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July 2, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ, God's perfect right there in the middle of it and find yourself suddenly we have to be very very careful that we don't make the mistake of Job's friends.
Perfect storms are not a matter of God punishing that's what Job's friends, Joe. Sometimes, by the way. Perfect storms come because we are obedient because God is using us in such a great joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor go for now is once again he shows us how God's word meets our world when the Andrea Gail left for Gloucester, Massachusetts, heart September 20, 1991 no one thought that they would never be seen again.
In fact, all that was ever found was just a few pieces of debris. The six crew members banished for ever. Their story was immortalized first by the book by Sebastian younger and then by the film which probably many of you saw starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg both were titled the perfect storm is kind of a strange way to describe a storm is meant to measure meteorologist the perfect storm. I guess on their point of view, that's exactly what it was. A cold front coming across Canada moving into New England high pressure off the East Coast blocking and the remnants of hurricane Grace moving up the East Coast.
They all collided.
You had the perfect storm. The last transmission of Capt. Billy time was to the Hannah Bowden, a sister ship and this is what he said she's common on boys. She's coming on and she's coming on strong.
Since then, the term perfect storm has become part of our everyday vernacular. In fact, we all face our lease describe that we face the perfect storm. We sort of know what that's like your child gets sick you decide you need to take the child to the doctors just before you leave the house begins the poor, and so you take the child out and you take the child to the doctor but on the way to the doctors or your car breaks down in the rain and so then you call your spouse, but they left their cell phone home that day perfect storm. Your shingles are acting up but you decide to go to work anyway. Then your boss tells you when you get into the your place of employment that the companies downsizing and no longer need your services and then as you get ready to leave, you get a call from your brother and your mother's just been rusted intensive care. Perfect storm. The perfect storms of life produce two different kinds of fear. One is this how we gonna make it certain or we can go down with the ship, you know, this is so fearsome I gonna make it through this. And then secondly, for some of us is a different kind of fear. And that's the fear that just knowing that there are perfect storms out there, we become afraid that one of them may occur in our lives, just the possibility makes us afraid.
In fact, were afraid of that sudden fear.
We fear fear open your Bibles to Proverbs chapter 3, so I can make sure I'm just not speaking nonsense here. I wanted to see what Solomon rides verse 25 of Proverbs chapter 3.
Solomon says do not be afraid of sudden fear of the translators try to help us there. That word afraid is the Hebrew word Garney, and even though it's translated often afraid hundred and 65 times in the Old Testament it's translated fear. The second word translated fear is the word shod in but shod means dread or terror. That's why the term is called sudden fear. In other words, don't fear sudden fear. How you do that you see what you're saying is don't fear. Fear don't be afraid of fear. Don't fear imagined fear. I call it sort of bogeyman fear your number that someone in your life.
We all have, especially his children will remain. That's fearing a sudden fear and imagine fear William Hughes wrote a little poem that sorta sets it up perfectly.
He wrote this last night I saw upon the stair a little man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today.
Oh how I wish you'd go away. That's the fear.
Fear. Fear is not new. Coming out of the Great Depression.
You remember the lines from the present United States, Franklin Dona Roosevelt we have nothing to fear right but fear itself will stop right there. Roosevelt went on to say this. He said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to P says convert retreat into advance.
See, we all have fear of the perfect storm. Some of it real because you're in one and some of it imagined because you're afraid you might one day be in one. The real question is, as believers in Jesus Christ.
Can we handle this and the answer is emphatically yes we should be able to face down our fear of sudden fear we should be able to face down and deal with the perfect storms of life. Nonbelievers use a variety of coping mechanisms for these perfect storms of life. Many people and maybe even some believers fatalism were all doomed or gone down is no hope for analyst. Some people just that way. That's the way they cope other people or existentialists probably don't even know it.
That's more like were all clueless is just blind faith. We have no idea what's ever going to happen to us, and lately there's a new phrase that I find kind of interesting and nine and I'm interesting way is what I call blind optimism may be you use this. Maybe you should stop no matter what happens, it's all good. It, by the way that's blatantly false. Hi, please understand that we live in a cursed universe is not all good in a matter what happens, all good.
