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Faith Through The Storm

04.11.21 Nathaniel Wall

  1. Jesus Pray For Us
    10.10.21 39m 23s
  2. Praying Like Jesus
    09.26.21 41m 26s
  3. Full of Joy
    09.19.21 32m 40s
  4. Refuse to Fall
    09.12.21 40m 52s
  5. When the World Hates
    09.05.21 38m 58s
  6. Stay Connected to the Vine
    08.29.21 45m 09s
  7. Do Works Greater Than Jesus?!
    08.22.21 40m 38s
  8. For The Troubled Heart
    08.15.21 46m 45s
  9. Victorious Christian Living
    08.01.21 46m 07s
  10. What You Should Do With Clean Feet
    07.25.21 47m 11s
  11. Dinner with Jesus
    07.18.21 42m 53s
  12. 5 Truths for Troubled Souls
    07.11.21 49m 47s
  13. The Triumphal Entry
    07.04.21 43m 23s
  14. Mary Anoints Jesus
    06.27.21 42m 28s
  15. Raising Lazarus
    06.20.21 39m 15s
  16. Jesus and the Father are One
    06.13.21 47m 12s
  17. How Good is the Good Shepard?
    06.06.21 40m 16s
  18. Was Blind But Now I See
    05.30.21 45m 25s
  19. Live Free
    05.23.21 38m 07s
  20. The Light of the World
    05.16.21 34m 45s
  21. Condemnation and the Gospel
    05.09.21 34m 31s
  22. Not The What But The Who
    05.02.21 40m 24s
  23. The Significance of Feasts
    04.25.21 38m 53s
  24. Eat Jesus
    04.18.21 39m 06s
  25. Faith Through The Storm
    04.11.21 37m 51s
  26. Worship When You Struggle
    03.28.21 35m 25s
  27. Healthy Conflict
    03.21.21 43m 50s
  28. Pick Up Your Mat and Walk
    03.14.21 33m 45s
  29. Cling To His Word
    02.28.21 33m 07s
  30. The Scandalous Grace Of God
    02.21.21 38m 55s
  31. The Strength of Humble Faith
    02.14.21 36m 11s
  32. Life Over Death
    02.07.21 46m 45s
  33. Do Not Waver
    01.31.21 43m 16s
  34. Jesus Makes Wine
    01.24.21 36m 36s
  35. The Story of Us
    01.17.21 40m 44s
  36. What Made John Great?
    12.27.20 34m 29s
  37. Why Jesus?
    12.20.20 31m 51s
  38. The Word of Light and Life
    12.13.20 34m 02s

Faith Through The Storm

04.11.21 Nathaniel Wall Light the Dark Series

I’m going to invite you to John chapter six together. We’re going to be in John 6 this morning. As we dive into this text, I want to just set the tone for where this is going. This is a very powerful passage, but we’re only going to look at a few verses today. We’re going to look at in verse 16 to verse 21 of John chapter six. Jesus is doing something significant here for the lives of the disciples, which has implication and application for our lives as followers of Jesus as well. Very important story, but just a few verses take place here. If you want to read some of the other Gospel accounts of this story we’re about to dive into, it’s recorded again in Matthew chapter 14 and in Mark chapter six. In fact, Matthew and Mark go a little bit further into the story than what John does. John gives us a surface level explanation of this story, but there is a lot to glean from what John communicates to us.

When you look into the Gospels, it’s interesting how Jesus’ miracles work through the Gospels. We know in studying this together, every miracle that Jesus performs isn’t an end in itself, but to ultimately point us to something greater, and that is what rests within him, the purpose of his coming into this world and his identity and what it means for us. Jesus intentionally performs miracles. There’s a purpose to his miracles. When you study Jesus’ miracles, a couple of ways that comes across in the Gospels. There are some miracles that Jesus performs where it looks like Jesus allows the circumstance to come to him. And then when that circumstance comes to him, he performs the miracle. One example would be the wedding of Canaan when they ran out of wine. His mother comes and tells Jesus and Jesus performs the miracle of the water turned to wine. The need arose and Jesus performed it.

