Your Sea - His Calm
We are living in some storm filled days, threatening, fear-filled, cloudy days when the sun of peace just does’t seem to shine on us like it did before. So, let’s get back to the Bible, to be encouraged with the Words that can certainly bring life back to our soul again. Probably one of the best known stories in the Bible is found in Mark 4:35-41, recording the miracle of “The Calming of the Sea.” When the spiritually interested believer meditates on the personal involvement of the Lord with his disciples, another title may come to mind, above all other captions: “The Calming of the Disciples.” We know the story, we have read the story, we love the story, and we can now rejoice in the life-giving message of the story. It’s all about YOUR SEA and HIS CALM. Yes, your sea, your life with all its interesting scenarios combined, do find us at times with the winds of adversity coming directly at us on an uncharted, unnavigable, stormy course. So, as the story develops, there is a great storm that arises (v. 37), and the water is getting into that boat, ready to sink with those on board. All the while Jesus was “in the hinder part of the asleep on a pillow” (v. 38). Then the disciples did “awake him, and say unto him, Master carest thou not that we perish?” Let’s bring that story home to each and every one of us. While living out our stormy ship story, our immediate response is that we may assume that the Lord maybe doesn’t care too much about the thunder claps in our lives. We may feel at times that he is asleep in the back side of our sinking ship, and that’s when the call from our sobering cry is sounded out from our discouraged heart: “Lord, I certainly could use your intervention in my life: RIGHT NOW!” When the winds are raging, and the water is cold and threatening, our immediate reaction would be to fear, but our fear need not be the final choice of emotion when we remember that JESUS IS IN THE BOAT with us. You see, if the boat sinks, then Jesus sinks, AND THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN - BIBLICALLY IMPOSSIBLE! Remember, he is the One who walks on the water (Matthew 14:26), yours included. Whatever dreadful water is over your head is always under HIS FEET. So, back to the story, after faith had been tried in the lives of his disciples, that faith championed their fear when they got their eyes off the wind and the waves and onto HIM. That spiritual awakening came to them as they looked to their Master, awakened. So, it is with your tested faith; it is then we discover that Jesus is awakened after all. That’s where you will find your awakened faith, given to you from the Christ awakened in you heart. Faith starts with looking away from the storm, and seeking the Savior. Think on this for a moment, could it be that the Lord just may be in the hinder part of your ship, you know, that place that is so comfortable for the casual Christian. When your stormy life directs your attention to find him there, relate to him there, but don’t keep him there, get faith filled there, and invite him to the helm of your ship, and say, “Lord, you are always welcomed there.” He knows how to navigate your ship in your sea, NOT weather permitting. Faith came from the ONE who stood in the boat and spoke those authoritative words that day: “He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (v. 39). His presence made all the difference; that boat became the classroom of FAITH VS FEAR that day in the Master’s class entitled: Discipleship Program 101, taught by Master Teacher, who was also the Master of the sea. So, with HIS presence, every saved sailor’s shout can be heard on every shore of safety: Praise the Lord, it’s not “Carest thou not that we perish” after all. He cares with an awakened concern for your ship, your sea, and your safety. So sail on MATEY, sail on and enjoy his safety; It’s all about his presence in your boat, at the helm - keep him there.
His calm over your sea comes only with HIS PRESENCE, and his presence comes only in accordance with his Word. Here then is the story recorded in the WORD that introduces us to the personal presence of God, knowing him ONE on one. “That I may know HIM” (Philippians 3:10). “There are two ways that you can know God, casually or intimately” (Adrian Rogers). Pastor Rogers goes on to explain that you can know all about God without KNOWING God. The Lord does use the storms of life to alert the Christian’s attention, to focus on him. The Psalmist tells us “Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now have I kept thy word” (119:67). His personal intervention in our lives, even through stormy situations, then are used for us to know not only WHAT he does, but WHO he is to us, for us, and then IN US. The Holy Spirit desires to reveal his WAY in our lives for “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:14). Sounds quite personal does’t it; the “ENTRANCE of thy words giveth light” (Psalm 119:130). He is “the Way” and through “the Truth” (John 14:6), the Lord shall show us and make us to know the way of LIFE, HIS. “Thus saith the LORD which maketh a way in the sea” (Isaiah 43:16); HIS WAY bringing his presence for our way. He is then coming to us in his presence, showing us WHO is TO US in our stormy lives. We then know not only that God is sovereign over the wind and the waves, but also revealing HIS way PERSONALLY over those winds and waves active in our heart. It’s good to know about him, but now use his testing in your life to know of his way in your heart, all through his living Word abiding within. You see Jesus had commissioned the disciples with his directive WORD for their sea venture that day, and that day became a real life adventure. “The same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side” (v. 35). The Lord has always promised to bless his word as we obey his word directed will, defined in Scripture. “When the Bible is opened, the Author is present” and when his word is fulfilled with an obedient heart, the blessing is on its way. The blessing in this story is all about the presence of the Lord, the WORD (John 1:1), the LIVING WORD WAS WITH HIS DISCIPLES. Notice the words “Let US pass over unto the other side.” He didn’t go alone, and neither did the disciples go alone, and we certainly also do not go it alone in our God appointed, Word directed ventures in life. We are all on a journey in life, at times tempestuous, and he tells us “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). It’s been said, “I would rather be in a storm with Jesus, than on a ship in a calm sea without him.” So true, and knowing that a stormy sea is not the end of the story when Jesus is in our boat of life, with HIM as Captain at the helm. The blessing of his presence that day brought the authoritative pronouncement of his Word. The greatest three words of this stormy ship story are: “Peace Be Still” (v. 39). When Jesus is present in our ship, in our storms, there will always be a pronouncement of “Peace Be Still” to the believer abiding in him (His fruit - John 15:1-5). He is our PEACE, he speaks peace, he brings peace, and we live in peace because he is our ‘Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). “Grace unto you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:2).
