TEXT: Matthew 8:23-27
23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
It is difficult to find peace and quiet these days. Many of us are familiar with the daily tempests of family life and work life. We are accustomed to the storms of conflict that arise over differences of opinion, personality, or simply who has the right of way in traffic or in a crowded grocery store aisle. Even if you live and work alone, you would be hard-pressed to escape the incessant buzz of email notifications, social media updates, text messages, and news alerts. Studies have shown that the constant intake of information in this information age has contributed to a rise in stress and anxiety. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who describes their mental state as “calm.”
In this story of Jesus, the disciples, and the sudden storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus not only rebukes and calms the sea, but He calms the mental state of His disciples who had grown agitated and fearful over the storm. They thought they were going to die. They roused Jesus from sleep telling Him, “We perish.” The “great calm” brought about on the sea also gave rise to a “great calm” in their hearts. It turned their focus from the Storm to their Savior. Matthew reports that “the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”
That shift in focus is what we need to have throughout the storms of life. We must not look on the storms that surround us, but on the Saviour who can command the storm to be still. The disciples’ focus should have been on Jesus all along. Dr. John MacArthur said, “The believer who is aware of God’s power and love has no reason to be afraid of anything. Because God both can and will take care of His children, there is no hardship or danger through which He cannot or will not take them. God’s power and love will see us through any storm, and that is the essence of what we need to know and consider when we are in trouble. Yet, every believer realizes from his own experience that knowing about God’s power and love and trusting in them do not always go together. Our weaknesses and frailties are so much a part of us that, even after we have witnessed God doing marvelous things, we still fall into doubt and fear. In fact, like Elijah after the great miracle on Mt. Carmel and the disciples after the great miracles in Capernaum, we sometimes are most afraid just after we have been overwhelmed with God’s greatness. We marvel at His greatness, but as soon as trouble comes we forget His greatness and see only the trouble.”
What is the solution? How can we get from being overwhelmed by the storm to focusing on the Savior even while we are in the midst of the storm. The solution lies in Jesus’ gentle rebuke of the disciples: “O ye of little faith?” The disciples eventually learned to ask, “Lord, increase our faith!” One father who came to Jesus in the midst of the storm of his son’s illness said, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” We must learn to remember the greatness of Jesus even in the midst of great calamity in our lives. We must remember that He gives eternal life to all those who trust Him — and what storm can be greater than death? Surely, He can and will calm our storms, strengthen us through tragedy, and one day help us make sense of the often bewildering devastation of life.
Hugh Stowell wrote:
From every stormy wind that blows,
From every swelling tide of woes,
There is a calm, a sure retreat:
‘Tis found beneath the mercy seat.
There is a place where Jesus sheds
The oil of gladness on our heads;
A place than all besides more sweet:
It is the blood-bought mercy seat.
There is a scene where spirits blend,
Where friend holds fellowship with friend;
Though sundered far, by faith they meet
Around one common mercy seat.
There, there, on eagles’ wings we soar,
And time and sense seem all no more;
And heav’n comes down, our souls to greet,
And glory crowns the mercy seat.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.