There’s other miracles that Jesus performs where Jesus seems more intentional in the way that he pursues after it. And what I mean is when Jesus goes to the woman at the well. The way it’s described in John Four, Jesus says, “I need and I must go here.” So it’s saying to us that this is something Jesus does intentionally and Jesus pursued this intentionally. He said there is a need for him to be there and so that’s when they make the journey to meet the woman at the well. Jesus had a divine appointment. So when you look at these miracles, there are some that the circumstance brings about Jesus performs the miracles, and there’s other miracles you see Jesus to where he’s intentionally pursuing that moment. When you read about the miracles on water, there’s two different miracles discussed about on water. The first is in Matthew Eight where Jesus is on the boat with his disciples. You might remember the story. Jesus is asleep, the disciples are freaking out, and Jesus wakes up and he calms the sea.

And so there’s one of those miracles that Jesus performs where the circumstance arose and Jesus stills the water. When you read this miracle, this miracle is more the intentional type the way it’s described in the Gospels, where Jesus actually calls his disciples to go into the water knowing there’s going to be a storm. Now, the big question would be, why? Why would you do that? And that’s where we pick up in the story in the Gospel of John chapter six in verse 16, “When the evening came, his disciples went down to the sea.” Now you look at this and you’ll say, “Okay, I don’t see Jesus necessarily sending his disciples into the sea to confront a storm.” The disciples, it says in this verse, are certainly going to the sea, but the question we could pose here is, what else would the disciples be doing? If all of the disciples are together and they’re going somewhere, when you read the Gospels, the disciples aren’t coming about just these ideas on their own.

Jesus is the one guiding the disciples and Jesus tells the disciples to go in the sea, and Jesus knows all things and Jesus knows the storm’s coming. Nevertheless, he tells his disciples to go there. Now, if you were to read this account in other Gospels, they share that information in more a detailed way. John implies it, the disciples are going somewhere. Obviously, if the disciples are going somewhere, Jesus told the disciples as a group to go to this place. But in Mark, he actually says it in verse 45. “And immediately Jesus and his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side.” So Jesus tells his disciples, “Get in the boat, go to the other side to Bethsaida,” while he himself dismissed the crowd. So if you remember, we left off Jesus feeding the 5,000. Right after they get done feeding the 5,000 Jesus tells the disciples, “Get in the boat. Go to the other side. I’m going up on the mountain to pray.”

So Jesus leaves his disciples all alone to go into the storm. And you look at this and we can say to ourselves, “Jesus, this is not easy. Why would you send your disciples into the storm?” Well, as we read a little bit further, we’re going to see the answer to that question as to why the disciples were led here by Jesus. But John chapter six, when we started this chapter, it already gave a hint for this story as to why Jesus would do this based on the other story. If you remember when John chapter six starts, Jesus feeding the 5,000, the question he poses to the disciples before they feed the 5,000 is, “Where are you going to get enough food to feed these people?” And the disciples start to speculate a little bit, freak out a little bit over just the amount of people and how in the world they could possibly do this. And Jesus tells us in John chapter six, verse five and six that he’s asking this question to test his disciples.

And all we see within this story is Jesus is amplifying the need or the means by which he’s testing his disciples. We’ll talk a little bit more as to why Jesus would do this as we unfold, but let’s talk about you for a minute. Why would Jesus have this story for us within this Gospel account? Well, a couple of things I’ll say here. Some of us are really good at learning life lessons from other people’s experience. And some of us are a little more stubborn than others. So some of us can look at a story and we can glean everything that we need to know about that story and be good with that story. Others, like maybe your pastor, is better at bumping their head against the ceiling and learning from their own mistakes, and then looking back at the story and saying, “Oh, you know what? Jesus talks about this.” And I’ll find some comfort in seeing that while I may learn a little bit more stubborn than others, that I see how God showed a similar story in the lives of his disciples that I can relate to here.

