I was blessed to have listened to the sermon delivered by the President of the Ghana Baptist Convention, Rev. Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi earlier this year captioned, ‘Calming the Storm.’ Although I’ve heard several sermons based on Jesus calming the stormy sea, this message spoke to me in a different way.
Based on the Scripture passage from Mark 4: 35-41, one thing was made clear: Storms or challenges are inevitable in this life. They will certainly come. As believers, we are sometimes made to think that as long as we are walking according to God’s will, we are guaranteed an ‘easy pass’ through life. We expect doors to fly open even before we get in front of them and all challenges to be sorted out immediately. Sometimes, they happen but one would be living a fantasy if he expected life to be a bed of roses because he is a Christian.
When we face challenges, we sometimes wonder if we are in good standing with God. We assume that perhaps we have strayed like Jonah did and that’s why we are facing a particular challenge. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes, we face challenges even when we are living out God’s will for our lives. According to Mark 4: 35, it was Jesus Himself who told the disciples to ‘go to the other side’ on the boat. He was in the boat with them and yet a ferocious storm arose against them.
We may all face different storms in different points in our lives but one thing stands out: storms of life normally show up at the most inconvenient of moments. Just like the feeling you have when an appliance or shoe gets spoilt at the time your pockets are dry. But one thing we should always keep in mind during such hard times is that: the presence of storms in our life doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t love us or that we are being punished for some past sin. Challenges are part of life. They mold us to be better people and Jesus is revealed to us more clearly.
No one is exempted from being hit by storms of life. They hit those who are closest to God just like anyone else. We are sometimes tempted to think pastors and other church leaders do not experience our daily challenges. They do. We are all fallible humans, only saved by grace.
I’m sure as Christians, we all have testimonies. We have that story about a prayer being answered, a request granted by God and there’s no doubt that God did it. But someway somehow, we find ourselves fretting when we face another challenge. Why can’t we trust the Lord of yesterday’s storms to calm today’s storms when we know He remains the same yesterday, today and forever? His timing most often is different from ours but when God rises to the occasion, all He has to say is, ‘Peace, be still’ and the storm will be calmed.
The truth is, we only get to understand God better in hard times. How can we confidently call God a Provider or Healer when we haven’t experienced a situation where we had to rely on Him solely for our daily bread or recovery from illness? Instead of complaining about the discomfort of the challenge, let’s pray for grace to see a different side of Christ revealed to us. Every experience we have should teach us something new about Jesus.
Unfortunately, it is possible to know of God but not know Him personally. The challenges we face may scare us just like the disciples felt when the storm came upon them but after Jesus calmed it, they were terrified of Him. God is the creator of the universe, and so everything submits to Him. No problem can be bigger than God. Believe that and trust that God will intervene in your situation.
The conclusion of the matter is this: Jesus is with us in the storm even if we don’t feel Him near. He is ever present with us. He will calm every storm you face as long as you acknowledge Him as Lord over the storm. He reveals Himself to us more during these storms so be sure to gain a new perspective about God in every pain.
If you have been blessed by this message just as I have, kindly share with family and friends. It might be a timely word for someone out there. Thanks for reading.
© Josephine Amoako 2017