“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,” – Ephesians 1:11. 

There is no part of the world exempt from disasters. Here in Florida, we have hurricanes and tornados. Other places have wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and mudslides, and these are just the natural disasters. Other disasters are caused by humans such as genocide, racism, terrorism and others. But God is more powerful than any disaster.

This week we have been looking at Jesus calming the sea found in Mark 4:35-41. The disciples had been fishermen and so they were very familiar with storms on the Sea of Galilee, but this storm was more than even they could handle. But it wasn’t more than Jesus could handle. When all hope seemed to be lost, He stood up and calmed the storm.

It is hard to imagine anybody making it through this life without eventually having to face storms too powerful for us to handle on our own. We have all been at the mercy of the winds of divorce, abuse, relationship problems, money problems to name a few. There are storms that can keep your life in turmoil for years. Well, Jesus is more powerful than those storms too.

In our story, Jesus was apparently so tired that it looked like he was going to just sleep right through the storm that was about to capsize their boat. So the disciples woke him, shouting: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Not only did Jesus care, He was able to do something about it. He calmed that storm because calming that storm served God’s purposes: His disciples discovered something new about Jesus. They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

God knows all things in the past, present, and future. And God-and God alone-is uniquely qualified to know when to ordain or to permit storms and trials and when not to. Therefore, if He allows, or even brings, something into your life, then He has a plan in mind for it.

We love to follow the Lord when things are going the way we want them to go. But when we come across a storm on the horizon, we want to get out of the boat. We don’t want to go through that storm.

That is why I like Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” (verses 1–2). Then David goes on to say in verse 4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

God has a purpose for the storms in our lives.  And through His purposes, He can accomplish great things.

Discussion Questions:

  1. There are so many verses in the Bible about God’s protection. Which is your favorite and why?
  2. Have there been times in your life when you felt God left you all alone to survive a storm without help?  Why is it so easy to feel abandoned during storms and think God is not there?
  3. Read Philippians 4:8. List the things this verse tells us to think about. How can we switch our mindset to think about these things in the middle of the storm?
  4. What can we do to trust God’s purposes in the midst of storms?