But either way, God wants you to learn something about him in the nature of what’s expressed in this story for how you live your life in light of Jesus as you journey with him. Verse 17. “And after getting into the boat, they started to cross the Sea to Capernaum. It had already become dark and Jesus had not yet come to them.”Let me just say this real quick, in case you caught it. Jesus tells them to go to Capernaum. But in the verse that I just quoted out of Mark, Jesus tells them that they’re going to Bethsaida. So you can look at that and be like, “Why in Mark in this story is he saying going to Bethsaida but here in this story he’s talking about going to Capernaum?” Well, when you look at the Sea of Galilee on a map, what you see is Capernaum really is the first town that they can come to on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and Bethsaida is toward the North East a little bit.

So they’re going to journey into land, but to get to that place in the land, they’ve got to stop at a port or a town. So they go to Capernaum in order to head to Bethsaida. And when you read this story, it tells you, “It had already become dark and Jesus had not yet come to them.” This is where, based on how this is playing out, the story’s playing out, that you would cue the eerie music and the omens about to take place. You can add your own voice inflection to this to see maybe how the attitude of the disciples are during this moment. It’s in the middle of the night and Jesus is a [inaudible 00:08:06] and it’s dark outside. They’re starting it, “And we’re really scared.” That’s how it comes across in verse 17. And then it builds verse 18. “In addition, the sea began getting rough because a strong wind was blowing.” A strong wind on land is bad enough, strong wind on sea, and especially first century sea in a boat. That’s no good. Who’s going there? That’s not for me. Is it for you?

I’ve seen the way the waves build in the wind in Utah Lake and I’m not interested in that. I mean, you ever wonder when you look at the Sea of Galilee, you just look at a picture of it and you’re like, “They call it a sea, but these people apparently don’t know that this is obviously a lake.” This is not a sea, this is a lake. We have geographical problems here with the way that they’re labeling things. The reason it’s believed that they called it the Sea of Galilee is because waves can really kick up on this body of water, and the way that the waves crashing on the shore makes a loud noise just like the sea, and so it’s been dubbed by that name the Sea of Galilee. When you think about waves, and especially if you’re driving in a first century boat, a storm could easily keep you from where do you want to go. It can blow you off course. It can put hurdles in front of you.

In fact, in my nerdy dad way, I just decided to dub this storm, in our country when there’s a hurricane that’s hitting land we like to talk about the name of the storm, I’ve called this the Paula Abdul Storm. This is the two steps forward, two steps back kind of a thing. These disciples are trying to get where they need to go and they definitely have what Jesus told them to do, but they can’t seem to get there because the waves they’re just too much in this storm. And this storm no doubt is intended to be a really a metaphorical storm for us and we make the application to our lives. And some of you think when you read this storm and we try to relate the story to what’s going on in our lives, some of you have just gotten out of a storm. Some of you feel like you’re in the middle of the storm. Some of you might see the clouds gathering to create a storm.

We think about this storms in our lives. It can be parenting. It can be marriage. It can be your job. It can be your health. And if you aren’t in one now, storms come. Storms come and Jesus is teaching us about our relationship to him in light of a storm. And I don’t want to minimize or downplay the battle. When you read this, Jesus wants us to certainly know it’s a big storm. It’s a big problem. So what do you do? And why would Jesus lead his disciples here knowing it’s going to happen. Verse 19, “Then when they had rowed about 25 or 30 stadia,” let’s just stop right there. Let’s talk about this for a minute. They ride 25 or 30 stadia. I don’t know about you, yesterday, I decided, it was a really nice day, I really went out and I went jogging and then I went on a bike ride, but never did I describe it to my wife has, “Honey, I’m heading out. I’m going to take some stadia around this place.” When’s the last time you did a stadia?

But a stadia is one eighth of a mile. So when you do the math, what you find is the disciples rode three to four miles. In fact, the other Gospel accounts tell us that in the middle of the storm to go three or four miles, you’ve got to think, to fight against this current and this wind, to go three to four miles, that’s pretty significant. These guys that tell us in the other Gospel accounts, they do this all night. I think about that. Some of us woke up this morning, you’re thinking, “Wrestle my toddler to church, walk 100 feet. Ah, no thanks. I tap out.” We don’t even want to do that sometimes, so depending on how the morning goes. And these guys Jesus is calling are willing to journey three to four miles in the middle of a storm and still not get to where they need to go. This is exhausting. And if you’re going to put your money on somebody, it’s got to be the fishermen that fish in the Sea of Galilee. If anybody can do it, these guys can do it.

