He's In The Boat .… June 28,2020
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 the sea and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the winds ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” Mark 4:37-40 ESV
Do you feel like we are in a storm? Are you fearful, feeling everything is on the verge of falling apart? Perhaps you have a question much like the disciples that night in the boat… Jesus, do you not care? Comfort zones have been challenged…. life as it has been known is vanishing ….. chaos seems to be the order of the day, and there seems to be no end in sight as we live in the uncertainty of each day. I have heard many say that they do not listen to the news because it just increases the uneasy feelings they are already experiencing. We are living the history that one day will be read by future generations if the Lord does not return. The fact is, however, baring the Lord’s return, we will get through this. A phrase I have said to myself many times when life is presenting challenges is- “this too shall pass,” Things will be different when this is past, and I know not what that picture will look like, but let us focus on what we do know.
HE’S IN THE BOAT…. He said, “I will never leave nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13: 5b ESV
This is not just a cliche; it is a promise. God the Father, Jesus his Son, and the Holy Spirit will never leave you. Though you may feel alone at times … you’re not. This truth is not based on what you feel as a Christian, but upon who God is. He is faithful to his promises and word. Do not misunderstand; this is not to say you will never experience difficult times or feel alone, but by faith we believe in the truth of his word and not our feelings. We have accounts in the Bible of people who lived this truth. Do you suppose Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood, based on feelings, or in the truth, when they pronounced to Nebuchadnezzar, even at the risk of death by fire, “We have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel 3:16a-18 ESV The tension in that moment had to be intense, for anger ruled the rage of the king when they did not comply to his demands. Conflict was present, but God presence was with them. Even if they had died in the flame, God would have been with them, but as it was— they lived even in the midst of the fire.
HE’S IN THE BOAT… through the valley of the shadow of death. Psalm 23:4 ESV
I love the 23rd Psalm, for it describes perfectly the relationship we have with Jesus. He is the Shepherd, and we are his sheep. This is perhaps one of the most quoted chapters of the Psalms. It describes perfectly our position with God. We are totally dependent upon Him. If you are dependent solely upon yourself, then you have reason to live in fear and uneasiness but not so if you are dependent upon God. Nothing can happen or affect you of which your Shepherd is not aware. Once again this does not mean life will not be difficult at times, but rather in every situation you know God has a plan. Joseph experienced extremely difficult times because of his brothers and his early days in Egypt. He was sold by his brother into slavery, was lied about, and forgotten in an Egyptian prison. His situation seemed hopeless, but THEN GOD!!! God used it all for good, and even Joseph recognized this when he said to his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:20 ESV Whatever you go through as one of God’s children…. he is walking with you, or as I believe, more than likely is carrying you. God WILL take care of you.
HE’S IN THE BOAT … so move forward.. press on…..
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it on my own. But this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14 ESV Don’t live in the past. Learn from it and then keep pressing forward. To live in the past is to set up a tent of dwelling and then always reflect upon what was. The danger of doing so is this: eventually the world will overtake you, and will crush you. As a Christian your life has purpose and is to be lived on purpose to and for the glory of God. In him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28a ESV ….. So, whether you eat or drink or WHATEVER YOU DO, DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD. 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV Don’t be a tumble weed that is driven in whatever direction the winds of this world blows. Rather live as Christ, who moved forward all the way to Calvary for kingdom purpose. While he was moving toward Calvary, he lived each day for kingdom purpose. Jesus said these words to a group of people who tried to keep him from moving forward. “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for the purpose.” Luke 4:43 ESV Again be thankful for, but do not live in, past blessings, or you will miss future blessing which are yet to be experienced.
Don’t focus on the storm; focus upon God who is bigger than any storm of life. The ride still may be hard, difficult, or just plain overwhelming, but never forget…. He’s in the boat.
Have God’s word implanted in your mind/heart. This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!! Don’t just have the Bible on your shelf, but have it in your mind. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16-17 ESV Let me remind you of a teaching that I taught some time back. Have a life verse and a battle song that is always with you in your mind. That way when the battle / storms come….. and they will come, you will be ready. Once again I want to remind you and encourage you to remember …. HE’S IN THE BOAT…. that we call life. In other words He is our life boat and has rescued us from Satan and whatever storm he brings our way.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David