story of the storm in Matthew 8, Mark 4 and Luke 8, from which the
stirring song, "MASTER THE TEMPEST IS RAGING" comes, has
in it some powerful lessons for us. In the lives of each of us there
has been or will be a storm of some sort. There will be waves of
trouble, hurt, or doubt that will beset, confront, or confound us.
In the midst of those "troublesome times that are here,
filling men's hearts with fear," the question may come,
"Carest thou not that we perish?" He gave that
answer many times in many ways. The ultimate answer was on the cross
where He cared so much He suffered and died. When we ask, "Does
Jesus care when my heart is pained, too deeply for mirth or song?"
this story, as well as many others, answers it so forcefully that
we should never doubt it.
Their cry in Matthew 8:25 "And they
came to him, and woke him, saying, Save us, Lord, we perish,"
and then the fact that they marveled (v. 27) when He
did it, is interesting and instructive. They had a little faith
(v. 26), and although it was enough to get a blessing from the Lord,
it was not enough to prevent His rebuke.
have embarked on the sea of life, heading for another shore. There
is only one safe port. We may either steer our frail bark by the
true Compass, or guess and drift wherever the currents may lead.
They inevitably lead to the shoals of destruction.
of us should willingly think and/or sing, "Jesus, Savior,
pilot me over life's tempestuous sea." The song continues,
"Chart and compass came from thee: Jesus, Savior, pilot
me." Many who claim to be in the Ark of Safety with the
Lord are apparently no longer paying much attention to the chart
and compass, but are either following their favorite preacher or
lesson is that even if we have embarked with Christ, we should not
wait until the storm comes to call on Him for help and direction.
Many are like a man who was in a boat in a storm. He rowed and rowed,
but could make no progress. He prayed, "Lord, I have not
ever bothered you much before, and if you will get me out of this
mess, I will not bother you again."
should all realize that the presence of Christ in our boat is no
guarantee of perpetual calm. But it is a guarantee of two things
even better. Whether we look at Paul with his thorn in the flesh,
Daniel in the lion's den, or the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace,
we see these two things: (1) Although He did not keep them
out of the difficulty, He walked with them in it. His grace was
sufficient. (2) He eventually took them out. He stills the
storm. And who can doubt that Daniel and all the rest were better,
stronger men for having gone through those things? Remember that
"The trying of your faith worketh patience"
(James 1:3). "We are more that conqueror
through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37).
are many that seem to think, "I have made friends with the
Captain. I do not need to be in his boat. I just trust him to get
me there somehow." Whatever that may be called, it is not
faith, but merely a wild assumption. The faith the Bible talks about
is the faith that comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17).
Jesus said, "Ye are my friends if ye
do whatsoever I command you" (John 15:14).
seem to think, "I do not need any boat. I will just dive
off and swim across on my own, for I am a good swimmer."
Let me urge upon you this reality: Though a man might be able to
swim across the English Channel and back, the sea of life is too
wide and man is too weak to make it on his own. And a man is no
worse off if he falls off the pier in New York and cannot swim a
stroke than he is if he leaps off confidently and starts toward
London and swims 50 miles and then drowns. No matter how good or
how bad you are, you cannot save yourself by yourself.
grace has provided the boat, the Captain, and the directions. If
you reach the safety of the heavenly shore, you will do it by accepting
his grace, on his terms. You must enter the boat, you must stay
on board, but you will never have the right to say, "I made
it by my own goodness, works, or wisdom."
change the figure of speech slightly, you must indeed make friends
with the Captain. If you do, the ticket is free, but you must pick
it up and get on board. What will your condition be when the storms
of life come upon you?
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