Most of us rely on the prediction of weather forecasts. Many outdoor activities, weddings, and events are planned on suppositions of future projections. Still, we are surprised by the unforeseen thunderstorms and rain showers that threaten or cancel the events that we have put time and effort into or eagerly look forward to attending. It is a grim disappointment when our plans and anticipated joy come to a screeching halt. Even so, with sadness in our hearts, we realize that the weather is above and beyond our control. And either we use plan B, or the event is rescheduled.
The life of a disciple–follower of Christ is a life full of storms and seasons of fiery trials. Yet, many live their daily lives as if they were unaware that following Christ means suffering. Two reasons exist: 1. Lack of knowledge. 2. The internal conflict between surrender and self-reliance, which prevents us from bonding with Christ. We eagerly make plans without presenting them first to God in prayer for His approval and blessing. The prayer of “Not my will, but thy will be done” is replaced with a mindset of presumption. Sadly, our desires supersede God’s plans for our lives.
Jesus’ disciples also had their own agenda–for Jesus to be proclaimed King and exalt Himself to the throne [along with themselves]. After feeding the five thousand, the disciples were confident that Jesus would announce himself as King. It was evident. If someone could feed thousands of people from five loaves of bread and two fish, and have food left over, certainly they would proclaim Jesus as their earthly king. Finally their life of poverty and suffering would be over. But Jesus knowing their desires gave a command that left them astonished. Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. Matthew 14:22.
Because of their worldly desire of self-elevation, the disciples were always outside of the will of God. Yes, they were deeply disappointed when Jesus sent them away. And because of their selfish and disobedient character traits, they waited for Jesus [John 6:16-17] until dark. Finally they got into the boat not realizing that the calm sea would become a raging storm that would make them acknowledge the deity of Jesus : “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:33
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we knew when our spiritual storms were coming?” “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Jesus forewarned us of the stormy trials, sorrows, and hardships that would come upon us. The life of a disciple–follower of Christ is a life full of storms and seasons of fiery trials. Yet, many say they are Christians but seem unaware that following Christ includes a journey of suffering. Like the disciples, we have our agendas for success, acquiring tangible possessions, and living comfortable, peaceful lifestyles.
And then we face the storm that rages with such force, we realize our helplessness. When the storm hits, we are devastated. The preparation of building rock-solid faith requires diligently studying the scriptures and becoming a powerful prayer warrior. We must cultivate prayer and study as daily habits. God’s promises include the condition of putting forth “Human Effort!”
When we are armored up–Ephesians 6:10-18, we are strong in the Lord. Our faith and trust in God is unwavering. We are connected to the source of power–Jesus Christ. We gain strength because of the power of prayer, knowledge of the scriptures, and possessing a faithful, obedient, and deep spiritual bond [relationship] with Jesus Christ.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:2-5
Yes, the storms are raging. But Jesus tells us to come, “Go Ahead! Walk on the Water.” Jesus is always here to help us through our storms. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
Prayer: God, we need you more than ever. We are not prepared for the storms. We pray forgiveness for not staying connected to you through prayer and study of the scriptures. Please lead us and guide us through your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry