God’s presence when facing storms of life
Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. Matthew 14:22-24
How do you respond when you are facing challenging circumstances? From our text, the disciples were commanded by Jesus to get into the boat and go to the other side of the lake. Since they obeyed God’s instructions, probably they were thinking that the travel will be easy. Yet, they encountered a powerful storm. Storms are unavoidable. It is easy to assume on the part of the disciples that since they were obedient to Christ that will exempt them from experiencing the storm. Just like the disciples, we might have a mistaken notion that God will shield us from experiencing storms in life. But the truth is, there are times that going through the storm is where God wants us to be. As long as we are here on this world, trials and difficulties will always be a part of our existence. “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows” (John 16:33). Times of testing are one of God’s ways to help us mature in our faith. “And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold” (Job 23:10). The disciples’ experience of the storm will help them be prepared for what is ahead of them as they continue to follow Christ. Jesus wanted them not to easily give up when they are dealing with difficult times. Instead, He wants them to realize that God allows trials in life so they can learn valuable lessons that will be helpful for them in the future. Trials are inevitable for they can become ways to train and equip you because God wants you to be strong, faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. Realize that nothing can happen to a child of God unless He allows it. “...when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” (James 1:2-3). Don’t give up when you are facing storms in life but understand that those moments can be used by God to assure you of His constant presence. “But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here” (Matthew 14:27).
Noel De Guzman www.my-wbc.com
Sermon upload on YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPF0CkA08NE