Those of coping mechanisms. We should be able to deal with this kind of fear. David Jeremiah says this we need a perspective one fear that takes into account the perfect storms of life but also reassures us that their safe harbor within reach. We can pull away all fear, but we need not live as it slaves. That's where Jesus Christ comes in. As we follow him this world and its emotions look different in the light of his goodness and his power and his wisdom. Fear is simply a fact that we must deal with in a fallen creation, but in the Bible we learn that fear can be managed in God's word. There is a wealth of guidance on dealing with storms perfect or imperfect. So let's look this morning at one of the most famous storms and revisited text. We have looked at before. Open your Bibles are turning up.
I was not a Mark chapter 4 the gospel of Mark chapter 4, we find four principles a come out of Mark for beginning in verse 35 to help us deal with the perfect storms of our life for 35 the first principle is simply this perfect storms often seem paradoxical. In other words, if you read before 435 and Mark, you'll see that Jesus's ministry is growing growing in numbers growing in fame. He's doing all kinds of things. Miracles are occurring.
Crowds are coming in large numbers and he is teaching. In fact, he spends most of the time and the rest of Mark for teaching the disciples in a sense have to be so excited that they are part of something so great when Jesus first said to them, you know, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. I don't know if they even understood what that was going to mean but now they begin to see all this momentum, they say, wow, what a great place wherein in verse 35 it says on that day when evening came, he said to them, let's go over the other side see a belly and leaving the crowd. They took him along with them in the boat. Just as he was in other boats were with them. There arose a fierce gale wind and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Notice how said Mrs. everything's good. Jesus is tired. I'm sure they're tired of just about evening of the skin about what will the other side okay. The relaxation effort. But these disciples especially for those are fishermen. This is their Lake. They live on the water. What a chance to relax.
Everything's going well. This is the culmination of a great day of ministry and then it says in there arose a fierce gale.
It's amazing how quickly this happens. You see, you can be in the middle of God's perfect will. Right there in the middle of it and find yourself suddenly in a perfect storm so we have to be very very careful that we don't make the mistake of Job's friends. Perfect storms are not a matter of God punishing us. That's what Job's friends with Job.
Sometimes, by the way. Perfect storms come because we are obedient because God is using us in such a great way I can remember that when I was a student at the seminary. There was a student in my class. On one level were all equal, but he was more equal than the rest of us.
You know it was little different than less. He had a phenomenal singing voice.
They use them in chapel a lot.
He was brilliant, the kind of brilliant see that the professors would even further eyebrows when he asked questions. Several of the students were wondering what does the question even mean he was that kind of guy, very gifted speaker. When you saw him from the first year on you kept thinking while in God's going to use imminent tremendous way and then when I found out I believe in the beginning of the second year he had two small children. His wife became critically ill. She was young, probably late 20s. Her life was on the line. There was a lot of talk that she was not going to make it. He dropped out of classes for a period of time.
We prayed constantly for him in classes and I kept thinking in light of that, what did it seem like to him. I'm off to seminary God is gifted me with extraordinary gifts. I'm now ready to go into full-time service and all the sudden cold front comes out over Canada high-pressure block said, and then the remnants of a hurricane comes up the East Coast and he finds himself in a perfect storm.
You see perfect storms often seem to be paradoxical.
The disciples had no idea that this going to happen so please if your life is going well and God is using you in great ways. Check the horizon. Prepare yourself for prayer because perfect storms are out there, even though it seems paradoxical. The second point is this perfect storms are never a problem for the Lord want to step perfect storms are never a problem for the Lord will notice this storm, verse 30, there arose a fierce gale of wind.
There's a really strong great works hurricane like we would say the waves were breaking over the boat so much of the boat was already filling up. Please understand these men are fishermen on the Sea of Galilee professionals Peter James and John, the fathers or grandfathers. Popular great-grandfathers all fished. They knew how to handle themselves in the storm. They knew how to turn the boat and the wind. They knew all this.
