How the Gospel Brings Comfort Amidst Chaos
2020 has been a chaotic year due to Covid-19, economic uncertainty, massive layoffs, and political and social unrest. Many are calling it “the perfect storm”.
The term “storm” is fitting because it is a situation that happened suddenly, seemed to come out of nowhere, is impossible to avoid, is out of our individual control, with no quick resolution in sight.
The figurative storm we find ourselves in now is like the literal storm in which the disciples found themselves in Mark’s gospel (4:35-41). It is a situation came out of nowhere, was unavoidable, was out of their control, with no quick or easy fix.
Here are some principles we can learn from this passage about the storms we face in life to help us cope with the chaos they bring.
5 Principles in the Gospel of Mark
- Storms can hit at any time. When the disciples entered the boat, they had no idea a storm was coming. In the same way, an unexpected storm can hit our lives at any moment. Examples include:
- A sudden job loss
- A terminal diagnosis
- A financial shortfall
- A wayward child
- A difficult person or situation
- Storms don’t discriminate. Storms can hit anyone, anywhere, at any time. They don’t discriminate based on age, income, or social status. No one is exempt, not even believers. Following Jesus does not give us a free pass from storms. In fact, the storm hit while the disciples were following Jesus with Him on the boat.
- God does not promise to keep us from storms, but to walk through them with us. We see throughout scripture that the Lord allows His servants to pass through storms. Abraham, Joseph, and the disciples went through several “storms” during their lives. The same God who accompanied them through the storms is the same God who will see us through as well.
- Jesus is greater than the storm. After Jesus rebuked the storm, the wind and waves ceased. The reason is simple, they knew their master’s voice and obeyed accordingly. As we pass through storms in life, don’t be tempted to focus so much on the power of the storm that you forget or neglect the power of the one who controls it. Keep your mind on Him and He will see you through.
- Jesus uses storms to accomplish His purposes. Jesus allowed the storm to teach the disciples lessons about themselves and about Him (“who is this that even the wind and the waves obey Him?”)
God often uses storms to accomplish His purposes. We may not realize what that purpose is at the time (or, like Job, may not ever know in this life), you can trust that God is at work. Here are some examples that come to mind.
- God sometimes uses storms to humble us, to show us that He is God and we are not. A storm reminds we who are believers how desperately dependent we are on Him for all things.
- God sometimes uses storms to sanctify us, i.e., make us more like Jesus. Sometimes it takes a storm on the outside to bring changes on the inside, in our hearts.
- God sometimes uses storms to strengthen us. God knows the purposes He has for us and a storm can be His tool to take us to the next level spiritually for that purpose. The hardships Joseph endured in Genesis are a great example of this.
- God sometimes uses storms to equip us to serve others. Some of the best ministry that happens is when someone who is going though a hard time is helped by someone who has been through that exact situation.
Finally, God can use a storm to show non-believers their great need for Him. Imagine what it would have been like for the disciples had Jesus not been on their boat. That is what millions of non-believers are facing these days.
It is our job to point them to Jesus, the Lord of the storm. He is the only true source of comfort and stability in our world today. What a privilege to have Him on our boat and to introduce others to Him!
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