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Trusting God In The Storms Of Life

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
March 29, 2023 10:29 am

Trusting God In The Storms Of Life

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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March 29, 2023 10:29 am

March 26, 2023 – Message from Pastor Josh Bevan

            Main Scripture Passage:   Matthew 8:23-27

            Topic:  Trust, Faith, Storms


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In your Bibles, if you would look with me in Matthew chapter number eight, and when you find your place, if you would honor God's word by standing, we'll read verse 23 down to verse number 27, Matthew chapter number eight this morning.

The Bible tells us here in Matthew's Gospel, chapter number eight, verse number 23. And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea and so much that the ship was covered with the waves, but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him and awoke him saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he says unto them, Why are you fearful?

Oh, ye of little faith. That he arose and rebuke the winds in the sea and there was a great calm. And the men marveled saying, What manner of man is this? That even the winds and the sea obey him. Our great God, we are so thankful that you've given us your truth in this book. And we honor you today with our time coming to sing praises to you, to give and to serve. And I pray at this time that you would serve us your word, that your Holy Spirit would ignite our hearts with this truth.

The world we live in doesn't understand what it's doing, it is blind to the truth. And I pray that you would give us the wisdom of God, give us understanding, help us to live wise in these evil days. Help us to be lights in this world. Help us to have the peace of God in a world in chaos. Lord, we thank you for all you do for us. And we give you praise now and ask it in Jesus name. And God's people said, Amen.

You may be seated today. Is there anyone today that perhaps you feel like there's a heightened sense of uncertainty in the world that we live in today? And we laugh and snicker at that because it is a very unstable world in so many ways. Does anybody feel like you have some kind of concern for your kids or grandkids as they grow up in this present evil world that we see? Came across the following story this week, a father and mother passed by their son's bedroom. They noticed that it was nicely made and tidy in there and it shocked them. They noticed an envelope propped up on the pillow and it was addressed mom and dad.

As they opened the letter to their shock and amazement, they'd read the following. It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend, Joanne, because I wanted to avoid a scene with you and mom. I knew you would not approve of her because of all their piercings, tattoos, motorcycle clothes, and the fact that she's so much older than I am. But Joanne says we're going to be very happy.

She owns a trailer in the woods and as a stack of firewood, just enough for this winter. We share a dream of having many children. Please don't worry, Dad. I'm 15. I know how to take care of myself. I'm sure we'll be back someday to visit so you can meet your grandkids, your son, Chad. P.S.

None of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house. Just wanted to remind you that there are worse things than the bad report card that is on the desk drawer. I love you and please call when it's safe for me to come home. If you have teenagers, you know what it's like to be stressed out, right? And it's good to laugh.

I think it's good to laugh because we look at a world and there's just not a lot to laugh about anymore. You see the landscape of a country that is in such a state as ours that it causes a lot of concern, can cause people to be very fearful, worried, anxious. A lot of storms that America is facing. You know, when covid hit, many were struck with incredible fear of getting sick. Some people didn't leave their house for many months and even over a year.

Family gatherings at Thanksgiving and Christmas were canceled. Others had loved ones. And I dealt with this quite a bit where you couldn't go see someone who was in a nursing home and some had loved ones who passed away in hospitals and nursing homes and they could not be with them. Very difficult. Very, very difficult. Large number of people today were at risk of losing their job if they didn't get a vaccine. Many of you dealt with a lot of stress through that season.

A lot of uncertainty. We live in a day where inflation has spiked. Eighty seven percent of Americans say they're stressed over the rising inflation in the country. In 2000, a dollar back in 2000 is would be worth a dollar seventy five today. Seventy four percent inflation over the last twenty three years.

It's incredible. Cost of living just this year has gone up eight point seven percent. This current leadership of our country is really putting a stranglehold on small businesses. If you've spoken to small business owners or you are one, you know the trial of that. I was speaking to a small business owner this last couple of weeks and they said their taxes increased just the last year between 60 and 70 percent.

That's insane. That's a that's crushing small businesses. People are stressed out over the Russia Ukraine war, spending massive billions of dollars on a country that is not a democracy and Ukraine that has also shut down Christian churches in Ukraine.

Ukraine did that. They're stressed over the vast number of border crossings in our country, stressed over supply chain issues. If you had your car go to get worked on, they're like, yeah, we're not going to have that part for a couple of months or you're building and you run into that.

