Our Bible verse for today: “Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves – but Jesus kept sleeping. So the disciples came and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to die!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” Matthew 8:24-26 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The love of God brings us peace in the storms of life.”
As we think about “living a life of love”, we’re going to spend some time this month learning about what love is, where it comes from, and the different ways in which love is expressed. But our primary focus is going to be on the practical application of love, and the difference it should make in our lives. Right here at the beginning of the month, before we cover much of anything else, I want to give you a glimpse of where this is going, and the real difference the love of God can make in our lives when we understand it and trust in it.
In this scene from Matthew 8:24-26 we find Jesus and His disciples in a small boat out on the Sea of Galilee. Suddenly they’re engulfed by a massive storm and the boat is being swamped. The disciples are freaking out, but Jesus is sleeping peacefully, apparently undisturbed by the storm. The disciples wake Jesus up and frantically declare that they’re all going to die unless He performs some miracle to save them. But Jesus isn’t frantic at all. In fact, He’s amazed and disappointed that they are. After voicing a word of rebuke to them, He casually performs the miracle and calms the storm.
Of this scene author Ted Dekker astutely observed, “The great miracle in this story isn’t that Jesus calmed the storm; it’s that He was asleep in the boat and at complete peace in the middle of the storm.”
The circumstances for Jesus and for the disciples were exactly the same. They were all in the storm. The difference was how they viewed the storm. Jesus knew that His Father loved Him fully and unconditionally. He also knew that God is sovereign (all-powerful and in full control) of all situations, including the storms. Also, God is always with us, everywhere, including in the storms of life. Beyond that, Jesus knew that even if the storm resulted in His death, He would still be okay because He would then be in Heaven with the Father. So Jesus had no fear of this storm or of any other trial He would face. Instead He trusted in the goodness and mercy and supremacy of God. And, He was at peace.
The disciples however were focused on the storm, and they didn’t think their little boat could get them through it. Their faith had been in the boat not in God and when the boat started to sink, so did their faith.
The lesson for us is to understand what Jesus understood so that we can face our storms the way that He faced His. God loves us completely and unconditionally. His mercy is great and His intentions are good. He is present with us in all situations, and He has power over all storms. That includes the storms of nature and the storms of life. Jesus was secure in His understanding of the Father’s love for Him and therefore He knew that He really didn’t have anything to fear.
I encourage you to fully embrace the love of God for you. Trust in His goodness. And then, be at peace in the middle of your storms.