Let us look together at what the Bible say about difficult times. Notes from Pr. Fabiano’s Study.
Does God care? Does Jesus calm all storms always
- Our reading is one that is familiar to many – Jesus bids the disciples sail across to the other side while He goes up to the mountain to pray.
- Matt. 14:22-25
- What is the setting
- He had been with the disciple in a similar situation before. Matt. 8:23-27. Jesus was with them in the boat. They feared for their lives. They had seen Him heal the sick but they had not seen Him command even nature to obey His word – and it did. I can imagine them saying, with Jesus – all things are possible. He can calm the storms of life.
- This time around He’s not with them – we read in Matt. 14 that he had gone up to the mountain to pray. He was having an all night prayer. Just before dawn. You’d think that Jesus would have have just called out to the oceans to stop toubling His discples but He did not.
- Quickly, note that there will be times when you will feel and experience the closeness of Jesus, and there will be other times when you will sense the separation.
- Matt. 14:26-29
Second point talk about how rather than Jesus calming the storm he walks almost past the ship. When impetous Peter asks Him to invite Him walk on the water if it’s trully Him for they could not discern out of fear, there’s an episode that takes place before Jesus calms the sea.
1 cor. 10:13
- In the first episode, He was with them in the board.
- In the second episode, He was out of the boat
- As some have concluded, there’s a lesson here on endurance. Jesus is heightening the degrees of endurance. We too today will face all kinds of trials. Jesus will not just hush away all fears, or remove all obstacles, nor stop trials to come our way.
- 2 Tim. 3:12 – all who live righteously will suffer
- James 5:7-12 – The Church will and must go through persecution.
“…when He is on the point of removing our terrors, He brings upon us other worse things, and more alarming: which we see took place then also. For together with the storm, the sight too troubled them, no less than the storm. Therefore neither did He remove the darkness, nor straightway make Himself manifest, training them, as I said, by the continuance of these fears, and instructing them to be ready to endure.11 John Chrysostom, “Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople on the Gospel according to St. Matthew,” in Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. George Prevost and M. B. Riddle, vol. 10, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1888), 310.”
Jesus does not always calm the storms.
Sometimes, an episode will be introduced before the God’s hand intervenes
If we keep our eyes fixed on Him, He will give us an experience, just like Peter had in the midst of the storm.
EGW & Other Ancient resources on this passage
“When trouble comes upon us, how often we are like Peter! We look upon the waves, instead of keeping our eyes fixed upon the Saviour. Our footsteps slide, and the proud waters go over our souls. Jesus did not bid Peter come to Him that he should perish; He does not call us to follow Him, and then forsake us. “Fear not,” He says; “for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.” Isaiah 43:1–3.11 Ellen Gould White, The Desire of Ages, vol. 3, Conflict of the Ages Series (Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1898), 382.
The take away message:
Jesus Offers peace amidst the storm.Pr. Fabiano Niyonkuru