Really, for the first time, it was over the last year or so that you see different stores that have shelves that are empty because the supply chain has slowed down so much. Then you have a lot of financial instability and fear people feel. And it's not only the financial stuff that really hits people, but it's the onslaught of sexual sin that is promoted daily and in the news when you get scenes of drag queens at libraries for kids reading time. Who would have ever thought that would have happened? And who is OK with that? You ever see that you think, who are these parents? They should go to jail. This is this is prepping pedophilia.

It is. They spent two thousand dollars in taxpayer money in New York to bring drag queens into schools. Today, you have men competing in girls sports. It just amazes me because, you know, I always think, where's all the feminists?

The outcries. You have a guy that ranked four hundred and sixty first in the NCAA in swimming, and he's number one in girls swimming now. So men are coming into girls sports and saying not only are we going to lead things, but now we're going to come into your sports women and we will dominate you. You can't beat us. We're made by God to be 50 percent stronger women.

You will never beat these guys. Does that feel good? Does that feel fair? That's insane. Not only that, but they're letting men win beauty contests.

I mean, they'll take the ugliest dude on the platform and give and the only thing that qualifies him for victory is he's a man. This is insane, isn't it? Men going into women's locker rooms and bathrooms. My wife and daughter had to testify this last week in court over a situation locally at the YMCA because of that and pray for that situation that that man will be found guilty. The same man who went into that locker room at the Y was found guilty. Well, had a restraining order put on him because he groped another woman at another YMCA.

Anybody feel safe sending your granddaughters into the locker room over there? That's a fact. It's not made up. That's extremely troubling. Quite frankly, it's insane. And that's that's really the only thought I have when I look at the world. I think this is just insane. They've lost their money because what happens is when you move away from objective truth, when you move away from a standard of truth and you turn into subjective truth, you will fall into that chasm forever.

There's no way out of that hole because whatever is right in anybody's eyes, that's what they are. I was talking to one doctor. He said, it's so crazy for people to this is what a doctor told me, psychological doctor. He said, it's so amazing to me that they're affirming people in this transgenderism.

He said, it's no different than if a patient comes to me as he's been doing this for 40 years. He said, and they say, you know, I'm bulimic. I feel like I'm a very overweight girl to look at her and say, you know what? You are overweight. That would be extremely harmful for her. You don't tell her something that's not true about herself. You want to affirm what is true. You're not overweight.

You need to stop doing this to your body. And now they want to have children mutilate their bodies at a younger age. They're not even allowed to drive cars. You know, the Bible tells us in second Timothy three, one, this know also then the last dates, perilous times shall come. The word perilous is also translated in the Bible is demon possessed, like demon possessed, dangerous.

Fierce is another word it's translated as. There's there's a large number of teachers that are leaving schools around the country because of the violence going on in schools. You ever talk to your kids recently? A lot of fights in schools and their kids. A lot of kids getting kids beating up kids, kids beating up teachers.

I saw a. Video the other day of a guy, six, six, 270 pounds, a teacher, a little 140 pound teacher took away his like Nintendo gaming device. He ran after her, knocks her down. While she's knocked out, he punches her over 15 times.

While people are just kind of standing around watching, it's insane. They they asked him later, they said, Do you have regret for what you did? He said, If I if I see her again, I will kill her. That's what he said. Does that seem crazy?

It should. But but we're we're so numb to a lot of that because it's it's just constantly flooding. Perhaps today you feel overwhelmed, fearful about the future, you say, Well, Pastor Josh, I felt pretty good before I came into the service today.

Feeling pretty good. But what I want to tell you is we don't have to look at all this with our eyes closed and say, Well, I don't want to know about any of it. I'm just not going to know about it. And then I won't have fear.

No, you can look at things, but at the same time, you don't have to live with fear, anxiety and overwhelming worry over these things. John 16 33. Jesus said this. These things have I spoken unto you? He said that in me you might have peace in the world. You shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. He said, I have overcome the world.

Is that good news? You know, and what we're seeing today played out in America is exactly what went on in the days of Rome and Greece. Literally, like exactly the violence, pedophilia, rapes, murders, just unbelievable sin. This morning, I want to look at four great truths from this story in Matthew eight and see how we can have peace in the storms that we live through in life. Here in Matthew eight, we come to this story. Jesus has been teaching great multitudes of people, thousands of people. He has been in the town of Capernaum, which is a seaport town on the Sea of Galilee, the northern shore. There were the city of Peter, Andrew, James and John.

Been a very long day, been teaching. He came off the mountain. He had done some mighty miracles. And even though he was God, Jesus was also in a human body. And he grew tired. He is known as the God man.

The hypostatic union is the word they use in theology, but he was fully God, fully man, Emmanuel God with us. And so he's tired. Really, the only way to find some relaxation and peace is to kind of get away from the crowd. So he tells the guys, get in a boat, let's go to the other side of the lake. It's really a lake.

