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SMOOTH SAILING

PSALM 77:16-20

"When the waters saw You, O God,

when the waters saw You, they were afraid;

indeed, the deep trembled.

The clouds poured out water;

the skies gave forth thunder;

Your arrows flashed on every side.

The crash of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;

Your lightnings lighted up the world;

the earth trembled and shook.

Your way was through the sea,

Your path through the great waters;

yet Your footprints were unseen.

You led Your people like a flock

by the hand of Moses and Aaron."




Out of the many passages we are privy to from the Word of God, the powerful use of water - as a means of cleansing or as a source of life or faith-challenging storms - portrays the strength of God's immense power and decidedly devine will for us in a perfect way that we've each experienced.

By personally experiencing these, it gives us a closer relationship with what Jesus is teaching:

We know what it's like to feel the need to get clean when we've become dirty or sweaty; we understand the dry thirst for a drink of water after becoming parched from the journey; we comprehend the drenching of a strong downpour of water because we've all been caught in a storm.








Billy Graham

gave a perfect illustration of the chaos and purpose of life's storms. He said this:


"A mighty oak begins

with a little seed

that is planted in the soil

and fights it's way up -

only to face the winds,

the rain,

the snow,

the blazing sun,

and endless adversity

year after year -

to become a beautiful, magnificent oak tree.

Because ---

it's only in the storm that your faith can grow.

It's only when your faith is tested by fire that you really know how pure your faith is.

It's only when you're tested that your character can develop.

Only in the storm can you discover the power of God to deliver you.

Only in the storm do you call upon the Lord and find Him to be the ever-present help in the time of trouble.

The storm developes your confidence and as your confidence is, so is your capacity."


Only in the storm.

So, do storms come from God?

I believe we don't recognize how often God allows storms in our lives

because God can work through the wind and waves and tumultuous life elements that viciously beat us down - so that we can be MORE when we rise up.

In Psalm 148 it says that fire and hail, snow and mist, and stormy wind fulfill His Word.



Storms can be scary.

The more unexpected the thunder,

the more jarring it can be.


But,

we find renewing

of spirit, mind and body

by drawing ourselves back

to acknowledging

Who CREATED the storm and

Who CALMS the storm is

Who makes us CAPABLE of overcoming it.





In Mark 4, Jesus slept as the storm proceeded, only waking when the disciples' fear outweighed their faith. Then, He calmed the storm.

Verse 40 says, "He said to them, 'Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?'"


Faith over fear

VS

Fear over Faith

In Matthew 14, in the midst of opposing winds, Peter asked Jesus to call him out to cross the water. Jesus said, "Come."

Peter stepped out but, when he saw the wind, fear overtook his faith and, even though he had already been walking on the water, he began to sink.


Faith over Fear

VS

Fear over faith


Psalm 107 tells of crews sailing the sea and fierce storms coming on them. They cried for help from the Lord and He made the storm to be still and the waves of the sea hushed. Then they were "glad that the waters were quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven."


Faith over Fear

VS

Fear over Faith


The takeaway:

We're not promised smooth sailing.

We're not promised no storms.

But we are promised that we're not facing them alone. We are given access to the Calmer of the storm - the Peace Giver - the Refuge for our souls.



Strength doesn't increase when we're sitting in a boat, letting the water rock us to the next shore.

Strength increases when we have to row.



Keep on swimming.

It won't always be smooth sailing.

When it is, enjoy it.

When it isn't, begin to row.


❤️

Sarah Jane




MARK 4:35-39

"On that day, when evening had come, He said to them, 'Let us go across to the other side.'

And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as He was. And other boats were with Him.

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.

But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?'

And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Peace! Be still!' And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."



MATTHEW 14:22-31

"Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds.

And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.

And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.

But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, 'It is a ghost!' and they cried out in fear.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

And Peter answered Him, 'Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.'

He said, 'Come.'

So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, 'Lord, save me.'

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'"



PSALM 57:1

"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,

for in You my soul takes refuge;

in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge,

till the storms of destruction pass by."



PSALM 148:7-8

"Praise the Lord from the earth,

you great sea creatures and all deeps,

fire and hail, snow and mist,

stormy wind fulfilling His word!"



PSALM 69:1-3

"Save me, O God!

For the waters have come up to my neck.

I sink in deep mire,

where there is no foothold;

I have come into deep waters,

and the flood sweeps over me.

I am weary with my crying out;

my throat is parched.

My eyes grow dim

with waiting for my God."



PSALM 107:23-30

"Some went down to the sea in ships,

doing business on the great waters;

they saw the deeds of the Lord,

His wondrous works in the deep.

For He commanded and raised the stormy wind,

which lifted up the waves of the sea.

They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;

their courage melted away in their evil plight;

they reeled and staggered like drunken men

and were at their wits' end.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and He delivered them from their distress.

He made the storm be still,

and the waves of the sea were hushed.

Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,

and He brought them to their desired haven."

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