Storms During Obedience

The very first thing Jesus says to his disciples in this passage is “Let’s go across to the other side”.  The only way they could get to the other side was by boat since they were going across the sea. There was no other way to get across the sea but by boat. Jesus and the disciples got in the boat to go across the sea to the other side. The disciples obeyed Jesus and got in the boat to go to the other side.

Then a storm came along and this storm was so bad that there was water getting inside of the boat. The disciples truly thought that they were going to die from this storm. But why were the disciples in this storm? They were on the boat because Jesus told them that they [Jesus and the disciples] should go to the other side. So, the disciples were in this storm because they were obeying God, not because of sin or something that they did wrong.

Sometimes when we are going through a storm in our life, we might ask ourselves the question “what did I do wrong”? And like the story, there may be times when the answer is: “nothing”. There are times that a storm comes along because of sin, like when Jonah was running away from God, but this was not the case with the disciples and may not be the case in your life. When you go through storms in your life when you are being obedient to God, it is not because God wants to punish you. God wants to teach you something about himself.

Then the disciples woke Jesus up since they were worried that they were going to die and Jesus calmed the storm. It says the disciples were filled with fear. Not the fearful kind of fear, but a fear of awe and of reverence. They were amazed that the wind and seas obeyed Jesus. Through this storm the disciples learned something about Jesus that they had not known before. They learned that Jesus is in control of everything because even the wind and the seas obeyed him. That is also a good reminder for us that Jesus is always in control no matter what is happening around us.

Through this storm that the disciples were in out of obedience, they were able to learn something new about God. And when we are in storms out of obedience to God, we can also learn something new about God and his character. We just have to be willing to see what God wants to teach us about himself.

Everything He Touched, He Changed

I started thinking of all the things that were transformed because they were touched by Jesus. The water pots of Cana at the wedding, dirt that Jesus mixed to heal blinded eyes, deaf ears, the beds of the lame, so many miracles! Simple objects and human lives were radically changed because they met the Son of God.

Then, my mind went to the Cross. That was a symbol of Roman execution–a violent death reserved for hardened criminals. But when I think of the cross, I see the symbol of life–of freedom from sin and the promise of Heaven–all because Jesus hung there. History’s view of the cross was eternally altered because Jesus was there.

Finally, my life was changed because of meeting Jesus personally. Jesus also wants to meet you personally and change your life! Only He can take broken pieces of a person and turn them into something beautiful for His glory. He makes it new, He heals, and He saves. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

How can you meet Jesus personally and be saved by him? Romans 10:9 says “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

-Natalie Raynes

(To listen to the song “Everything He Touched, He Changed” go to “The Raynes Family” YouTube Channel)

#Easter #GoodFriday #EasterSunday #HeisRisen

Joy and Pain

Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

There are many times in life when you have joy and pain at the same time and you don’t see the pain ending. It may be hard to see a time when the pain will end, but it is important to acknowledge your pain because Mary Carver says “by seeing the good and the hard intertwined and overlapping do I see how faithful God has been to me.” If you don’t acknowledge the pain in your life you won’t be able to acknowledge how God has been faithful to you in your life.

You can acknowledge joy and pain. You can have joy and pain. And they are both okay to have in your life. Having pain in your life is not wrong to have. Joy and pain are all a part of your story. God is faithful during the good times, but he is also faithful during the hard times and you can worship God through the good and the hard times in your life.

If you are experiencing pain right now, one day you will look back and see how God has been faithful through the hard times in your life just as he has been faithful during the joyful times in your life.