But what we’re discovering in the story is Jesus wants us to see that some storms, some storms are beyond your ability to control. And I think that this story is especially relevant for planners, which sometimes is code for control freak. I’m a planner and Jesus wants you to see that some storms, they’re beyond your control. But to be honest, when it comes to following Jesus, you’ve got to get to the end of yourself before you really get anywhere with him. I mean, it’s not until you really see your need for Jesus that you embrace Jesus for who he is. There are plenty of people in the world that look at Jesus and just label him a good teacher. But Jesus is far more than a good teacher. Jesus is Lord and Jesus is savior. And it’s not until you get to the end of yourself of recognizing that you can’t do it and you need a rescue that you’ll even submit yourself to his authority and who he is for that salvation.

Some storms are beyond our control. In fact, in Mark chapter two, verse 17, Jesus said to the crowd, “It’s not for the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners.” Jesus is saying, “Those are the things they’ve got to put all together. I’m not here for that. I can’t rescue that.” It’s in that pride that really keeps you from him. It’s not until you recognize how much you need him, that you really embrace him for who he is. What we see in this story then, in light of the strong winds and the disciples giving it all they’ve got trying to row all night long, three to four miles, to try to get to the destination Jesus called them to that we start to see really what sets the difference between the feeding of the 5,000 and the storm in the Sea of Galilee. And look at it, in verse 19, the second half of this verse, what we see is Jesus takes them through the storm.

He doesn’t just lead them to the storm, but he takes him through the storm. It says in verse 19, “They saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened.” And there it is. You can imagine this moment, if you’re a discipline on a boat, if anyone’s going to be confident in this circumstance, it’s these guys. But yet They’re worried and they’re concerned and they’re afraid. This is such a bad moment for them that they don’t even know what they’re going to do. This is a moment out of their control. And it describes them in this story, they’re frightened. This is the difference between the feeding of the 5,000 and this miracle. When Jesus fed the 5,000, they’re really learning about how God can supply, but there’s no risk to that lesson. “That’s great, God, we learn how you can supply.” But now we’re in a circumstance where it’s talking about life and death. God needs to be who he really taught them to be in the previous miracle. That’s the lesson.

Because for them right now, everything would be placed on this moment and depending on God. And I could even picture this, who in their right mind is going to think that in the middle of the night, in the middle of a storm, you’re going to see someone walking on water? I can imagine, if you’re a disciple and you start to see what you think is a person coming across the water, and then you start to recognize it’s Jesus, I mean, you’d be dropping to your knees on this boat thinking, “Oh Lord Jesus, did he make the storm? He tried to go on the boat without us and here comes this ghost.” And they’re frightened out of their mind because if they think if Jesus can’t do this, then we’re not going to be able to do this and they’re worried. Some storms are beyond your control. The disciples are frightened, but I want you to see that in their struggle Jesus is with them in the storm. In the middle of the night and the greatest of storms they face, Jesus sees what they’re enduring, and Jesus is with them.

And look what it says in verse 20. “But he said to them, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.” Now why would Jesus say, “Do not be afraid”? Does Jesus not care what they’re going through? Does Jesus not understand their emotional state in the middle of this circumstance? Does Jesus not understand how hard this is? If anyone should be able to do this, they should be able to do this. Why would Jesus say, “Do not be afraid”? Why is Jesus not panicking in this moment like the rest of the disciples? Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid,” for two reasons. Number one, what Jesus wants is his disciples to understand is his authority. It’s comforting. It’s comforting right before you go into an operation that you don’t see the doctor panic. It’s comforting when you get on a plane and you see the pilots smile. Or it’s comforting when you see the chef who just made your meal looking on with anticipation for you to enjoy with delight the same food that he knows he’s tasted 1000 times.

