Through the storms in life (our trials and tribulations)

walkonLast night I had the pleasure to teach on our Midweek Service at my church.  I was humbled to be in that position and it felt very good to see the Word resonate and make a difference in peoples lives.  The main scripture that was taught was:

Mark 4:35-41

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Calms the Storm

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

I do not know about you, but what this said to me was that I need to let things go.  That is, to say, that I have been given gifts by the Spirit that God promises to those who love him and I am called to use this gifts to build his Kingdom.  For some that means the gift of giving, for others the gift of hospitality and so on and so on as each of us have been given different gifts which make up the body of Christ.  Jesus tells us in Scripture that if they have persecuted him that we (those who profess His name) will surely be persecuted - so then why do we think that Christianity and our disciples walk should be easy?  It's not!

As in life, as in Discipleship, there are highs and lows and different seasons for us all.  In the book of James we read:

James 1:2-4

New International Version (NIV)

Trials and Temptations

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

I used to struggle with the phrase, "Consider it pure Joy" until I came through some of those trials and tribulations.  I think the ultimate compliment to any disciple is that when the world and the chruch looks at them, that they no longer see that person, rather, they see Jesus.  To me, that is gain, and all else is loss.  The thing is that we are going to struggle and we are going to face trial and tribulations - the problem is not whether or not we face them, but are we going to try and go at this alone or lean on Him who controls the storms and sea and the winds...?

imagesCA4Q2GTZIsaiah 43:16-19

New International Version (NIV)

16 This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, 17 who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: 18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

What Jesus is really telling His disciples is, do you trust me?  Have I taken you this far to let go?  All he is asking of us (for what he has done for us) is to let go and let God have control over all of our lives...

What does it take for you:  PROAPT

Pray - "Lord, teach me your way" Read - (read His word) Observe (What is the text saying, what does it mean for our life

Apply - (how can i use what i read and answer to prayers or quiet voice in my life - where should i go) Pray - (be bold) Tell - (Be a disciple - not just a follower)

Thoughts?

Dante