A Great Storm

Video Talk

Matthew 8:23-27 ESV

“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?’”

So, my husband Rick and I live in an apartment building. And once a year we have to sign a new lease agreement. But last year and this year the office kept making errors that needed to be corrected on the lease, so we had to spend days and hours with them trying to get the errors fixed. Then, we had an agreed upon lease, and then someone in the office deleted it, thinking we didn’t want the lease. So, we had to do the lease over, and now we had a signed and agreed upon lease again.

That all took place a couple of months ago, and then this month arrived, which is the month that the new lease kicks in. And they did the same thing as they did last year, claiming we had no lease at all, and so they charged us, not just a higher rent amount, but an additional $300/month to go month by month, because they assumed we had no lease (not the exact numbers, but close enough to make the point). And the manager swore we had no lease on file although we could see it in their/our records.

Now, thank the Lord we had the presence of mind, due to experience, to download the lease and to make copies of it so that we could show that we did have a lease, but now they are claiming that they are not able presently to fix the incorrect charges, and we do not know how soon they will, and we fully expect there to be an issue next month, since this experience is nearly an exact parallel of what happened to us last year. But our concern is if we don’t pay the full amount they say we owe that it will go against our credit.

So, this is our present storm. And so what the Lord was reminding me of this afternoon is that these storms have to obey him and he is still completely sovereign over everything that goes on in our lives. And so, yes, there are things we need to do to help correct this situation, but I need to put this situation fully into the hands of the Lord and not let my faith get weak over this difficult situation we are now faced with, again.

And then, I read back over this passage of Scripture and I was reminded of times in my life when I thought God was not present in my circumstances. Even one time, a long time ago, I said to him, in total innocence, “But God, you do not understand!” I really thought he didn’t. I thought he had no control over my situations. I knew he was a loving God, and I cried many times to him in my pain and suffering, and I received his comfort, but I believed he was limited and that he had no power in some areas.

And this is because he didn’t rescue me from difficult situations in my life and so I assumed he could not, or he would have. Now all this was not conscious thinking and reasoning, but we end up acting on what we really believe, even if we think we believe something different. For in my conscious mind I believed God was in control, but in my emotional memory I didn’t agree with my conscious mind. And so I often responded to my circumstances based on my emotional memory and not on true faith.

But that was some time ago, and I have been walking more by faith in recent years. But still sometimes the storms of life can begin to work their way into our emotions, and if we are not careful, we can begin to let those circumstances upset us. And so we have to guard against that. For God is not asleep, and he is not looking the other way, and he knows exactly what is going on, and he is in control, even if we can’t see him working in our circumstances.

We also have to know that he is not always going to calm the storms raging about us, for he allows these storms in our lives to test our faith, and to mature us in him, and to teach us patience and endurance, and so that we can share in his holiness and in his righteousness. But he will calm the storms that are within our minds and hearts and emotions, if we will let him, and if we will trust him with our circumstances, and if we will yield to his sovereign will for our lives.

[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Jn 17:14; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13; Rev 6:9-11; Rev 7:9-17; Rev 11:1-3; Rev 12:17; Rev 13:1-18; Rev 14:1-13]

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Master, The Tempest is Raging!

Lyrics by Mary A. Baker, 1874
Music by Horatio R. Palmer, 1874

Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness,
No shelter or help is nigh;
Carest Thou not that we perish?
How canst Thou lie asleep,
When each moment so madly is threat’ning
A grave in the angry deep?

Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today;
The depths of my sad heart are troubled—
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o’er my sinking soul;
And I perish! I perish! dear Master—
Oh, hasten, and take control.

Master, the terror is over,
The elements sweetly rest;
Earth’s sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven’s within my breast;
Linger, O blessed Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more;
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor,
And rest on the blissful shore.

The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will,
Peace, be still!
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea,
Or demons or men, or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, peace, be still!

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