Words of Faith 6-6-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out.  As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
 The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!"
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.  "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."
When the Bible talks about violent weather, we who live in Florida can nod our heads knowingly. We are certainly no strangers to violent weather. Maybe the area you live in gets its share, too!
Besides the seasonal visitation of hurricanes, Florida can have sudden thunderstorms that are extremely violent, plus tornadoes and waterspouts. Fortunately, we have the advantage of early warning systems, Doppler radar, and severe weather advisories by the National Weather Service.
We also have an advantage in Florida because the State is so flat! Even if you don't hear the severe weather warnings on television or radio, you can almost always see a storm coming long before it ever gets to you.
But imagine for a moment a place with the same kind of proximity to an ocean. Wet warm air sweeps in to meet hot dry air from a desert! Imagine storms that develop faster than you can track them. But also imagine that the place where you live is shaped like a giant bowl. Imagine a low geographic area, 600 feet below sea level, surrounded by hills that prevent you from even seeing the storm system coming! Imagine that a storm can settle into that bowl! You have just imagined the Sea of Galilee, the place where Jesus spent most of His three year ministry!
On this particular day, a storm suddenly came upon the disciples in a boat taking them completely by surprise. Remember that several of these men had grown up on the lake and knew the dangers. They knew where the rocks and the shallows were. They knew the safest places to set out and land. But no matter how well one knew the lake, they could never predict the storm that suddenly descends. It was the one thing a fisherman had to fear. If a storm came, it was a fight for life to try and get to the shore.
This little excursion came about at the direction of Jesus. "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. Jesus was probably weary from all the ministry he had been engaged in so He settled in for a nap. But this "squall" came down.
The meaning of the Greek indicates a violent storm with gale force winds and powerful driving rain coming down and settling in on the lake. The boat they were in was probably about 28 feet long. Water was suddenly coming in and they were terrified!
"We are drowning!" they cried. This was not a parable even though it may become one to us. This was not a time for polite teaching on the Galilean countryside. This was reality. Death was near according to every experience they had known.
But Jesus performed a miracle to remove all doubt. He rebuked the wind and raging waters. The storm subsided and all was calm. The word means he censured or gave notice to the wind and raging waters. And there was calm.
The first and most important thing we need to get from this text is that the same Jesus who calmed the stormy sea on that day is fully available to you now. In fact, He is in the business of calming storms and settling down the waves that threaten to swamp us.
Are you in a storm right now? Allow Jesus to speak to the wind and to the waves. Speak His words in faith. Rebuke the wind, in the Name of Jesus. Call upon the waves, in His authority, to stop. Discover the still that is at the center of the storm.
Father God, You know what I have been going through. You even know the things that are ahead, that I have not yet encountered. Calm the storms and quiet the waves by the mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.