It wasn't helping. The boat is getting swamped. Dr. Hendrick said when he preached the sermon on this. He said the boats not only in the water, but the waters in the boat. That's a perfect storm now look at the contrast Jesus himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.
What it says Jesus himself was in the stern. He was asleep on the cushion.
Now just imagine the panic on the deck guys, billowing guys yelling grabbing sales try make everything he can assist. Gotta be enormous noise because of the waves in the wind and there's Jesus and he's asleep in the stern, they did what we would've done. They woke him and they said to him, Rabbi, teacher, do you not care that we are perishing by the way, that's what we often do, don't you care about my marriage.
Do you see what's happening in our marriage. Don't you care about that.
Did you hear the diagnosis of that specialist did you hear it, Lord. Don't you care. Don't you care about me see it so easy to do that because were in the storm, and because were full of fear we become accusative. The Lord we see little bit differently. I mean, I get it so often I just can't fathom Pastor how he would allow the storm to come into my life must not care because we know that, notice the response teacher you not care that we are perishing. I love this.
He got up, rebuked the wind. Then he said to the sea, hush be still wind died down and it became perfectly calm. That's a miracle in itself now to see glass but notice he didn't say no backup.
I need room for this you know where I'm going to start a process here and it's going to take a while but eventually you'll be okay just do that at all. In fact, all he says and is very very careful about what he says. He says hush still when you mean that so careful well you see, he knew that the disciples knew something he knew that they understood most of the Psalms in the Old Testament they recited in their whole lives. This know what to Psalms, a Psalm 89 verse nine says this about the Lord you will, the swelling of the seas. When the waves rise, you still them.
Psalm 107 verse 29 he caused the storm to be steel so that the waves of the sea were hushed same words in different language, but same words now who is the one in the Old Testament can hush the sea and still the winds only God will who did it in the New Testament God. You see, this is a great statement by the Lord. I am who I am. You see, the disciples didn't see that at all. They were afraid they were helpless. He's asleep but is in complete control big they cry out their need for help, but they do something else. They accuse him that he doesn't care. By the way, that accusation reveals something about them. The lack of faith, the complete lack of faith. You see, whenever you're in a perfect storm your life. Jesus is always asleep in the stern, always is right there is call. You see there's nothing wrong with crying out for help. Nothing wrong with doing that at all. That's why Christ is asleep, he's there, I'm available. Just cry for help, but they don't. They cry out with an accusation, Timothy Keller says this of Jesus is who he says he is.
There's another way to look at life. If he's the Lord of the storm, then no matter what shape the world is in or your life is in you will find Jesus provides all of the comfort all the rest, and all the power you could possibly want. But you have to realize who it is asleep in the stern. They didn't do that. She is nothing wrong with crying out for help. I don't know of very many people that have been in such a perfect storm for so long as Johnny Erickson taught as a quadriplegic.
I pulled her often because she is such a phenomenal example of what righteousnesses but I love this about her how honest and transparent.
She is this something she writes about her perfect storm.
She starts out saying hope God I often pray in the morning. Oh God, I cannot do this.
I cannot do this thing called quadriplegia, I have no resources for this. I have no strength for this, but you do. You got the resources you got the strength I can't do quadriplegia, but I know I can do all things for you strengthens me. I have no smile for the woman who's going to walk into my bedroom in a moment she could be having coffee with another friend but she's chosen to come here and to help me get out of bed. Oh God please may I borrow your smile in the middle of the storm. The difference between almost no faith in great faith. Storms are always in himself difficult.
The perfect storm often seems paradoxical on the perfect storm. Never a problem for the Lord and pastoral giver. You ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like listening to the message one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio program at Fellowship in the Word.
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You can browse through our sermon archives defined sermon series are looking you can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for. You can listen online work you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own. And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt, undies and thank you for listening to fellowship in order