It calls it a sea, but it's six miles wide, 13 miles long. So they get in the boat, they're going to cross it to the other side. Now his disciples had seen Jesus do some amazing things. They heard him preach.

They believed in him to be the Messiah. They saw him heal the sick. He healed a leper. He healed a man in Matthew 8. Also, just by speaking a word, healed a Cinzurian servant. Then he healed Peter's mother-in-law.

She got up and cared for them and served them. It's been a long day and they're going to be traveling across and they're hoping this to be a nice, peaceful trip across the lake in the evening and turning into the night. But anything but peaceful was the trip as things take a turn for the worst and they hit the storm of all storms. Matthew 8 verse 23, it says, and when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. So Jesus gets in the ship, his disciples get in the boat with him. And behold, there rose a great tempest in the sea and so much the ship was covered with waves, but he was asleep. And the first thing we see here is storms will come even when Jesus is in the boat with you.

Storms will come even when Jesus is in the boat. Interestingly, the Sea of Galilee is the lowest fresh body water in the world, 680 feet below sea level. It's in a kind of a bowl shaped in the Jordan Valley. It's surrounded by steep hills on all sides. It's known for developing severe storms at a very short notice. What happens is the cold air from those high mountain elevations come down the mountain and it hits that warmer air on the lake surface.

Also, air flows from the ravines and surrounding canyons, which compress and speed up. Then there are also winds that flow from the eastern desert down off the large plateau region above the lake known as the Golan Heights, and it can produce some really massive storms. Verse 24 says, And behold, there arose a great tempest at sea. The word tempest there is the Greek word seismos. It's where we get the word seismology, which is the study of earthquakes.

This was a great shaking. Now, it implies that this was a storm greater than anything that they had experienced. It wasn't just a seismos, it says it was a great seismos, or a megas is the Greek word, megas seismos, or a great tempest. This was a incredibly powerful storm. Very likely God had supernaturally caused the earth to quake, causing everything to shake and huge storm happened, all of that turned together. And then back in verse 16 of Matthew 8, it says it was even or evening.

So this is it. It's dark. So can you imagine being miles out on this lake? The water is starting to pour into your boat. Massive storm.

And Jesus is sleeping. I mean, do you think if you're in that situation that you would have some unsettled feelings? A little bit fearful?

Anybody feel like dark water late at night in a boat, water coming in would be one of your worst nightmares? Raise your hand if that's like to you. Be like, yeah, that's not good.

Not good. My oldest daughter has a fear of like being in deep water, like with sharks. I said, like, what's your greatest fear?

She's like, if I was like, I don't know, in the ocean and, you know, she's talked about this all through the years. So I give her a hug. Good night. And I say, Lacey, I love you. Have a good night. And I just really feel like you're going to dream about deep water tonight. And there'll be dark shadows and you'll be waiting water, but you're paralyzed, but you're just like up to here and something starts bumping your leg. But just rest. Well, love you, honey.

We'll see you in the morning. Builds character. Friends builds character. These men on this boat were we're not novices at this. This isn't like the first time they've been across the sea. I mean, they they were fishermen by trade. Like and they would fish all night long, like they were not afraid to jump in dark, deep water. They were not intimidated by a few waves. They they were far past getting motion sick. They were scared to death in this storm. They thought they were going to die.

That's how severe this was. You know, when Jonah was in the storm. He was in the storm because he did something wrong, right?

He disobeyed God and disobedience placed Jonah in the middle of a big storm. But in this situation, it was not disobedience to put them in the middle of the storm. It was actually their obedience. I mean, literally, verse twenty three, and when he was entered into the ship, his disciples did what? They followed him.

I mean, they're they're they're tracking Jesus here. Jesus had told them back in verse eighteen. He gave him a commandment to depart into the other side.

Let's get about going to the other side. So what you find here, they did exactly what Jesus said to do. They did exactly what he commanded them to do. And it placed them in the middle of a lake in dark waters in the dark of night. And water is now pouring into the boat. And they're exactly where Jesus told them to be.

Did anybody expect that to happen? And maybe that's you today. You thought, you know, I've given my life to Jesus. He's now in my heart. Now I expect things to really smooth out now that the Lord's on my side.

You know, I don't think I don't expect things to be perfect, but surely things will get easier and smoother. But then you got saved and things may not have all of a sudden got easier, but actually more difficult. You may have found the people around you did not embrace the Jesus that you believe in, and now you're lacking some friends.

