“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing? Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly…” (Mark 4:37-41).
This lesson of Yeshua’s disciples is a lesson for us today as well. In this critical situation, where they were, in this storm, Yeshua taught them a lesson of faith, and after that they experienced fear of God, great fear …
When Yeshua was with His disciples on the ship, He knew there was a storm, He let it happen and He wanted to show them an example of faith and confidence in this situation. He showed this when He slept in complete calm and with deep inner peace. It is a testimony for us today and it comes to teach us. When Yeshua is with us on the ship of life, we have nothing to worry about !!!
When we go after our leader, teacher, shepherd, then our faith and confidence in Him will bring us to this inner peace He had. It will bring us peace within the storm around us and only then will we be able to witness it for the unbelievers, or those who weak in faith, who experience fear and worry in these difficult times we are already experiencing.
We are in a time of tests of our faith, the storm in the world has just begun. The word of God foretells us troubles, difficulties, persecutions, and they are already at the door. Their job is to test our faith and our confidence in the Lord at this time. “Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). Why? For only at such times do we undergo purging and purification from our fleshly thoughts and deeds, on the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. True, this is not easy – but it is necessary and it is for our goodness!
We already today feel the battle for our freedom, for our freedom of choice, for our messianic lifestyle. And who wins this battle? Those who go out of the camp, follow Yeshua in faith and fear of God and hold on to His victory! “…In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
We all know that Yeshua was different from all men. He thought differently, He spoke differently, He did not always answer their questions, or answer them with a question, to teach them and embarrass them about their hardened heart… (Mark 8:17).
Yeshua was rejected by His contemporaries … also those of us who will follow Him in the way of the cross – will be rejected by the people around us. This is the price we will pay when we follow Him. We too must be different, to be like Him … but, anyone who is healed of rejection in his life (And most of us have experienced rejection in our childhood or adulthood), will be able to withstand rejection in the face of opponents, who want to change us or force their will on us. Only by the grace of God can we be different and “strange” within the society around us for the glory of Messiah, as He Himself was strange to his brothers. “I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children;” (Psalm 69:8).
The apostle Paul preached to the people of Corinth, but his lesson is also appropriate for us today: “…Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now. I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you (1 Cor. 4:12-14). This is a lesson of the ‘other cheek’ that Yeshua came to teach us and it is a high level in our life of faith. “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also” (Matt. 5:39).
Only by the grace of God can we withstand such situations, only by the grace of God can we withstand the opposition and spiritual attack against us. We can do this with the weapons that God has provided for us: truth, justice, faith, the gospel of peace, salvation, and of course the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6).
Another lesson of standing trial in the storm, we learn from the Apostle Paul, while on a ship on the way to Rome, when a storm arose at sea. He was a vessel in the hands of the Lord and gave a lesson in faith to the men of the ship: “Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up. But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me” (Acts 27:20-25).
Paul trusted in God and passed this confidence on to the men of the ship, the helpless. Paul served here as a representative on behalf of the Lord, to guide, encourage and strengthen the frightened people around him. It is our job today – to be the Lord’s representatives – to encourage and strengthen those who suffer from fear and anxiety of what is happening and will happen in this time of experience, which is coming upon the world. When we ourselves stand patient and have faith in the difficult situations, God will keep us from the hour of experience that will come upon the whole world. “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Rev. 3:10). It will be the reward that God will give us, for being witnesses for the sake of His name for others.
There are believers that may be weaken in their faith during the storm. The word of the Lord says: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). To do good with the members of our faith, among other things, is to encourage, strengthen, pray and help, according to the guidance of the Lord.
At this time we must understand that our salvation is near us more than ever and we have to rejoice in it with great joy…. On the other hand, it is also the time and technology in the world that are preparing for the appearance of the Anti-Christ. This is a false messiah, who will “save” the world from the storm we are caught in, who will “redeem” the world from its troubles, who will “bring peace and healing” to this sick world, and especially that which will lead to the building of the Temple, that many in the nation long for it and many will also be deceived after him and after his deceptive promises.
These are not vaccines that will save us from any plague that has come upon the world.
These are not shelters that will save us from missiles that will fly over us in war.
It is not the strengthening of our homes that will protect us from earthquakes.
This is the one and only one, this is Yeshua the Messiah, who is our vaccine, He is our shelter and He is the rock on which our house stands!!! “He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man (not in our power and wisdom). The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy“ (Psalm 147:10-11).
But we the believers, that in this storm, trusting in the Lord, leaning on Him, holding His law, the law of Messiah and holding His love, we – win in this battle for our lives. We are even more than conquerors, because we are in a battle that has already been defeated in the past by Yeshua (on the cross). We share in His victory. Our strength in this storm over the world, is in the love of God within us.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom. 8:35-37).
Praise and thanks be to God!