Weathering the Storm

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If you missed Lead Pastor Ben Snyder’s video in yesterday’s study, take a moment and listen to it as he shares vision for this year’s LivingItOut Bible Study, and invites you to journey along with us through the New Testament.
Vision for the 2019 LivingItOut: Video

Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 4

Today’s LivingItOut:
A few months ago I was going through a wonderful season of life. I was so grateful. I felt close to Jesus. My family and friends were doing great. Life was really good. I was so thankful. I remember going to bed one night and thinking about going to church the next morning. I fell asleep pretty quickly. I was awakened by my phone ringing… I answered the phone and received terrible news. I remember going downstairs and sitting in a chair numb and in shock. I couldn’t even speak. Unfortunately, we’ve all have experienced fierce storms coming out of nowhere—storms that are so heavy, we feel like we are going to drown. How do you respond to the storms of life? Do you become angry and bitter? Do you try to control everything? Do you shout to Jesus, “Don’t you care that I am going to drown?” Or do you pray to Jesus with your heart full of trust and faith, “Help me, Jesus!” Do you take time to take your eye off the storm and refocus on Jesus? Let’s see what the disciples did when they were suddenly struck by a fierce storm.

Mark 4:35-41
35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the Lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat and it began to fill with water. 38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care we’re going to drown?” 39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still! Suddenly the wind stopped and there was great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 The disciples were absolutely terrified, “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Jesus’ questions, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”, really speak to me. They make me ask myself really hard questions. Do I really trust Jesus to help me through the storms of life? Do I live by faith or fear? Will I choose to stop and refocus on Jesus instead of the storm? In my head, I know Jesus is almighty and powerful. I look at his Word and the miracles he has done in my life, and I know that I can trust him. I know he won’t always quiet the storm as he did in this passage. I know sometimes I just have to hold onto his hand and let him guide me through the storm. I do know that the more storms I survive, the greater my faith grows in him. I have to be honest, when I am going through the storms of life I do experience fear, and sometimes I do question Jesus. I wish I could say I handled the storms better. I’ve learned that it is not about how I handle the storms that is important, but what is important is that I have faith that Jesus will handle my storms. All I need to do is trust him. I, like the disciples, am in awe that Jesus can bring great calm after he rebukes the wind and the waves. Unlike the disciples, I know who Jesus is. He is the Son of God, our Savior.

Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 4

How do you respond to the storms of life? Do you respond with fear or faith? What has Jesus done in the past that increases your faith in him?

Next Steps:
Think about the last storm you went through. Write down all the ways Jesus helped you and blessed you during that storm. Refocus on Jesus instead of the storm and thank him for his help. Ask him to reveal to you all the miracles and wonders he does for you. Pray he fills you with hope and trust. Share your story with others. Participate in the 21 Days of Prayer and fasting.

21 Days of Prayer -Day 5
Today’s Prayer Focus: Connect with God Relationally (Romans 8:15)

Father, I come to you in prayer today thankful that I am your child. You have forgiven me and adopted me as your own. You have made me righteous and restored our relationship. I am so grateful that you are my Father. Thank you for loving me. I love you.

21 Days of Prayer -Day 6
Saturday’s Prayer Focus: Express My Faith in God’s Ability – (Jeremiah 32:17)

Father God, nothing is too hard for You! Through Your great power, all things are possible. All authority is Yours, all might is Yours, and I know that Your victory will be complete. You are amazing, and I worship You. I praise You for Your power and presence in my life. You are my God, and You are worthy of all praise.

21 Days of Prayer -Day 7
Sundays Prayer Focus: Worship God’s Great Name – (Proverbs 18:10)

God, I am in awe of You. Your Name is a strong tower, a place of protection and safety for me. I praise You as my Healer, my Shepherd, and my Banner of Victory. You are my Peace, my Provider, my Righteousness, and my Sanctifier. Your Name is great, and I worship You.

This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.

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8 replies
  1. Jeffery Ovens
    Jeffery Ovens says:

    Thank you Lord for watching over me throughout the night, and for this gift of today. WOW (Sorry Ben), this really told my Christmas Story of 2018. I had the tip of one finger above water, never in my life had I been so far down. I was bound and chained by the weight of life, I felt alone and abandoned. God had allowed me to experience the maximum that I could endure. I was not focused on Him as I was spiraling downward, I just let it happen.
    Then I had an OMG moment.
    OMGosh, it was Him, He that created me, and HE opened my eyes to where I was at. THE BOTTOM, I had hit it. I was at where the world calls “the end of my rope”, “rock bottom”.
    I immediately thought this is Him, He let it happen, and I realized why. I was experiencing God in my life. This is the stuff you read about and hear about but it was me, in the flesh, that it was happening to. I really and truly felt God right next to me, right there with me in my sunroom (I knew I should have picked up first……but then who am I trying to kid). He lifted me from the depths of the world and started a transformation in me I have never experienced. I already knew God, just not as well as I thought OR as much as He knows and loves me. I found out I was living my life my way, not HIS way. I confessed as many sins as I could think of that were impeding my service and progress in and to His Kingdom, garnering my focus from His Plan for me. Contiued……………………………

  2. Jeffery Ovens
    Jeffery Ovens says:

    I discovered I have a PURPOSE, one that I have not given my all to. God has given me gifts that I have not been utilizing to the best of my ability. I get it. And now, I AM GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, first it is happening in my life, right now, with each key I touch. I’m all in, I thought I was where I was supposed to be, but that was ME, the bar I set. My bar was so low I had to step over it and many times it tripped and fell. But HE always helped me up, He was always there, when I needed Him, and even when I thought I didn’t and could venture off doing things my way.

    It is ONLY Day 5 of the 21 Days of Prayer, yet approximately Day 23,177 of my visit here. What are you waiting for? The world says “It is NEVER TOO LATE”, but this tomorrow could be!
    God Bless you all…………..may you experience what I have…………..and…………………This really is “LIVING MY BEST LIFE”.

  3. Karen Connors
    Karen Connors says:

    I love this new format and Bible study! I love that with one click the Bible referenced in the study is available.

  4. Janet Oestreich
    Janet Oestreich says:

    I realized today that my focus is on myself and how I handle the storms of life rather than on Jesus and trusting him to guide me . Thank you for this devotional Marsha. It is a blessing.

  5. Amy Corr
    Amy Corr says:

    It’s Soo amazing to be loved by a King of Kings. And Lord of Lord’s . What a Mighty God we Serve! and Wow Ben Synder Thank you for being our Leader! Blessings

  6. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    I definitely struggle with the way I respond to life’s storms. I know that the Lord is bigger then all my fears, I just need to stop and have faith first.

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