Maybe the folks at your workplace don't like the Jesus you found. When you got saved, you expected the cross to see of life peacefully. Now things are getting a little rocky.

The winds are starting to pick up. You're like, what's going on here, Lord? And the reality is, is when you get saved, the Bible doesn't teach things will just get all of a sudden so much easier. In fact, the Bible tells us trials, difficulty and persecution are actually part of the Christian life. Philippians one twenty nine. Paul says for it is given unto you on the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

First Peter four twelve. Paul says or Peter says, Beloved, think it not a strange, strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you. The truth is, sometimes storms come in life due to our disobedience and sometimes they come due to our obedience. So, again, when you get saved or when you live for Christ, the Bible never says storms won't come. Even if Jesus is in the boat, storms can come.

But what the Bible does tell us is that Jesus will be in the boat with you. Matthew twenty eight eight, verse number twenty says this. Jesus said, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

In Hebrews thirteen verse five, the Bible says, Let your conversation be without covetousness and be content with such things as you have. For he has said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee so that we may boldly say the Lord is my helper. I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Just because you're safe, friends, doesn't mean you won't have battles in life. Just because you've trusted in Christ doesn't mean you won't have trials, but it does mean that the Lord will be on the front lines with you.

Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you. So remember, storms come even with the Lord in the boat. If you don't expect trials to come, it can really throw you off. Expectations matter. Expectations are important. You ever have wrong expectations?

Yep. You're like, Yeah, because I got married and he's going to be Prince Charming all the time. This is what my wife tells me.

She said, You know, I got married that he's be Prince Charming. Next thing I know, he's leaving his socks on the floor. Folded inside out, you know. Toilet seats always up.

Dirty plates on the. We live life like that, don't we? We have to have the right expectations. Secondly, not only do storms come even with the Lord in the boat, but secondly, we find in this story that peace is not based on the size of your trials, but rather on the size of your God. How did disciples respond to this storm? Look at verse 25. It says his disciples came to him and woke him, saying, Lord, save us.

We perish like we are dying over here. Mark 4 verse 38, Mark's account of this story, it says, And he was in the hinder part of the ship asleep on a pillow. They wake him, saying, Master, carest thou not that we perish like we're dying here?

Don't you care? I ask you, was Jesus in the same storm they were in? Yeah, they both were in the same storm. Yet notice how differently they handle it. The disciples were literally scared to death, thinking that their life was on the line, possibly going to die.

But how does Jesus respond to this? He's literally sleeping. You have somebody in your family that sleeps through anything. I've been downstairs in our two-story house, and I'm like, Is that an alarm going off? I mean, it's loud downstairs. My second oldest daughter can sleep through anything. I'd go up there, and it's like, What are you doing?

That's not even possible. I wake up to anything, and the older I get, the worse it gets. You all know what I'm talking about?

Yeah, it's ridiculous. The tree limb falls outside. You're like, What was that?

I'm up for the next four hours. What's going on here? Jesus is asleep, and this just lets you know that he was worn out, wasn't he? He was exhausted. The disciples' response, they're like, Can you believe this guy? It's like shoveling water out, getting water out with a bucket, and he's sleeping.

Like, Peter, you're the loudmouth. Go wake him up. How on earth is this even possible?

How is that even physically possible? You know what they wanted? They were, in their minds, a very terrifying situation, and they wanted Jesus to be as concerned as they were. This happens all the time today. People get super worked up over something, and they think that everyone else needs to be as worried as they are. Did this happen during COVID?

People started talking about that, so concerned. I mean, you see people driving down the road by themselves in their car with a mask on. I saw an advertisement the other day for the carless seatbelt as well, so you strap it on. You don't even have to have a car for it.

The worst is when you go down the road and a guy has a mask on with no helmet on a motorcycle. Dude, you got it, man. No COVID hitting you, brother. Safe and sound, yes. Wrap him up. Get that mask on.

You got to have it, right? Yes, sure. But people get anxious about things, and they think there's something wrong with you if you don't get as worried as they are. And this is what the disciples were feeling. They were like, Jesus, you need to be as concerned about this situation as we are. So why could Jesus have peace in the midst of a storm? Well, because Jesus doesn't get afraid of storms. He's not afraid of storms because he knows he is greater than the storm. The disciples were controlled by fear of a storm because they didn't know that Jesus was greater than the storm. Their problem was they had misplaced their fear. If you're living with fear and not peace, I need to ask you, what are you looking at?

What are you elevating in life? God never panics. God never worries. And God tells us not to worry. Jesus tells us in Matthew's gospel in chapter six, five different times, he says, do not worry. Be not anxious. Do not worry over and over. Take no thought is the way it's worded in the King James Bible, but it's do not worry.

