JESUS ASLEEP IN YOUR BOAT
(We won’t be going to India this year but Pastor Moses is holding Pastor’s conferences using my notes. I sent him the following to read to each gathering of pastors.)
Greetings to everyone. I am very sorry I cannot be with you today. I’ve gone to India for the last 13 years so it is very different for me to stay home, but that is how God wants it this year. I think of you and pray for you often, as do many others in the United States. I know Pastor Moses and his helpers are doing a wonderful job and I thank all of them for their help. I thank you for coming today.
It’s been a hard year in India, and the United States as well. Sometimes we wonder where God is during this time and why He is allowing so many hard things to happen to us. We can ask, “Where is Jesus when we need Him?” Jesus’ disciples wondered the same thing. (Please read Matthew 8:23-27)
Jesus was with His disciples in a boat when a terrible storm came. They were experienced sailors who were on the lake fishing almost every day. They knew this was no usual rain, though, but a very strong, dangerous storm. If it there was no storm, or if it had been a small one, they would not have turned to Jesus for His help. They wouldn’t have seen His greatness in taking care of them through the storm. He allows large storms like we are going through now so we turn to Him as well. Without storms we wouldn’t realize our need of Him and see His deliverance.
Jesus was in the boat with them, but He was asleep. He must have been very tired to sleep through the wind and waves that threatened to sink the boat and kill them all. They had recently seen Jesus feed 5,000 men from almost nothing. They believed He was God, so they turned to Him in their time of need. But they went to Him in fear, not faith. We, too, have seen God’s provision and deliverance many times in our lives, but are we turning to Him in fear or faith during these hard days? We can’t have both fear and faith. We can only have one. Which do you have when life’s danger threatens to overwhelm you and it seems Jesus is asleep and not helping you?
The storm was an opportunity for them to trust God. They should have realized that the boat wouldn’t sink with Jesus in it. God won’t let us sink, either, for He lives in us who believe in Him. The problems facing us today are opportunities for us to trust Him as well. Are you trusting, or are you giving in to fear?
Jesus was a man like us. He was tired and slept. But He was also God, for He spoke to the storm and it stopped. Immediately it was gone. If Jesus as God could stop the storm so easily, why didn’t He prevent it from ever coming? The disciples needed it to stretch their faith and to see God’s care of them. We need the storms in our lives today for the same reason. Don’t pray to have the problems in your life gone, but pray to have faith to trust God through them, even if it seems He is asleep.
This event helped their faith grow. They learned they could trust Jesus to provide for their needs. We can as well. He promises to meet all our needs (Philippians 4:19), to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), to give us strength for what He wants us to do (Philippians 4:13) and to provide grace whenever it is needed (2 Corinthians 12:9). There is nothing for us to fear (Psalm 118:6) for God is always with us (Joshua 1:9) when we patiently trust in Him (Isaiah 40:321).
Does it seem Jesus doesn’t know or care about what you are going through? Remember this story and keep your faith in Him. He will never desert you (Joshua 1:5; Deuteronomy 31: 6-8; Isaiah 41:10; Romans 8:28-29).