Two kinds of storms
The LORD hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart. – Jonah 1:4
22 He insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home.
23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves.
25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water.
26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.”
31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.
33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
On Earth, storms are created when a center of low pressure develops with a system of high pressure surrounding it. This combination of opposing forces can create winds and result in the formation of storm clouds. There are significant disruptions to normal conditions. Storms frequently produce severe weather: strong winds, tornadoes, hail, thunder, lightning, heavy precipitation, or heavy freezing rain. There is often a costly toll on human life, animals, and property.
In the Scriptures, there are two types of storms. Some storms come as a direct result of the Father’s leading. When we are led into a storm, the storm is intended to be a learning experience. Over time we develop the ability to respond more successfully to the storms. When we respond appropriately, the storm strengthens our faith and increases confidence in Him. All children of the King are child-trained by the Father. He desires that His children be strong in faith and mighty in spirit.
11 My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
12 For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
The Scriptures introduce us to another type of storm. These storms come because were trying to avoid the will of God. The storms are intended to bring about a change in the lives of those that enter into them.
Jonah 1:4 But the LORD hurled a powerful wind on the sea. Such a violent tempest arose on the sea that the ship threatened to break up!
Jonah was running away from the Father. He wanted nothing to do with the Father’s plan and calling. He was supposed to go east. But instead got on a boat heading west. The Father was, so to speak, in hot pursuit. He produced a dangerous storm at sea. There was a possibility that the ship might break up and everyone on board would be lost. But the Father’s intention was not to destroy the ship or the crew. Instead, he wanted to get Jonah off the ship and into a perfectly engineered, underwater transportation system that He had designed, aka the great fish.
The storm came because Jonah was out of the will of God. This was a storm of correction. The Father used the storm to get Jonah where He wanted them to go. Jonah was in the storm because of his disobedience. He needed to be redirected.
REFLECT & PRAY
“There are two kinds of storms: storms of correction, when God disciplines us; and storms of perfection, when God helps us to grow” (Wiersbe).
Father help me to remember that during storms, You are with me and praying for me. You are greater than any storm.
The Lord Jesus Christ intentionally sent the disciples on ahead by boat while He waited and prayed for them. Did the Lord Jesus Christ know that the storm was coming? Of course! Did the Father deliberately direct them into the storm? Yes! They were safer in the storm in the center of the Father’s will than on land with the crowds out of His will. “We must never judge our security based on circumstances alone” (Wiersbe).
A great storm came up, and they were terrified. They feared that they would die. Yet they were in the storm because they were doing exactly what the Lord Jesus Christ had told them to do. He was their Personal Trainer. This was part of His training program for them. It was an opportunity for the disciples to observe and learn more about His miraculous power and control over nature. They were astonished by what happened.
During the raging storm, the Lord Jesus Christ walked out to them on the water. It is hard to imagine what exactly happened. Was He like a surfer riding the curls beneath the crests of the large plunging waves? Did the sea calm as He walked and become relatively placid beneath His feet? The Scriptures do not say. Regardless, He was in complete control of the energy and surge of the storm and powerful waves.
But there is more. They had just witnessed the miracle of the feeding of the 5000. What was the intended takeaway? The Lord Jesus Christ has power over nature. It is mere finger work for Him to provide the needs of people. After He sends the disciples into the sea to face the coming storm, He goes up into the hills to pray for them.
44 A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed from those loaves!
45 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home.
46 After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.
50 They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!”
51 Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed,
52 for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in.
The disciples had failed to put two and two together and were not prepared to successfully weather the storm.
“Many Christians have the mistaken idea that obedience to God’s will produces ‘smooth sailing.’ But this is not true. ‘In the world you shall have tribulation,’ Jesus promised (John 16:33). When we find ourselves in the storm because we have obeyed the Lord, we must remember that He brought us here and He can care for us” (Wiersbe).
Where is the Lord Jesus Christ and what is He doing while we are in the storms? He is seated at the right hand of God in heavenly places. He is pleading for us, making intercession for us. What a wonderful prayer partner!
Romans 8:34 Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.