Don't have fretting in your life. Worry is based on elevating the trials of life. Peace is based on elevating God. The disciples could describe the details of the storm to Jesus. And their problem was they were good at describing the details of the storm.

They should have been able to describe the details of Jesus to each other. They elevated the greatness of the storm instead of elevating the greatness of God. Right now, the world in America is facing real storms. The forecast for planet Earth doesn't look great. America is not headed in the right direction. But we don't have to live with anxiety and fear, friends, because the steering wheel of our life is not in the hands of the world. It's in the hands of God.

And what's more comforting, financial security, low gas prices, low egg prices, enough toilet paper? Or knowing that God sits on the throne. I want to ask you what specific storm is raging in your heart, life and mind?

Have you become an expert at your storm? The problem for most Christians is they have a PhD in the trial that they're in, and they have an elementary education in the Bible about God. They can define all the details of how big the storm is in their life, but they can't define one verse that describes how great God is.

The disciples needed to realize the power outside the boat didn't match the power inside the boat. People do not understand the amount of power that's in the world. None of us do, not even physicists.

No one does. It's beyond human ability to grab. In the last century, scientists have discovered the vast amount of energy inside of all matter and mass in what's known as E equals mc squared. E stands for mass or matter, and the C stands for energy squared. This formula simply means that energy has mass to it.

It weighs something. And in quantum physics, it has shown that the deeper that you go inside of the working of an atom, you see that there's really nothing there. It's just energy waves. It has been shown that an atom is actually like an invisible force field, a kind of miniature tornado which emits waves of electrical energy. What's interesting is that the material that makes up an atom only accounts for one trillionth of its volume. That means nearly all of the atom is just energy in motion. So our bodies are made up of trillions of atoms, and if you squeeze all of that empty space out of us, the material would be able to fit inside of a teaspoon.

It's not much to us, but you are like this massive amount of energy sitting there, even in resting position. The amount of energy and matter is, again, inconceivable, but it is possible to convert matter into pure energy, though we've not been able to harness that technology. They're working on that, but they said if we could harness the energy in the mass or matter of an average-sized tree, the power yield is almost inconceivable. It would be 45 trillion kilowatt hours in a normal-sized tree.

That would literally power the United States for 10 years if we could just harness the energy inside of one tree. Let me ask you a question. Where did all that energy come from? Where did that come from? It came from the Big Bang, don't you know?

Oh, that's right. So where did the Big Bang come from? Well, nothing precedes that. Spontaneous generation, right? Nothing burst into something, became an orderly everything. That's what they teach. I've studied it.

It's insane. You know the power in the sun and stars is incomprehensible. The sun releases, according to one astrophysicist, more energy in one second than a billion major cities, if you had a billion major cities, would produce in a year. That's just in one second the energy that the sun produces. Who started that generator? You know, the sun burns 8 to 10 million pounds of matter every second day and night.

Where did that come from? Senior research scientist, astro-geophysicist Larry Vardeman says the sun heats the earth, it drives all the weather systems on earth, tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms, just plain rain clouds, wind. All of that is driven by the heat coming from the sun, the energy coming from the sun. The energy that we have on earth from the sun is only one billionth of the amount of energy that is coming off of the sun. Then consider that in our Milky Way galaxy, there is an estimated 100 billion stars. Then consider there are 100 billion other galaxies with hundreds of billions of stars as well, burning 8 to 10 million pounds of matter a second. Where did all of that power come from?

It's unbelievable. Who's driving that engine? Isaiah 40 verse 26 says, Lift up your eyes on high, and behold, who hath created these things that bringeth out their host by number? He calleth them all by names, by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power, not one faileth. Psalm 8 verse 3 and 4 says, When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained, what is man that you're mindful of him?

You ever go up in an airplane, you look down on earth, and you're like, man, we are just little peons. If God can produce all of that, what is he like? I mean, what must God be like? The Bible says, Once I have heard this twice, it's been spoken, Power belongeth unto the Lord. You get the revelation, it says, The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. He is omnipotent in power.

There is nothing he has that he cannot do. Psalms 33 verse 6 says, By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He spoke them ex nihilo out of nothing into existence. It says in verse 9, Let all the earth fear the Lord, let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him, for he spake and it was done.

He commanded and it stood fast. Just consider all the power in the universe and then consider that Jesus said in Matthew chapter 28 verse 20, All power is given unto me. We serve a great God. When they woke Jesus up, they woke up the one who spoke the worlds into existence, the one who's holding up the world by the word of his power. Almighty God in the boat. In verse 26. Notice what Jesus does when they wake him up in verse 26 and he says, And he saith unto them, Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith?

