Calm in the Storm

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Ken Fish, Founder of Orvis Ministries, is an honors graduate of Princeton University. He has also earned an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary and an MBA from UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management. Formerly a colleague of John Wimber, the late leader of the Vineyard Movement, Ken brings more than 30 years of academic study and practical experience to ministry.

Hi, friends. This is Ken Fish. I'm the leader of Orbis Ministries and I want to talk to you about confidence in what God says. I'm going to read a passage out of the Gospel of Mark, chapter 4, starting in verse 35, where it says this: "On that day when evening came, Jesus said to them, 'Let us go over to the other side.' Leaving the crowd, they took him along with them in the boat, just as he was, and other boats were with him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?' He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Hush, be still.' And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And he said to them, 'Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?' They became very much afraid and said to one another, 'Who then is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?'"

Well, this is a great story of Jesus giving an instruction to His disciples. They'd been ministering on the western side of the Sea of Galilee and they're now crossing over to the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee. Now when they get there, they're going to have the dramatic encounter with the man who lived in a graveyard, but that's another story for another time.

While they're in transit, the wind and the sea come up. And many people have written about the geographic features that make this a possible thing. It can be very treacherous out on the lake. The wind rushes down the cliffs and whips up the water. I've been out on the Sea of Galilee myself when it's like that and it can be quite cold and it can be very frightening. In fact, even in a modern boat, they wouldn't turn so that the wind was blowing astern the boat, for fear that it would capsize.

Anyway, so they're afraid that they're going to drown. Jesus gets up, He rebukes the wind and the waves and everything settles down. Then He says to them, "Are you still filled with unbelief? Are you still lacking in faith?" Now, He's talking to His 12 disciples. These are men who knew Him, who'd been with Him. You would think that they would have faith, but I think the point of the story is simply this: Jesus had said, "Let's go to the other side." Regardless of what came at them—in this case, a storm—they were going to the other side. Now maybe they were going to go over the waves. Maybe they were going to go through the waves. Maybe they were going to go under the waves, although submarines hadn't been invented yet.

But one way or another, they were going to the other side. I think the reason Jesus rebukes them is simply because they couldn't hold on to what He had told them — "We are going to the other side." So I want to encourage you. This is a hard time we're in. People are in quarantine. They're in self-isolation. There's a lot of fear out there about COVID. But God has said that He will sustain us, that He can bring good out of evil. Remember this: Jesus is with us and we are going to the other side.

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