Perhaps you are going through a personal storm of some kind right now. If so, ask the Lord to open your eyes to a greater understanding of Him. Even if your circumstances don’t change, Jesus Christ is the Lord of peace, and He can comfort you.
Jesus Stills the Storm
“The men marveled, saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?’” (v. 27).
Having explained the cost of discipleship to two would-be followers, Jesus and His disciples set out to cross the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 8:23). Little do the disciples know that this journey will give their teacher an opportunity to show forth His identity in a way they have not yet seen.
Because of its geographical location, violent squalls frequently occur on the open water of the Sea of Galilee, especially in the period between May and October. Seasoned fishermen like Peter, Andrew, James, and John (4:18–22) are certainly familiar with such storms, and so their fear, evident in Matthew 8:24–27, shows that the turbulence in which they find themselves is unusually fierce. However, despite the storm’s ferocity, Jesus is able to sleep peacefully as the boat traverses the waves. This indicates His great trust in God and comfort in His faithful obedience because the Old Testament understands sound sleep to be a gift from God to His holy people (Lev. 26:6). Christ’s ability to sleep in the storm is more remarkable when we consider that the boat in which His company is traveling is the customary fishing boat of His day, just big enough to accommodate the small group of men and a large catch of fish. The sailors are completely exposed to the elements. Jesus is not worried like the others even though He feels the storm’s effects no less than they do.
Yet Jesus’ command of the storm tells us about much more than His great faith. In the biblical worldview, the sea and the storm are associated with chaos and destruction (Ps. 69:1–2). Only God can control the sea, and in fact, He sets its boundary and stills its fury (Job 38:8–11). That Jesus is able to silence the storm and still the waves indicates that He possesses an authority equal to the Creator’s (Matt. 8:26–27). The disciples marvel at this miracle because it is evidence that their beloved rabbi is more than just a teacher; He is in fact God Almighty. John Chrysostom writes that “[Jesus’] sleeping showed he was a man. His calming of the seas declared him God” (Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, 28.1).
When We Lose Heart
By: Susie Larson, author, crosswalk.com
“Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of me.” – Luke 7:22-23
When John the Baptist sat in prison, most likely knowing that his execution was imminent, he battled a dark season of discouragement and doubt. According to Jesus, John was one of the greatest men who ever lived, and yet his heart and soul were weary and in need assurance that Jesus was who He said He was. John sent word to Jesus’s disciples, asking if He indeed was the Messiah, or if they should keep looking for someone else. Jesus answered this way:
“Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of me.” Luke 7:22-23
When, like John, we are going through a painful season of waiting for God’s provision or deliverance, it’s common for us to be so focused on the angst in our heart and on the unmet desires in our lives that we forget that God has never failed us in the past. And that He has always come through at just the right time.
If you find yourself weary in the wait, step away from your current situation and recount again some of the ways that God has come through for you. Declare right now that, though you can’t see it, God is at work in your midst. He moves when you pray and He absolutely cherishes your faith. Believe it. Embrace it. Because it’s true.
And if you’re tempted to blame God for your current hardship, I encourage you to consider this a dead-end attitude, one that will derail your faith and perspective. Why blame the very One who can do something about your circumstances?
Nobody loves you like God. Nobody keeps promises like God does. And nobody has the wisdom to intervene at just the right time like God does, and God will. Jesus says that we’re blessed when we resist the impulse to blame Him or be offended by what He allows us to endure. As a matter of fact, we should look to Jesus as our example. He suffered torture, persecution, and rejection, yet Jesus never got offended with His Father. How’s that possible?
It’s possible when you believe that the heart of your Father is always good, and that anything He allows you to endure will serve you and glorify Him in the end. Trust your good God’s promises and His process. He knows what He’s doing with your life.
Luke 8 tells the story of the woman with an issue of blood. It’s popular for Sunday School lessons and in pulpits across America. We all know the story.
Luke 8:43 begins with Jesus being thronged by a crowd of people.
“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.” (KJV)
She was healed with just one touch of Jesus’ garment! This passage alone launched a thousand sermons and songs about God’s wonderful, merciful healing power. It still amazes us today how a simple act of humility and faith changed a woman’s life forever.
But, I’m not here to talk about the woman with an issue of blood. I want to talk about a man named Jairus.
Let’s back up to Luke 8:41.
“There came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought Him that He would come into his house: For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.”
Jairus was obviously a man on the edge. In spite of his lofty position, he fell at the feet of a carpenter’s Son in utter despair over his daughter. He finally had the Master’s attention and almost got Him back to his house. But then…
This woman came out of nowhere and caused a big scene. Jesus stopped to talk to her. They had a whole conversation right there. While Jairus waited on the Lord, a servant from his house found him and said,
“’Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master’” (Luke 8:49).
Here Jairus was in dire need of a miracle, and he was so close to getting that blessing. And, not only does someone sneak in and steal Jesus’ time, but his window of opportunity closed.
I bet you can identify with Jairus. We have all waited on God and have seen others step ahead of us in line. It can feel like our blessing completely passed us by while God was busy doing something else.
I know I have felt like Jairus before. Years ago, I petitioned God for a husband. I fasted and prayed with the utmost faith that I would find real love.
I did not, but my roommate did — and so did the roommate after her. I’ll never forget the empty feeling I had as I watched friend after friend meet their respective Prince Charmings, fall in love, move out and move on.
I don’t know what Jairus thought, but I had a tough time not questioning God. “Uh, Lord, I’m happy for all these girls, but this isn’t fair. I’ve been here the whole time. Have You forgotten about me?”
Lucky for us all, God knows our hearts. Even though Jesus stopped to bless another, He didn’t forget about Jairus.
Jesus heard what the servant had to say and told Jairus in Luke 8:50,
“’Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.”
I like to think that if this were occurring in our modern-day, Jesus would have said, “Don’t panic.”
That’s our first reaction after all. When we think that we have missed our chance, we freak out, go into mourning or sulk into bitterness. But that’s not always necessary.
Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. Hold on to your faith, and you’ll have what you ask for.”
Eventually, Jesus made His way to Jairus’ house. In the midst of the wailers and mourners, He said rather calmly, “
Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth… Maid, arise” (Luke 8:52, Luke 8:54b).
I love that. It is so easy to think that our dream is dead when it may only be sleeping. With one word from Christ, it can rise again.
I don’t know what you are facing today, but at times we all find ourselves in Jairus’ place. Whether you feel passed over or completely ignored, I encourage you today to not give up.
You’re never an afterthought to the Prince of Peace. He knows all, sees all, and is touched with the things that trouble you. He knows your suffering and how it hurts sometimes to wait. However, He is on His way to your house to take the remains of your dream and resurrect it.
Just have faith. “Fear not, believe only.”