And he arose and rebuke the winds in the sea and there was a great calm. It's like waking up and saying, Why are you being so silly? This is ridiculous.

Why are you painting? It's almost comical, isn't it? I mean, they're like wiping water off their face, ringing out, throwing water out there like, Why are we fearful? I mean, we are not novices here. This is the worst storm we've ever been in here.

Why? Listen, not one of the disciples thought Jesus would respond like that. And what's interesting, verse 26 says he arose. The word he arose can mean to stand, but it also can just mean he woke up.

And that's really the idea here. He woke up. He didn't stand on the edge of the boat and say, Now storm. You know, he didn't.

It's not the idea. When he arose, it just means he woke up. Could have just simply leaned up on his elbow and rebuked the storm. The word rebuke.

There is a sharp command. Mark 4 39 says it this way. He arose, rebuke the wind in this instead under the sea. Peace be still. The word peace there can be translated as hush.

Literally, they woke him up. He could lean on his elbow and say, Why are you so fearful? Look at the storm hush and everything's great. Great calm, the Bible says.

Lay flat. You know, it's one thing to stop a storm. It's another thing to stop the water. Because if you stopped winds, the water and waves would be going for hours before they calm down. It just takes a long time for that whole stuff.

All that motion to slow down. Everything just supernaturally just dissolves into peace. Friends, if you want to have peace in life, you must learn to elevate the right power.

You must learn to focus on the power in the boat instead of focusing your eyes on that which is outside of the boat. Isaiah 26 verse three says thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee. Fear, anxiety, worry, fretting all come because we focus on our trials. So those who continually have fear, anxiety and worry are always looking at the wrong place. You get peace in the midst of a storm when you focus on God instead of your trials.

Peter walked on water until he looked at the waves. And some today are sinking because you focused your eyes on the wrong thing. So storms will come even when the Lord's in the boat. Secondly, peace is not based on the size of your trial.

Sometimes people say this. Well, once I get through this, things will calm down. You think it's going to calm down after that? The order you get, the more you realize that don't work, does it? Because once you get through one storm, there's always another one waiting. Thirdly, storms will reveal the level of your faith. Matthew 8 26, he says, Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? And in that statement, Jesus puts his finger on the problem.

He doesn't say the problems outside the boat. He says it's inside their hearts. The problem was not the size of the storm, it was the size of their faith. Faith will determine whether you live with peace or fear.

Did you hear that? Your faith will determine whether you live in peace or in fear. Faith is trust in God. You have little faith, little trust in God.

Because they didn't trust God, they didn't have peace. And so in your life, just ask yourself, do you live with more peace or are you living with fear and doubt and anxiety? Faith prays, faith petitions God, faith casts its care upon the Lord. You know what faith does? Faith goes around telling people how great their God is. Fear goes around telling people how great their storms are. Victory isn't dependent upon our ability and strength, it's dependent upon God's ability and strength. You know, while the Israelites could all define how big Goliath was, David was running down the hill with a stone and a sling telling Goliath how big his God was.

That's the difference. The Bible tells us in Philippians 4 verse 13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Today, are you allowing fear and anxiety and worry to defeat you? Stop looking at the big storm in front of you and start looking at the great God inside of you. Stop reading all the headlines and news and start reading your Bible. Stop waking up and looking at the news first and start waking up and looking at God.

Peace in life is not based on the presence or absence of trials, it's based on the presence and absence of the Lord. Too many Christians make God too small in their life. And you know it a couple of ways, they always have big problems. Did you ever notice that? Those people always have big problems. It's like their life is filled with anxiety all the time. I mean, they just always have something. It's always a big issue.

They're always blowing things up. And I think sometimes it's like, is your God just that little? You must serve a little God. Can you even fit him in your pocket? It's your little pocket God, you rub him like a genie?

You see the little rabbit's foot you hope he hears? I know I'm being a little strong here, a little ridiculous, but that's what people do. And you need to be rebuked for that. Stop treating God like he's some frail, impotent weakling. It's dishonoring, it's blasphemous in many ways. Knock on wood.

I believe our outlook can determine our outcome. You know, in 2 Kings 6, you have the Syrian army surrounding Elisha. You had Elijah and then Elisha. Some warriors for God, man. The Syrian army surrounds him, all these horses and mighty men of Syria come down upon Elisha. And Elisha's servant's scared to death. He's like, man, we're going to die. What are we going to do? Look at all these people.

