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If this were a fairy tale, we might read that when the storm arose, the other boats were swamped, but the boat with Christ in it sailed as smooth as glass. The fact is, Christians are not magically exempted from the storms of life. Christians are not exempt from trials. In fact, this storm did not hit the disciples because they had been disobedient but, rather, because they had been obedient!

These men, who had committed their lives to serve Christ, obeyed. And He led them straight into a storm! And in the same way, obediently serving Christ may place you smack-dab in the middle of storms you would have avoided if you had stayed on the shore. I have often found that the most severe times of testing have come right after I have taken a new step of obedience.

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  • Just after Marla and I returned to Dallas so that I could complete my seminary training, we were mugged at gunpoint and I had to get four stitches in my hand. While my hand was still bandaged, I slipped in the mud and cut my other hand on a thermos I was carrying. We also encountered several other trials around the same time. Shortly after we moved to California to begin in the pastorate, our six-month-old daughter, Christa, had to be hospitalized with a congenital hip problem that meant being in a body cast for two months and wearing a leg brace for several years.

    The very day we decided to move to Flagstaff, we learned about a major problem with our house that entailed months of difficulties.

    Shortly after I began here I had to deal with some major problems in the church that resulted in a lot of turmoil. The point is, being obedient to the Lord does not exempt you from storms; it often leads you right into storms! Not only did the Lord lead the disciples into this storm. Note what happened next:.

    This is the only incident in the Bible that mentions Jesus sleeping, and what a time to fall asleep! Peter, you stay on the helm! John, make sure that sail is secure!

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    James, get that gear tied down! Sacked out in the back of the boat, oblivious to their dire need! Have you ever felt like that in the midst of a trial? You get into it and it seems as if the Lord checked out and left you all alone! But even before the disciples called on Him, Jesus was there with them in the boat, going through the storm with them.

    Job: Trusting Through Trials Fisherman Bible Studies

    I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods! I believe the fourth man was the Lord Jesus. The first thing we must do in the storms of life is to affirm that Jesus is Lord, even over the storms. We all can fake it in calm waters. We can impress others with how together we seem to be.

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    And, the disciples could cope with normal storms quite well. They had been in storms on this lake many other times. They were experts at handling their boat in rough waters. Often, a crisis shows us a side of ourselves we were blind to. The Lord uses it to reveal new areas where we need to learn to trust Him. But wait a minute! Who was on board with them? But in their panic, the disciples had a distorted view of the problem.

    Not all fear is wrong, but Jesus rebuked the disciples because their fear was excessive. Some fear is useful because it leads us to take prudent caution for our safety. Sometimes fear makes us spring into immediate action to save our own lives or the life of a loved one who is in danger. Storms have a way of exposing our self-focus. Self-pity is another sure sign that we have a distorted view of ourselves. We need to stop and get the big picture of what God is doing. If they had known, they would not have been so amazed at what happened. They underestimated His power.

    We do the same thing when we panic in a crisis. We try to solve our problem by figuring everything into the equation—except the supernatural power of Christ. Our distorted view of the problem and of ourselves clouds our vision so that we fail to see the marvelous person of the Lord Jesus Christ. We called to Him for help! Sad to say, trusting God has fallen on hard times.

    But trusting God in a crisis is not useless advice! It is what has sustained the saints in many horrible trials down through the centuries. Clearly, this Jesus is fully human. He had a body that got so exhausted that He could sleep in the midst of this storm.

    The full humanity of Jesus Christ should be of tremendous comfort to us when we are suffering from the limitations of our bodies. But not only is our Lord fully human, He is also fully divine. He merely had to speak the word and the howling winds ceased and the surging waves were instantly as smooth as glass. Nothing is too difficult for the living God. Not a breath of wind or a drop of water can defy His sovereign will. The better we know Him, the better we can trust Him in our trials. We need always to keep in mind that the chief end of man is not to use God for our own happiness, but to glorify God no matter what happens to us.

    This storm revealed the glory of Christ in a way that would have been hidden had it not happened.

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    The winds and the water obey Jesus without question, but we always have a choice. Sadly, we often fail to obey and trust Him. But notice that first the disciples feared the storm; then, they feared the Lord.