His calm over your sea comes with HIS PEACE, and his “peace be still” were the words that the waters had to obey; he created them. “Peace be still” was the command given to those submissive dangerous waves as well; they had to become tame by the ONE by whom “all things consist” (Colossians 1:17). Most of all, “peace be still” were the greatest three words resonating in the spiritual ears of those being discipled by their Master that day. He is the MASTER of the sea, and their sea of life. He is Master of our sea as well; he is the Master of every sea of every child of God. So dear disciple of our Lord, “peace be still” as your ship is at times tossed with the tempest in your day and of our time. Peace meaning “to be calm” and be still meaning “to be muzzled, so there is no bark, and there is no bite.” Peace given by HIM today is the same peace he spoke of in that ship of yesterday, and in the ship that he abides in today because of the enduring, powerful WORD for our day: the eternal Word of God. “Peace I leave with you, my peace give I unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). It’s all about the Peace Giver who is our peace, and that peace comes to his child in the NOW: “NOW the Lord HIMSELF give you peace ALWAYS by all means, the Lord be with you all” (2 Thessalonians 3:16). ALWAYS, words of peace from the ONE who is our peace, now heard by those finding themselves in a sea of fear, threatened with winds and waves beyond their control, but not out of reach of his powerful control. He raised his hand, looked on the boisterous sea, and spoke the words: “Peace be still.” He still speaks those words today, words that still the raging storms in our lives. His calm over your sea comes with his power, almighty power.
His calm over your sea comes with his power, not only the power over a body of water, but over the body, soul, and spirit of those trusting in him. “The very God of PEACE sanctify (to set apart unto God, His Spirit active in also using affliction) you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thessalonians 5:23). That preserving power of peace comes to you with the GREATNESS that only he can give. “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted …. Great shall be the peace of thy children” (Isaiah 54:11-13). Great peace coming from his great power over the sea; that his authoritative power, for the Bible tells us so. “He rebuked the sea also and … led them through the depths” (Psalm 106:9). That is a powerful exodus out of the bondage of fear, indeed. That great power is designed by God for his children who are facing fear - to EXIT fear: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of POWER, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). The disciples in that boat that day were alive with the power of God that the Lord infused in their hearts. Not so for those refusing the presence of God in their ship of life. “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isaiah 57:20). So, with God’s power in our lives, where we are in our boat, what is happening around our boat is not as important as what is happening IN our boat, empowered by WHO is in our boat, and who is making things happen IN US on our voyage. With Jesus and his power over us, under us, about us, with us, and in us, he takes care of all the specifics of our journey, and we are well on our way, moving ahead in our voyage. We are sailing to his port of call with joyful delight, and his power in life makes all the difference. Charles Spurgeon reminds us to “Delight yourself in the Almighty, for all the power of God is enlisted on the side of the believer.” So what’s the real blessing of this story? Well, let’s power up the ship of faith with his presence, peace and that power. There is a familiar song that God’s little people with a big heart sing in Sunday school: “With Christ in the vessel we can smile at the storm … as we go sailing on.” Oh, allow the MASTER SAILOR to write your ship’s story in your log book with HIS SIGNATURE PRESENCE, with HIS peace and HIS power “as you go sailing on.” Oh, may it be “Peace be still” in your heart. It’s been said of peace: “A paradise of inner tranquility seems to be the usual result. Indeed, how can it possibly fail to steady you, and appease the fret. No matter what one’s difficulty, PEACE is the keeping POWER coming to you” (Wm James). Oh, let’s not forget to add this to the quotation: “all from the presence of God.” So that’s it, there it is, written by the pen of God: “Peace be still.” Peace, that’s what this stormy ship story is all about, and your stormy sea story as well, and at times “sea sick” story. BTW, lets all name our ship HMS “HIS PEACE.” So, it is all about His presence, His peace, and His power that brings HIS CALM OVER YOUR SEA. So, in spite of the storm, SMILE and let’s take the voyage with the Master of the Sea, So Matey: “Anchors Aweigh!” (David W. Johnson, USN, Aircraft Carrier: USS Oriskany, CVA 34, West Pac, 7th Fleet, Fighter Squadron 194, Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam ‘70, ‘71). Yes, there were some stormy seas at times, in more ways than one, and then experienced the Prince of Peace daily. So, sail with the Savior in YOUR SEA WITH HIS CALM.