers to just continually hear God’s Word. We must also be able to put God’s Word to practice in our lives through the exercising of our faith in the Lord.


What are some lessons we need to learn? Well I believe there are at least 3 in this passage. Today, let's look at the first of these 3 lessons.
FIRST,THE STORM ITSELF IS A LESSON ABOUT FAITH!


Storms are not at all unusual on the Sea of Galilee. While it is a beautiful and serene place, the Sea of Galilee is not very large at all. Additionally, it is surrounded by hills. The main valley coming down from the Northern end of the Sea geographically makes it prone to often times sudden and fierce storms. Fishermen could easily be caught in such a storm. Such was the case of the disciples and Jesus.


Here is the thing about storms: Nobody likes a storm. Additionally, no one likes a storm of life to come to them or their families either. Yet we, like the Sea of Galilee, are prone to sudden and fierce storms which blow into our lives without warning.


This storm being experienced by the disciples was really nothing more than a lesson about faith in the Lord. Look at the fear of the disciples in this passage of scripture. Remember, many of these men were seasoned, profession fishermen. They had weathered many storms on the sea. Therefore, this particular storm must have been extremely fierce to cause them to be so afraid.
Many in our nation, our city, and even in our church are facing a storm in their life today. It may be financial in nature. For some it is in their family or with a relationship. Some are facing a storm in their career. Some are facing emotional or physical storms. There are many kinds of storms people are facing. The storm you are facing might be totally different from another person, but it is just as real. Each storm genuinely reveals our faith in the Lord. Our words do not reveal our faith, but a storm does. When the storm blows in, what we really believe about God, His church, and other Christians becomes evident through our faith.


Why do the storms of life come? Well, for some of us, the storms of life come as a direct result of our own decisions, actions, reactions, or lack of action. Often times, is it not true that we are our own worst enemy? Mark Twain once said, “If I could kick in the rear end the person in my life who causes me the most trouble I would not be able to sit down for a month.”


The same is true for lots of us isn’t it? We do this to our lives physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. We even cause many of the financial storms in our life as well. We overspend, use credit cards, want instant gratification, try to impress others with our things, or we try to find meaning for life in possession. All the while we do these things, we steal from God His tithe. We find ourselves in a financial storm with all its related collateral damage and wonder, “How did I get here?”


So sometimes we cause our own storms. However, at other times we have no control over the storms. This was the case of the disciples. These disciples were in a boat with Jesus…they were close to Jesus…they were following and obeying His command to go to the other side of the Sea. They are in the center of the Lord’s will for their lives and still the storms of life came! This was a lesson about their faith. At that moment, how much they believed in Jesus was put to the test. Later we will learn some more lessons about faith during tough times.