Listen to the story. Verse 15 in 2 Kings 6 says this. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early and gone forth, behold, a host come past the city, both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, alas, my servant, how shall we do?

I mean, we're going to die. And he answered, fear not. Fear not? He says, fear not for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. I'm sure the servant's looking at Elisha like, you're crazy.

We don't have anybody. And then verse 17, and Elisha prayed and said, Yahweh, or Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see. The Lord opened the eyes of the young man and he saw and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

I pray today that God would open some of our eyes. There is a power in the boat greater than the power that's out of the boat. God doesn't allow storms in our life to destroy us either. He's not like, yeah, I'm going to stick them in this storm.

I'm going to really rattle them because they're getting on my nerves. That's not what he does. There's really two reasons God puts us in storms or there could be more, but he wants us to see the level of our faith. He already knows the level of our faith. He puts us in storms so it reveals us to us. He shows us ourself. Oh, you believe in God, do you?

Let me see. Let me turn the heat up just a little bit and then it'll expose the quality of your faith because gold is refined by fire. I've often thought through the years of ministry early on in my life like, God, why are you putting me through so many hard things and it was to show me all the holes and all the weaknesses of my life. Those who God uses most, he bruises most many times, not to hurt them, but to use them for his glory. David could have said, God, why did you send a lion and a bear against these sheep? I'm out here on the hillside. He said, because I knew Goliath was going to come and I needed a warrior. I needed a man of courage, not a fearful, fretting little Israelite on the hillside behind a rock. Sir Isaac Newton said in his first law of motion, everything continues in a state of rest unless it is compelled to change by forces impressed upon.

Let me read that again. He said, the first law of motion states everything continues in a state of rest unless it is compelled to change by forces impressed upon it. No one is willing to do real change until real crisis hits. Many of you are here today because there was enough pain that God allowed, brought or happened in your life that caused you to wake up to your own mortality, your need for Christ, your need for God. And what a blessing that has been, isn't it? I mean, remove all the pains of your life and what kind of a person would you be? Your character would be weak.

Faith would be nonexistent in many ways. God allows trials to grow us, to teach us, to humble us, to carve pride out of our life. Anybody ever been humbled by a trial you went through and you realize you're not as strong as you thought you were? Well, that was a blessing, wasn't it?

And then let me close with a fourth point and we'll be done. Fourthly, what you fear greatest in life will become the Lord of your life. After Jesus calms the storms, these men stopped fearing the waves and started fearing Jesus. The men were afraid of the storm, but listen to what happens to their fear according to Mark's account of this story in Mark 4 verse 40. It says, and he or Jesus said unto them, why are you so fearful?

How is it that you have no faith? This is after he stops the storm in verse 41 says, and they feared, what's the word? Exceedingly and said one to another. What manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?

What happened is this. They feared the storm, but when Jesus calmed the storm, their fear went from the storm to Jesus. They feared the storm, but they exceedingly feared Jesus. You don't know what's incredible about fear. Fear is very controlling, isn't it? Do you think our leaders of our nation understand that? Do you think they tried to manipulate the nation with fear? You turn up fear, you turn up control.

You want somebody to do something, just get them scared enough and they'll walk right where you want them to go. I'm a sheep of Jesus, but I'm not a sheep of the world. Y'all with me? We follow one master and so, and I don't say that cause I'm anti-American.

I love the United States. Okay, we understand all of those things, but, but I'm not going to follow deceit and lies and don't need to go any further. But the fear that the world promotes creates anxiety and worry and unstable and shaky heart. But what's incredible is when your fear is directed away from the world to God, fear of God is the only thing that produces incredible peace to you. Like fear to anything else creates anxiety. Once you dial into that fear toward God, it creates incredible peace to the Christian.

It's like, wow. That's why the Bible says in Proverbs one verse seven, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

You want, you want to have peace in your life. Learn to fear God. And you know why God brought this in their life?

Because he knew that after he rose from the dead, that they were going to be a handful of disciples trembling in upper room in Acts chapter number one, and they need to have the courage to go into all the world and preach the gospel without fear of man. Because the Bible says this in the book of Proverbs 26, that the fear of men bring a snare. When you fear men, they will control you. Whoever you fear greatest controls you most. That's why you put your fear toward God and he will control your life.

You won't be a slave of men. You'll be a servant of the Lord and you'll be set free from them. When you fear God most, you will live with peace. Psalms 27 one says the Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? And so storms will come even when Jesus is in the boat, but you need to remember today that he will always be with you in the boat. He's never going to leave you nor forsake you. I know some people face some pretty heavy things in life.