Those are some comforting things. No one wants to get on a plane where the pilot says, “You know what? This is my first flight ever.” Or no one wants to go to a doctor says, “I just completed school and you’re my first operation.” Nobody wants that. And for Jesus, this is the same thing in this circumstance. Here’s why he’s not frightened with them, because he’s the one that’s in control. It’s his authority. In fact, when you study this idea of just water as it relates to God in scripture, the Jewish people have a particular imagery that comes along with water. In Genesis One, when God created, it tells you in verse two to six, that God created the earth and it was without form and void and the water covered the deep end and chaos. And out of the chaos of the water God brings forth the land. And out of chaos God brings order. Or in Exodus chapter 14 after God tells Moses to go before Pharaoh and say, “Let my people go,” God leads his people to the Red Sea.

And Pharaoh is chasing them from behind and Pharaoh’s going to kill him and the people are flipping out, and God tells Moses to hold his staff before the sea and God parts the sea. And out of slavery, they find themselves free. Or even when they crossed the Jordan River in Joshua chapter three, verse four, again out of slavery into freedom, out of chaos into order. God leads them. And the people of Israel know that God controls the water. And in Matthew chapter eight, the first time Jesus is on the water with the disciples and Jesus is asleep in the boat. Jesus is asleep in the boat and the disciples are freaking out because the water and the waves. And they wake up Jesus and Jesus looks to the waves and he says, “Peace. Be still.” And the disciples asked the question, “Who is this man that even the wind and the waves obey him?”

If God controls the water, Jesus then controls the water, then Jesus must be God. It’s his authority. Matthew chapter eight, verse 27 is where that comes from. “Then the men in the boat were amazed and said, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him.'” I think about the disciples in this moment. You need faith in a big God before you can really do the things that he calls you to do. We need to understand just how powerful his authority is before we really trust him to do the things he says that we should do for him. And this is where Jesus is leading his disciples. So, one, Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid,” because of his authority. Number two, Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid,” because of our position. Our position without God can be fear-filled and intimidating. Our ultimate position without God should be fear-filled and intimidating.

You think about, what does the rest of eternity look like for you apart from God? There should be concern there if you’re trying to think about eternity apart from God. Our position without God can be fear-filled and intimidating, but your position with God is powerful. Our natural tendency is to be afraid, especially when you feel incapable and out of control. That’s that’s the disciples. They were confident in their abilities and who they were, but yet they found a storm greater than where they were, and so they began to be fear-filled. And one of the most frequent statements in all of the Bible, I’m sure you’ve seen it, “Do not be afraid.” Well over 300 times, the Bible tells you, “Do not be afraid.” Do you know why the Bible tells us that? Because our normal tendency as human beings is to be afraid.

Our normal tendency is to be afraid. It’s common in our struggle. But at the same time, the Bible also says, “Do not be afraid,” because the Bible wants us to recognize the God’s with you. In Christ, the Lord is always with you. He doesn’t forsake you. He doesn’t abandon you. If you are in Jesus, God’s presence is with you always. When you see the authority of God and the promise of God that you have, it builds confidence in your position, not in you, but in him. It’s not because of you, it’s because of him. That’s why Paul says it in Philippians 4:13. The point of this, the point of this lesson isn’t to say, “I can do hard stuff.” That’s not the point of this. The point of this lesson is to say that God can do hard things through you. It’s not about your confidence in you. It’s about your confidence in him. And so when you think about this story, this story is not about the size of the storm, but the size of your God in the storm.

His authority and your position in him, it’s crucial to everything that God will call you to in this world. Because some of the dumbest decisions we will ever make as people is because we are led by fear. Right now maybe. Right now it’s possible Jesus is wanting to lead you somewhere but you reject it because of fear. Fear is what happens when you think about you. Faith is what happens when you consider him. If you think about your relationship with God, what could fear steal from you in your walk with Jesus? It’ll steal your joy. It’ll steal your energy. It’ll steal your hope. It’ll steal your obedience. It’ll steal your faith. It’ll still your relationship with God. In fact, the way that I know that is, if you read this same story in the account in Matthew chapter 14, included in Matthew 14 is a little extra snippet of the story we don’t quite get in John.

