Morning Devo: Jesus Calms the Storm {Mark 4:35-41}

by - 3:30 AM

Recently, I led devotional time for my Masters New Testament theology class, so it was fitting for me to focus on a passage I didn't previously understand but now have a new view of. 

Jesus Calms the Storm
Mark 4:35-41(Amplified)
35 On that [same] day, when evening had come, He said to them, Let us go over to the other side [of the Sea of Galilee]. 36 So leaving the crowd, they took Him with them, just as He was, in the boat. And other boats were with Him. 37 And a fierce windstorm began to blow, and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already being swamped. 38 But Jesus was in the stern, asleep [with His head] on the [sailor’s leather] cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are about to die?” 39 And He got up and [sternly] rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still!” And the wind died down [as if it had grown weary] and there was [at once] a great calm [a perfect peacefulness]. 40 Jesus said to them, Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith and confidence [in Me]? 41 They were filled with great fear, and said to each other, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

Q: What is your current storm?
What is that circumstance that keeps overwhelming you? That situation that feels like it keeps flooding your boat or potentially drowning you? This can be something big, or small. It could be something you've had to face today.. over the past week or months, or even something you've been facing for years. What is your storm?

Q: Who is in your boat?
Who are the people you surround yourself with? Name 3-5 of the people you spend the most time with. Are you all travelling in the same direction (do they support you in your walk with Christ?) or are they arguing with you about how to steer the boat? (do they bring you down, are a bad influence on you, or lead you into a more negative outlook on life?).

Q: Is Jesus in your boat?
Are you spending time with the one who knows the waters? He knows the way, he owns the boat, he has the map. Are you asking him for guidance? Are you asking him to teach you how to control the boat in rough waters?
You can have all the right people in your boat - but if Jesus isn't in your boat, you won't be able to face the storms.

Q: How are you reacting to your storm?
*re-read Mark 4:38-40*
When the Disciples woke Jesus up, Jesus responded "Do you still have no faith?" At first this was jarring to me... doesn't He understand they are about to drown? But then I realized it wasn't because they woke Jesus up... it was how. They said "Do you not care?!"...

Our initial reaction to our storm might to blame God and assume he doesn't care about us but we need to remember that Jesus is in our boat. He is in the storm with us and we can approach him. We can ask Jesus for help through prayer. Jesus may calm the storm for us, or he may just help us ride the waves better until the storm passes. 
A calm sea never made a skilled sailor - we will have trouble in this world. Once this storm passes, we will face another one. It is better to learn how to sail through the storms so you are stronger and more skilled when you face the next one.

Q: Are you accessing Jesus' peace?
Are you demanding Jesus to end your struggle or are you asking him to help you navigate through it with a good heart attitude? In the midst of the storm, Jesus was modeling a position of rest. He was modeling peace! Jesus was in the midst of the storms right with the disciples but he was responding in a different way.
Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] - John 14:27
We have access to this same peace Jesus was experiencing in the midst of our own storms because of the Holy Spirit.

Q: Do you know the captain?
In this context, the disciples still didn't fully know who Jesus was. Jesus was slowly revealing himself to them, and when they saw him rebuke the wind and waves, they were filled with fear. Reverent fear of the Lord, seeing his power at work in our lives, gives us a glimpse at how holy, powerful, and mighty He is. Are you taking note of his presence in your day to day? Are you seeing how he calms the wind and waves in your life? Are you thanking him and glorifying Him for all that He has done and continues to do out of His great love for you?
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. - Proverbs 9:10

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