Why God Sends ‘Storms’
In light of what’s happening in Texas due to Hurricane Harvey, and as Florida braces for Hurricane Irma this week, (and still hurricanes Jose and Katia already in the vicinity of the Caribbean, we are probably asking God the same question right now: “Lord, why are you allowing these calamities to happen? Can’t you ‘still’ the storm the same way you did in the Bible?” So here’s why God sends ‘storms’ —
In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus instructed the disciples to go over to the other side of the lake in a boat. “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. But He was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. And they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
That’s really the question we’re asking, isn’t it? Lord, do You not care that people are dying?
Storms threaten to sink our faith. Challenges like prolonged illness, death of a loved one, a loss of purpose, a marriage break-up cause us to question God’s goodness. Does it seem to you that He is sleeping?
But the story doesn’t end with that question. The disciples woke Jesus up and He rebuked the wind and waves, “Quiet, be still.” And the wind died down and was completely still.
Jesus knew that the Father did not plan for him to die with His disciples by drowning. God’s plan was for Jesus to offer His life on a cross to bring salvation, redemption and freedom to the entire world.
Before the disciples even got on the boat, Jesus told them to “go to the other side”. It seems that was their only goal, the main reason for crossing the lake… But it was not the main thing.
That STORM may be REAL and TERRIFYING and the disciples feared for their lives, but the point Jesus wants to make is not about surviving the storm, but WHO IS IN THE BOAT WITH THEM! The STORM is not the place where we find the enemy; IT IS WHERE YOU MEET GOD. It is in adversity that we see the power of GOD in our lives. Surely, Jesus can calm a storm.
And there’s even more power to this story.
In Mark 5:1-20, when Jesus and the disciples reached the other side, a demon-possessed man met them. Jesus casted a legion of evil spirits out of the man and sent those spirits over to some pigs which ran off a cliff and drowned. Jesus demonstrated to the disciples that the real mission for crossing the lake was to set this man free, to bring him to salvation. This freed man would later testify about what Jesus had done for him. So the terrifying storm was just a learning experience for the disciples to practice their faith and be ready for the main thing: TO BRING SALVATION TO OTHERS whoever they may be.
No matter what storms you face, remember that JESUS IS WITH YOU. He is ready to bring us healing, deliverance, provision, favor, peace and understanding why we pass through dreadful challenges in life. Jesus said, “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
GOD is with us! Let us MAKE HIM KNOWN and LOVED as HE rides with us through our storms. Amen!
For God’s Kingdom,
Pastors Benjun and Malou Uybengkee
(Reposted with permission from Pastor Benjun Uybengkee’s sermon today at River of Life Church in Baltimore. For more of this message, follow ROLICF’s Facebook page).