And that’s when they see Jesus walking on the water and Peter says, “Lord, if it’s you, then let me come out of the boat.” And Jesus says, “Come out of the boat.” Peter steps out of the boat, and the minute he takes his eyes off Jesus, because he’s afraid, what happens? He sinks. He sinks, but Jesus will get you through to the other side. You think about, you and I know this, if you’ve read the Gospels or you’re familiar with the First Century Church history, all that lays out in front of these disciples, they have a powerful road to walk with Jesus, but they also have a road full of mini-storms. And if they’re going to get where God has called them to be in him, and if they’re going to live the kind of life that God has called them to live in him, they have to really believe in a God who’s big enough to see them through. That’s why God leads them to this storm.

God doesn’t want them to see something about themselves, because in and of themselves we already know where we are as people when things get out of our control, we’re afraid. But God wants them to see something in him that’s greater than the circumstance in which they face. I love how John says this. John, who writes the Gospel of John, also writes First John chapter four, verse 18, listen to this, “Perfect love casts out fear. Perfect love casts out fear. God intentionally sends them into the storm so that they see a God who is for them, a God who is with him, a God who comes to them, who guides them, who knows where they are in their battle, and he has it all in his hands. God’s not surprised by your circumstance. God’s not surprised by your storms. God’s not surprised by your adversity. God has the ability within him to lead you to the storm, to lead you through the storm, and to lead you to the other side.

So let me just give us a few conclusions. Number one, God’s goal in your life isn’t to calm every storm. You notice that? There’s a difference between Jesus’ first time on the water with his disciples and Jesus’ second time on the water with his disciples. First time, he did calm the storm. Second time, he did not. God’s goal in your life isn’t to calm every storm, but rather to calm your heart in the storm. How? By growing your faith in the one who is greater than the storm. I like the famous quote by Mike Tyson. He says, “Everyone’s got a plan until you get punched in the face. Then it all goes out the window.” And it’s like saying this to you, it’s easy to say you have faith in Jesus, but it’s not until the storm comes that you really see where your faith is in Jesus. And the first time out with the disciples in the water, Jesus calmed the storm. But the second time out, Jesus was more interested in calming the heart of the believer in the storm than the storm itself.

And the reason God could do that is because he is greater. Number two, God’s primary goal isn’t to get rid of fear. Now, that’s hard for us as Americans because we like comfort, by golly. Let’s follow Jesus because it’s easy, and if that’s your reason for following Jesus, you should not follow Jesus. Jesus never promises that he’ll make things easy, and God’s primary goal isn’t to get rid of fear. If God’s primary goal was just to simply remove fear, I would just tell you, Jesus is awful at his job. You can rid fear and still not have Jesus. You think about that? If all the goal is, is to get rid of fear, you can do that and not have Jesus. God’s primary goal is to keep your eyes on him, and it’s in his power and love that fear begins to diminish. Do you see that? When you recognize the authority of God above it all and your position in the hands of that God that cares for you, it doesn’t matter what the storm is.

When your eyes are on the greatness of that God who is greater than that storm, it puts that storm into perspective and the fear of that storm begins to diminish. And that’s exactly what Jesus is showing his disciples in this example. And it’s not to say, “Let’s downplay your struggle.” We don’t want to do that. I’m not saying, “Okay, look wimp, because what you’re going through is easier because Jesus is greater. Stop being such a wuss about it.” We’re not trying to downplay your struggle. It could be a hard struggle. When you look at this storm, this is a powerful storm. This is a big storm. We’re not trying to downplay the struggle that you’re going through, but rather, we’re trying to elevate your Lord in the storm. Because he’s greater. Following Jesus, it isn’t always easy. He leads them to the storm, but the results in Jesus are beautiful for eternity.

