Question – “When was the last time you encountered a ‘storm’ in your life?” I’m not talking about storms like rainstorms, windstorms, or even disastrous storms like hurricanes. I’m referring to storms of adversity, difficulty, hardship and heartache. When was the last time you encountered such a storm?
I believe that the Bible teaches that such “storms” are a regular part of life. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trial and tribulation” (John 16:33), which means that we can expect “storms” to be a part of our lives. In all probability, you are either currently in a “storm,” you’ve just come out of a “storm,” or you’re headed for a “storm.” That’s not an encouraging prospective, but it is reality according to Jesus.
Second Question – “How do we survive the ‘storms’ of life?” How do we make it through the storms of life? Four quick answers come to my mind as I read our primary devotional text for today. First, we are able to make it through the “storms” of life because of the presence of Jesus in our lives. Mark 4:35 records that Jesus was in the boat with the disciples, when they headed across the lake. Is Jesus in the boat with you? Are you in the boat with Him? Do you know Him? Are you traveling with Him? Do you sense the presence of the Lord in your life on a daily basis? If not, get in the boat with Jesus!
Secondly, Mark 4:39 tells us that we are able to make it through the storms of life because of the power of Jesus in our lives. The same Jesus who was able to calm the wind and still the waves is able to conquer the adverse “weather conditions” in our lives. He is able to calm the elements, deliver the oppressed, heal the sick, meet our needs, protect us from our enemies, change lives, etc. He is able to do “exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think according to His power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20), if we are willing to turn to Him and ask for His power to be displayed in our lives!
Thirdly, Mark 4:40 tells us that we are able to make it through the storms of life because of the peace of Jesus in our lives. Jesus was telling His disciples (and you and me) that we won’t be afraid, worried, dismayed, discouraged or defeated in the midst of the storms of life if we will maintain our faith in Him. His peace floods our hearts and minds even in the midst of the great storms of life when we keep our faith and focus on Him. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us that we are not to be anxious about anything, but we’re simply to pray to the Lord and trust the Lord – and when we do we will have the “peace that passes all understanding!”
Fourthly, Mark 4:35 and 5:1 reminds us that we are able to make it through the storms because of the promise and purpose of Jesus for our lives. Jesus told His disciples that they were going to the “other side.” He has given to us the very same promise (Philippians 1:6). Therefore, we don’t have to be overwhelmed, discouraged or defeated by the storms of life. We’re going to the “other side!”
As you pray today: 1) Pray that the Lord would give you discernment about the storm you are in, you’ve just come out of, or you’re headed for – that He would teach you the purpose of that storm in your life; 2) Pray for the Lord to give you victory over and through the storms of life; and 3) Pray that you would live daily in the presence, power, peace, promises and purposes of the Lord!