Lessons through life’s storms
Jesus is a part of the affairs of our troubles. Troubles are often produced by our own folly. After the miracle of the loaves the multitudes were eager to proclaim Jesus as their King when He therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, according to (John 6:15).
The disciples desire was to send the people away from the offset. They were moved by the ignorant prejudices of the times. The ignorance of his disciples has ever been a trouble to Christ (Hos.4:6). “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
This was the occasion of their having to embark and put to sea, and consequently of their having to encounter a great storm. We may expect to face affliction and perplexities when we are so foolish as to oppose the will of Christ. Satan has a great hand in our troubles. Evil spirits are concerned in the mischief of destructive storms.
The history of Job shows what power Satan has over the elements when he is permitted to use it. “…Behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness and smote the four corners of the house,” (Job 1:19).
The closing petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, “…And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil”.
Jesus constrained his disciples to enter the boat and put to sea,“…And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get in to a ship” (v.22). This was to relieve himself from their embarrassing sympathy with the prejudices of the multitude. Jesus said unto Peter “Get thee behind me Satan, thou art an offence unto me:” (Mt.16). It put them out of the way of working further mischief.
Jesus knew, when he constrained them to enter that boat that they would have to encounter the storm. The Lord permitted the evil spirits to employ their power upon the elements or, other wise, commissioned those elements to war.
This experience taught the disciples that those who will not submit to the ruling of Christ’s wisdom will have to sail without him in the voyage of life.
Jesus is present with his people in their troubles. Jesus is present in spirit when invisible to our eyes.
When Jesus dismissed the multitudes, “he went up into the mountain apart to pray.”He knew the temper in which his disciples had sailed, he foresaw the coming storm, he remembered them. “…And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on thee sea” (v.25).
If Jesus from the mountain-height could see and sympathize with the disciples in that tempest, so does he still, from the height of heaven, see and sympathize with his followers in every trial of their lives. Jesus is ever present with his power to help us. The disciples was a great distances from the shore, near the center of the storm, and their Jesus “…came unto them, walking upon the sea.” Jesus’ presence was as real as it was timely for the disciples.
Things impossible to men are possible with God. “He treadeth upon the waves of the sea.” (Job 9:8). In this miracle the law of gravitation is inverted, and the liquid waves are converted into a hardened surface. That credulity is the companion of unbelief.
There Jesus is walking upon the sea, yet is he not identified even by his own disciples. Who else could it be? Yet, Jesus appeared in many places and done miracles.
They mistook him for an illusion. “…And the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled saying, it is a spirit and they cried out for fear”. This fear suggests that they even mistook Jesus for a demon or evil spirit.
The disciples were terrified at a spirit which was designed for their salvation. By simple words their fears were removed, “It is I; be not afraid.” Natural resources are useless in spiritual conflicts. Ships may be safe, yet they may fail in the storms. Several of the disciple was experienced seamen according to (Mt. 6:48).
Here they were at their wits end. This was not just a primary conflict, it was a spiritual engagement, brought about for spiritual purposes. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,” (Eph. 6:12). Their salvation was of the Lord. He laid the storm. “And he arose, and rebuked the wind…and the wind ceased,” (Mk.4:39).
The Lord permits us to try our strength that we may discover our weakness. Peter in the ship was bold, timid on the angry sea. We are often confident in quest, but hesitant in practice.
Peter was born up on the water in proportion to his faith. The children of Israel were victorious as the hands of Moses were held up (Ex.17:11. Peter was a good swimmer according to Jh.21:7 but he trusts not to his swimming in this peril.
Those who rely on grace lose confidence in nature. Jesus is the sufficient confidence of his saints.