Look what it says in verse 21. “So they were willing to take him into the boat and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.” Fear can sink your ship, but faith invites Jesus to be the captain of your boat. And Jesus will lead you through the storm to the other side. Number three, let me say this, the real struggle in this story isn’t the storm. Let me say it in a different way. The real struggle in this story isn’t the storm around them, but the storm within them. You see, that’s the lesson that Jesus wants to teach his disciples. It’s not the storm itself that they need to be concerned about, but where their faith is in the middle of the storm. Not the storm around them, but the storm within them. And when I want to think about this, some of us, if we took a poll this morning, may not be impressed with our current level of faith.

If we had to describe where our faith is, maybe we’d even describe it as just very weak or very little. And I want you to know this morning, that’s okay. That’s okay to see your faith and feel that it’s little, because when it comes to Jesus, you only need a little, God will grow it. God will grow it. It’s not about the size of your faith. That’s not the story. The story is not about the size of your faith, but where you put your faith that matters. So the disciples before they got into this boat probably had all the faith in the world that they were going to get across. But their faith was in the wrong thing. It’s not about the size of your faith, but where you put your faith. There are many people in this world that put their faith in a greater being that, at the end of the day, isn’t going to rescue their soul. But it’s the authority of Jesus that demonstrates otherwise for those that put their faith in him.

The disciples were put on this journey with Jesus because Jesus knows what’s ahead of them. And if God nurtures their soul right now in growing their faith today, as they continue to grow in him, they’re going to do great things tomorrow for his kingdom. And it’s the same for us. You take what faith you have, little or great, you put it in him, you walk in faith with Jesus, and Jesus transforms your life more in his image as you journey along with the Lord. As you think about this storm and you compare it to your life, I think it’s okay to say, “God, I can’t see. I can’t see in the middle of this night, in the middle of what I’m going through with the waves around me, I cannot see how you’re going to lead me to the other side. I can’t see that right now. But God, you said you would. And God, you are good, so I’m going to trust in you.”

For some of us, that’s where the struggle is, isn’t it? We doubt the promises of God. We doubt the goodness of who he says he is and what he says he’ll do for us. And we buy into a lie believing that, that will benefit us more than Jesus himself. And rather than invite him into the boat, we continue to row in the storm as if we think that we can save ourselves. And I think it’s okay to be in that place where you’re struggling, but to still trust. And many times in your life, you’re going to go about your day and you’re going to be in a storm, and I love how this story ends because it gives us a little bit of a conclusion to understand what happened in the lives of the disciples. Because, in our own lives, we’ll go through these storms and we get to this place where we’re out of strength and we realize we can’t do it. And we’ll throw up our arms and we’ll trust in God, and before you know it, we’re on the other side.

And then you look behind you and you just say to yourself, “God, I can’t believe. I can’t believe you gave me the strength. I can’t believe you saw me through, but now on the backside of the storm, I can look back through it all and see your hand was with me on the journey.” That’s why John 6 is here. Some of us learn in stubborn ways, some of us learn from other people’s wisdom, and we’re probably all somewhere in between all that. But here’s a story that says to you, “It’s not about the size of the storm, but the size of your God in the storm.” And your faith doesn’t have to be great, because it’s about where you put your faith that matters. Jesus is your rescuer, because I hope this morning, if in your life, you’ve never come to that place where you’ve put your faith in Jesus as your ultimate rescuer of your soul that you invite him into that boat. And that’s what a relationship with God is. That’s what distinguishes us between religion and walking with Jesus.

Religion will tell you, “Go out and perform and do it and God will be impressed and God will love you.” And relationship with God says, “There ain’t anything that you’re going to do to impress God, because he can do it all anyway, but he loves you and he wants you and will walk in that storm with you if you would just get to the end of yourself and recognize you can’t save your soul, but Jesus can.” And for the rest of us that have put our faith in Christ to recognize that that’s how the journey with Jesus continues to go all of our days. We’ll wake up every day and we determined who’s going to be the master of our fate. Will it be me or will I follow Jesus? Am I going to believe in a lie and think that it’s going to be about what I do that makes my life better for me or about what he’s done? Will I trust him or will I’ll walk in fear?

Is he big enough to handle it and will I step out in faith with him to invite him to lead me where he desires for us to go?