Gospel Insights

by Michael Smith

 

Chapter Twenty Six

THE STORMS OF LIFE

Please read Mark 4:35-41

 

In the evening after a long day's teaching, Jesus was sleeping in the boat.  When a storm brewed the Lord continued to sleep, unperturbed, in contrast to His disciples who, despite being seasoned fishermen, panicked and cried out to Him in fear to save them.  They had forgotten that Jesus had said, "Let us pass over unto the other side", which meant they were certain to get over safely.  The Lord calmed the storm and the boat indeed safely reached the shore.  No-one needed to be rescued and no-one drowned.

On alighting from the boat they were met by a man possessed with many devils [1], and just as Christ had displayed His authority over the natural elements, He now showed His authority over the supernatural by casting out the devils and setting the demoniac free.  As Creator and Deliverer the Lord Jesus dealt easily with both these situations.

The Lord promised to get all the disciples safely over to the other side of the sea, and it is the same for us in the storms of life.  Jesus knows every detail of any trial we undergo and is carrying us through it just as He was in the boat with the disciples, and He will deliver us out of our adversity just as He delivered the man held captive.  So we have no need to panic or fear or doubt Him.  It's true we can't always cope, but Jesus can and does if we let Him.  In the midst of a trial we may ask, "Does Jesus know what I'm going through?  Is He really with me in this?".  Yes, He is.  The Lord always knows every storm that is coming - nothing ever catches Him unawares!  But note that He allowed His disciples to feel the full force of the storm, waiting for them to cry out to Him, before he rose up to reveal both His love for them and His almighty power.  Our journey through this life must often go through the storm; Christianity isn't a 'joy-ride' and trying times are certain to come.  It is when vicious storms rage about us that our faith in the Lord and His ability to keep us is tested, but when we cry out to Him He will answer us and see us safely across the troubled waters.

When the great calm came, the disciples marvelled and the Name of Jesus was magnified, and so the gospel was spread abroad.  The Bible states over and over that Jesus has promised to be always with us and not forsake us whatever we might be going through, whether illness, sorrows, family problems, stressful situations, financial troubles - and in the time we all need Him most: in the valley of the shadow of death.  King David said he feared no evil even there [2].  The Scriptures say all believers must be pruned (or purged) that we may produce ever more good fruit [3] and refined (or tried by fire) that we may come forth as gold [4], and it is through the problems we face that we are pruned and refined, and, like the disciples, can go on to witness and testify to others of the greatness of God.  The Lord has promised to complete in us that which He has started [5] and He never breaks His Word, so if we remain faithful to Him no matter our trials and hardships [6], we will get through the storm of life safely and we will go to heaven to be with Him for ever.


The hymn and the poem below have blessed and encouraged many, many folk during troubled times over the years.
May they strengthen you in your trial too:
 

In Heavenly Love Abiding

In heavenly love abiding,
no change my heart shall fear
And safe is such confiding,
for nothing changes here:
The storm may roar without me,
my heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
and can I be dismayed?

Wherever He may guide me,
no want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
and nothing can I lack:
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh,
and I will walk with Him.

Green pastures are before me,
which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o'er me,
where the dark clouds have been:
My hope I cannot measure,
my path to life is free;
My Saviour has my treasure
and He will walk with me.

Anna L. Waring

Footprints

One night I dreamed I was walking
along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could only see one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,
"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you."

Mary Stevenson,
1984, from original 1936 text.

 

Footnotes

[1]  Mark 5:1-20.          [2]  Psalm 23:4;  1 Peter 5:7;  Hebrews 13:5b.          [3]  John 15:2.          [4]  1 Peter 1:6-7;  1 Peter 4:13.          [5]  Philippians 1:6.          [6]  Hebrews 10:23,35-39.

 

 

 

Chapter Twenty Five   |   Chapter Twenty Seven   |   Back to Contents

 

 

Michael Smith 2013