Thursday, February 24, 2022

           The Bible speaks to God’s authority.  He is the Creator.  Psalm 24:1 says that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.  God possesses authority because He is God.  As we have said before, God is God.  No one else is.  Not you or me or anybody else.  In Mark 4, we see Jesus demonstrate or assert His authority in a different sort of way.  Jesus and His disciples decided to sail from one side of a lake to another.  While in the water, Mark says that a “furious storm” suddenly developed.  The waves alone were so intense that the boat was nearly swamped with water and drawn under the water.  Meanwhile, Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples were terrified but Jesus was asleep—resting safely, soundly and securely.  In a rush, the disciples woke Jesus.  Perhaps their thinking was at least Jesus could help them bail the water out of the boat.  Speaking from their fear, the disciples asked Jesus, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38).  Given the terror the disciples felt, it must have been a frightening and intense storm.
            But Jesus was at rest.  Why?  Perhaps He was content in knowing the Father was keeping watch over Him and the storm.  Perhaps He wanted to see how His disciples would react in a genuine crisis situation.  Possibly, He wanted to test their faith in Him.  Mark 4:39 says, “Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quite!  Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”  Jesus proved His authority over that storm specifically and nature in general.  We have to think about the authority that the Lord possesses over the storms we face.  And we have to be honest, we do face storms in life.  They are often terrifying.  The storms we face do not always have to do with nature, rain, wind and lightning.  Storms can be battles with our health.  Financial problems can be storms.  Friendships that go south can be storms.  Situations and divisions within families can be seen as nothing less than storms.  A health scare for you or a loved one is a storm.
            Most of the time, folks fall into one of three categories.  They are...heading into a storm, in the middle of a storm or emerging from a storm.  Storms come just as surely as sunrises and sunsets.  But we have to remember a principle in faith—the Lord possesses authority over ALL storms and EVERY storm.  Nothing in nature or on earth is greater than our Lord.  Remember the Bible says that all authority in heaven and on earth has been entrusted to the Son of God who is Jesus. 
            Occasionally, God will remove a storm.  God often gives us relief and respite by withdrawing or removing a storm from our lives.  At other times, God leads us through the storm and provides all that we need.  And at times, God allows a storm to serve His purposes of making us more like Jesus.  When storms arise, we can remember that God often changes storms, God often changes us and God often changes us through storms.  But just like the disciples learned that day on the lake, Jesus is with us.  Jesus is still in control.  Storms still obey and submit to Jesus.  And Jesus will always do the right thing at the right time and in the right way.  Bank on it!
            It is a relief for us to know that we do not have to control or fix everything.  Our God reigns.  Our primary mission in life is to know Him and to grow in Him.  We can leave the details and the storms to Him.  God calls us to trust Him a day at a time, a moment at time and a situation at a time.  A lot of attention is being directed toward Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe at this time.  And understandably so.  But this storm in Eastern Europe is under the watch of the Lord Himself.  It is not happening outside the boundaries of His authority.  If these events make you anxious, remember who calms and rebukes storms and trust your storm to Him.  May we approach life’s storms with a simple prayer—thy will be done!  Have a great Thursday and rest in the assurance of God’s strong arms and green pastures!

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