Wednesday, July 9, 2008

You need to let Jesus sleep

Have you ever wanted to wake Jesus up?

I mean, just yell and scream and end his nap?

My mind is drawn to the story in Mark 4, when the disciples are in the boat and a furious storm ensues.

They are being tossed and turned by the violent sea, water flying into the small vessel. And where is God? He's asleep on a comfy cushion, of course.

You can just imagine them yelling:

"Jesus!! We are going to die a miserable death!"

"We will surely perish when these huge waves cover us!"

You know, it's easy for us to marvel at their lack of faith when we are reading the story safe and dry on the shore. However, it can be much more difficult not to give in to the temptation to wake him ourselves when our faith is being tested.

Can I get a better "amen?"

We can learn a lot from this story. It's interesting that Jesus seems more disappointed by a lack of trust than anything else. Throughout the gospels, Christ continually makes remarks like, "Do you still have no faith?" or "Don't be afraid. Just believe."

My friends, it is very apparent: "Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Heb. 11:6)

He is not pleased with doubt. He is not pleased with fear. Fear indicates a lack of trust, and Jesus is obviously offended by a lack of trust.

Faith moves God. There is nothing wrong with trusting your Heavenly Father to do exactly what his word says he will do.

We all know the storms in life will come, don't we? The Word teaches us that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. If you're not in a storm right now, you've either just come out of one or look out, your heading straight into one. I'm in one right now, and I'm actually starting to enjoy it.

The storms are important. They teach us to trust. They teach us to take God at his word. The thing to keep in mind is that we shouldn't be swayed by circumstances, no matter how uncomfortable or daunting they may seem.

He's going to work everything out for your good. He may use a storm to push you into doing something he's asked you to do for Him. Wouldn't that be exciting.

No matter how bad the trial gets, our God ensures us that He is with us through it all:

"So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)

Stay calm and know God is God. I think I've heard someone say it like this: "It's okay to find yourself inside a storm, just make sure the storm doesn't get inside of you." I like that.

What storm are you facing today?

You may think he's asleep, but he is very aware of what you are going through. Maintain your faith, find promises in his word that apply to you and your situation, and speak directly to the wind and the waves in all the authority God has given to you as a believer.

Let God, the enemy and yourself hear those words coming out of your mouth! Remember, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17). All the faith you need to conquer your circumstances is in his word.

Let me ask you a question today: What wave has got your eyes off Jesus? Don't look at the waves! Look at the funny picture of Jesus laughing if you have to.

Come on, rest. Let Jesus take his nap. Remember, no matter what adversity we face today, the son of the Living God is still on our boat.

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