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Sailing Through Life's Storms (Matt [8]23-27)

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Sailing Through Life’s Storms

Text: Matthew 8:23-27

Place Preached - (Mississauga International Baptist Church)

Date Preached - (07/29/01)


Have you ever been on the open water during a storm?

ILLUS: In 1956 my Dad worked as a fireman in the engine room of the Queen of the North a passenger ship running between Skagway, AK and Vancouver BC.  As they sailed the inside passage near Cape Mudge off the Northern end of Vancouver Island, a violent storm engulfed them.  My Dad said it was fierce, those who knew storms said it was like a frightening mid-atlantic storm.  Dad thought for sure this was it, but suddenly they were in calmer waters once again.

The disciples went through the storm.  They came out on the other side.

Significance of Ships in the Life of Christ:

He TAUGHT from; SLEPT on; TRAVELED in ships.

            He proved His Mastery over the STORM, CREATION and

the CATCH all from a ship!!

We have storms in our life, trials, (sometimes severe).  GIVE EXAMPLES

  • A Friend forsakes you.

  • Severe Illness or Sudden Death of a Child

  • Lose your Ability to Provide for your family.

Some will say - “Insurance Covers This”  Insurance? What Insurance?  No Insurance against trials – No insurance against death.  Not Life Insurance = Death Insurance

  • Temptation appears Too Strong to Overcome

ILLUS: “This too shall pass.”

Here is what we must ask…..

How can I emerge triumphantly on the other side of the storm?  How will this storm better my life?  How will it draw me closer to the person and work of Jesus Christ?

There are at least THREE great lessons we learn from the Disciples in their storm.

I. The Disciples Followed not Knowing the Proximity of the Storm.

The Sea of Galilee is nestled amongst towering hills about 60 miles north of Jerusalem.   It is a heart shaped Jewel 13 miles long and lies 685 feet below sea level.

The hills rise sharply from the shoreline to heights of 2,000 – 4,000 ft.  Because of it’s unique geography the area is subject to sudden and violent storms.

DISCIPLES – More than just the 12 (Wider sense)

More than one ship or boat. (These were fishing vessels).

Mark 4:36  And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

As they embarked it must have been calm.  No indication of a storm. 

TEMPEST -  seismos - earthquake, tempest, a shaking, a commotion

But no sooner had they left shore then the storm arose, quickly increasing in fury.

The ship was being covered by the waves. Overwhelmed!!

This is remarkably similar to the trials of our lives.

James 1:2  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

They come upon us unannounced, uninvited.

A. We do not Know what Trials await us.

Nor do we know how near they may be.

All Christians have storms – You are in one now, Coming out of one, About to enter one.


The Sea Speaks of…

1. Extremely difficult problems and circumstances in the Christian Life.  EG. Moses & Israel at the Red Sea.

Isaiah 43:16  Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;

2. The Peoples, Nations and Tongues of the World.

Revelation 17:15  And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

3. The restlessness of the wicked life.

Isaiah 57:20  But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

B. It is Good that we do not Know

If we knew – would we still follow?

C. Christ Knows

We take our assurance from this fact.

Many times He leads us into the heart of the trial; the eye of the storm, rather than around it.

1 Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

2 Peter 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

II. The Disciples Feared not Understanding the Purpose of the Storm.

Christ could have easily prevented the storm.  But then the disciples would have lost valuable experience, and missed learning some important lessons.

LOOK UP & READ John 11:5-6 & 11:15

Christ revealed Himself and His power at the right moment.

  • After testing the Disciples Faith.

  • After they had Experienced the Trial

  • After the thoughts of their heart were revealed.

Why Do Storms Come?

A. To Demonstrate Our Frailty

B. To Demonstrate Our Need for Outside Help

C. To Make us Better (Like Christ)

III. The Disciples Failed not Trusting the Power of the Saviour.

A. The Master is Asleep

To sleep in the storm is not good unless you are the masterof the storm.

Negative  - Jonah slept while the storm raged.

The disciples slept while they should have been praying.

Now the fact that Christ was sleeping should not have alarmed the disciples, but given them great assurance.  If Christ is sleeping what is there to worry about?

But these disciples were so much like you and I, and they feared greatly.

Mark 4:38  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

Does it ever seem like the Lord does not care?

Psalms 10:1  Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?

Isaiah 41:10  Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

1. Christ’s Rebuke of the Disciples

He had just taught them…

Matthew 6:30  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Peter’s Experience

LOOK UP & READ Matthew 14:30-31

Romans 4:20  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

2. Christ’s Rebuke of the Sea

B. The Disciples Marvelled

What manner of man is this?

No one but God could do these things.

Elijah prayed for Rain, but Christ calmed the Sea!!!

Proverbs 8:28-29  When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

29  When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

Matthew 14:33  Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

C. No Need to Fear


2 Chronicles 20:12  O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

There is no need to fear when….

1. Jesus is in the Boat.

2. Jesus is the master of the Ship and Master of the Sea.

LOOK UP & READ Psalm 107:23-30

ILLUS: (My storm at Salt Spring Island 1993)  Jerry the Skipper said, “You only need to worry when I look worried – not before).

3. Our Faith is in God

ILLUS: Israel at the Red Sea.

Hebrews 11:29  By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

Mark 7:37  And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Conclusion:     (Review)

I. The Disciples Followed not Knowing the Proximity of the Storm.

II. The Disciples Feared not Understanding the Purpose of the Storm.

III. The Disciples Failed not Trusting the Power of the Saviour.

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