Life is complicated and not smooth-sailing all the time. Yet a majority of the trouble we get ourselves in could have been avoided, if we had responded to situations with discernment, given by the Holy Spirit. However, not every trouble is easy to foretell, and sometimes life will throw us curve-balls. Not every storm is within our control. How do we deal with storms like these?
Recently, Pastor Ramesh Kumar shared in Seremban Life Assembly, and among them were some principles on what to do when such unexpected storms hit. He shared these principles through the lens of Jesus’ calming of the storm (Mark 4:35-41).
- Remember that God has a plan for our live
In the passage, Jesus had a plan and that was to cross the Sea of Galilee to the other side. Halfway across, a furious storm came and the boat was almost swamped. Being in a boat that seemed to be in danger of sinking, the disciples began to panic.
Pastor Ramesh shared that despite the best intentions, things do not necessarily always go according to plan. Many distractions and setbacks will likely come along the way, sometimes unexpectedly and drastically, and very often we think that’s the end. We spend all the time planning and finally they seem to go nowhere.
‘But I want you to know that God’s plan never fail,’ he shared. ‘They cannot be thwarted, removed or substituted by anything in the world. And if we’re walking with God and are able to identify His plans for our lives, we will know that despite any circumstances, nothing in the world can frustrate those plans.’
Jesus had a plan to get across to the other side. He spoke serenely to the storm and the storm abated. The Sea of Galilee became completely calm and the disciples wondered in amazement who Jesus was. When God has a plan, there is no power in this world that can foil it.
- God Listens
Christ listened to the disciples’ cry for help and He responded with compassion. He attended to the cries immediately and rebuked the wind, and the wind immediately died off. Pastor Ramesh communicated that God attends even to our faintest whisper. This is very often in direct contrast to the way we respond to God.
‘Why is it so hard to come to God? We do not talk to Him nor do we listen to Him. We rely on our self-will even in desperate circumstances, attempts to search for answers anywhere but in God. The rule is simple; you don’t ask, you don’t get,’ he imparted. Ask and you’ll receive, knock and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7).
- God Intervenes
Jesus intervened and stopped the storm. God wants to help us but there are times when He may have a bigger plan for us, one that we may not be able to see at the moment (Isaiah 55:9). Psalm 34:19 reminds us of this. Everything that begins always has an end. Our earthly life begins, it will one day end. The good news is, in the same way, storms begin, and they will end.
Every time a storm comes, something comes out of it, Pastor Ramesh imparted. ‘We need to understand the purpose of the storm. Come before God and seek Him and ask Him to guide you through. He will guide you through it and when the same storm comes again the next time, you will know what to do.’ The problem is that our self-efforts often stand in the way, and these sorts of efforts always lead to a cycle. We must learn to discern when to let go as well as how to do so during those times.
- God is Larger than Any Storm
Through this miracle of Jesus, God has shown us that He is larger than any storm. Nothing is beyond Him, and He can turn even the worst storms around. His instructions are also bigger than any storm. The disciples panicked and they probably tried everything they could to save the ship but their efforts led nowhere. As a final resort, they questioned Jesus; did Jesus not care? Jesus’ response was simple; “Where is your faith?”
‘So often we tend to jump the gun. We try everything through our own efforts despite knowing that they will lead nowhere. Sometimes God’s instruction to us is simply to wait. Do we trust Him enough to stay calm and wait for His timing? Where do we place our faith?’ Pastor Ramesh imparted. ‘In those times, focus on God. Wait for His instructions. He is going to tell us what to do in His time.’
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– Jason Law