Health crisis, financial hardships, job strain. But if Jesus brought you salvation, don't you think he'll feed you? If Jesus died on the cross and gave you eternal life, don't you think he would do the lesser things such as making sure you stay alive?

If he will care for the little things, don't you think he'll care for the bigger things? Faith will determine whether you live with peace or fear and misplaced fear is the cause of so much worry, anxiety and fretting in our life. I love what Psalm 16 verse eight says. The Psalmist writes, I have set the Lord always before me because he is at my right hand.

I shall not be moved. Today, I don't know what situation you're going through. I don't know what anxiety may be in your heart. But learn to wake up and take that strain, that anxiety to the Lord and say, God, thank you that you're greater than the situation I'm in. Thank you that I can cast my care on you for you care for me. Thank you that you can give me a peace that passes all understanding to keep my heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Thank you that in the world I may have tribulation, but I can be of good cheer because you've overcome the world. You've called me to be anxious for nothing, but in all things by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to let my request be made unto you so that the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep my heart and mind in Christ.

You need to know Matthew six, if you're in a great worry right now, something weighing on your heart, study Matthew six, study Philippians four, study those passages. I'll close with this, I shared before, but it's so fitting that the pastor was on a flight, true story, and he said it was one of the worst flights he'd ever been on, just by far the most turbulent. And turbulence became so severe that people were bouncing out of their seats, they're strapping their seatbelts on, their pilot's trying to calm people down, people begin to pray out loud, scared out of their minds. He said even he became very terrified, he's praying and just very concerned. He said, while all this chaos is going on on the plane, he looks over and there's like this little five-year-old girl just sitting there reading a little kid's book. It's like, what in the world?

And he can't believe it. I mean, she's so peaceful, she has like, what's going on everywhere else is not going on in her little world, she's like in a zone of her own. And it brought some peace to him because he's like, my goodness, it was just calming just watching her.

Everybody seemed like we're going to die, they thought he may not make it. After the plane lands, everybody gets off the plane and he's like, I got to talk to her, I got to find out what's going on with her. And so everybody gets off the plane and he goes up to this little girl, he says, little girl, I need to ask you a question.

Did you notice everything going on? She's like, oh yeah. He said, why didn't you get worried? You're just over here like little peaceful, just as calm as can be.

And this was her response. She said, well, my daddy's the pilot, I know he's going to take me home. And Christian, you need to remember that God is the pilot and he's taking us home. And this trip may get a little turbulent sometimes, but we don't have to live with the same fear the world's in.

You know, the world looks at the earth as though it's careening around the 580 million mile orbit at 67,000 miles an hour, spinning at a thousand miles per hour, careening through space, like barely hanging on. And God says, I'm upholding this by the word of my power. And if he upholds the balances of all things, don't you think he can uphold our little life? I think God would wake up and say, why are you fearful? Cast your eyes back on the greatness of God. Remember, greater is he that's with us than he that's in the world.

Amen. If you were to stand for God today and he said, why should I let you into heaven? What would you say to the Lord? If you don't know the answer to that question, I'm going to have men and women stand at that door and over at this door, you could just walk up to one of them and say, I would like to know how to be saved.

I want to know when my life's over, how I can be in heaven. Maybe today you just need to come and cast your care upon the Lord. You know, Jesus invites that.

He's not mad at you if you're fearful. He's calling you to cast your burdens upon him. That seat is too big for us. That driver's seat, when you feel overwhelmed, you're sitting in the Lord's seat and you need to remove yourself and say, God, forgive me. I took the steering wheel again. My life's in your hands, not in mine. Honor the Lord with that.

Let's all stand this morning. The altar's open. Maybe you just need to come and pray.

You're welcome to do that. Father, we thank you for your mercy, your love and your grace. I thank you for the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Thank you for this wonderful story in Matthew 8. We have learned so much.

God, you have taught us that we don't have to live with the fear and the worry and the trembling and the fretting that so often defines our world. People are so overly medicated. Some can't stop drinking. Some people can't stop taking sleeping medication or pills or drugs or whatever else to calm themselves down.

They're just scared. But you are our answer. I pray that our hearts would be stilled upon you. May we all long to be in your presence through the day and in the morning hours. Draw us to yourself, O sovereign God. And if anyone today is overwhelmed, may they find their peace in you. I pray for those that are lost today, they might come and be saved. Let them know they are here for a reason. This is not an accident. You have each person in this room for such a time as this that they might hear your truth and now they can respond to it and honor you with that response. Be glorified in our lives today, we ask it in Jesus' name.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-02 08:37:07 / 2023-04-02 08:58:08 / 21

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