Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Sea of Despair

Temple Baptist Church - 7-20-2014
Mark 4:35-41
A. I have preached several messages on the Seas of Life. Seas in the bible are types of great trials. Often, great storms appear on the surface of the seas. Today’s technology allows seamen to have ample warning thus allowing them to avoid these storms but, in the day in which we find the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, there was no forewarning.
B. Ships in our day are constructed in such a way as to withstand these storms but, in the day of the disciples, ships were not as sea worthy.
C. We have looked at the Sea of Impossibility in the Book of Exodus as God delivered His people through the midst of the Red Sea and dry ground.
D. We have looked at the Sea of Chastisement in the Book of Jonah where the Lord sent a great storm and prepared a great fish for the disobedient prophet.
E. Our sea and storm for this morning is also one of the more notable stories in the bible. One thing you can say about life is that there is never a dull moment! I have often said that I am a “rut” guy. I like to wake up the same way: shower, shave, dress, and coffee with my bible reading. Don’t you just hate those calls in the middle of the night because no one calls after 10 PM to tell you what a great time they are having!
F. Life is full of these “seas” and “storms” and we need to learn to biblically deal with them.
1. Job said it this way in chapter 14:1: “Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble!”
2. 1 Peter 1:5-9 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (When you realize that life is hard, you can make it!)
G. Trials bring about a natural progression:
1. Trials bring Determination if they are not too hard and long. Most of us will just “suck it in” and do what needs to be done at this point.
2. Trials bring Discouragement when they are hard and long. It is here that we suffer from attrition: eating away, grinding down, erosion, or wear and tear. You become physically, emotionally, and spiritually tired!
3. Trials bring Despair when they are outside of our ability to withstand and we become overwhelmed (verse 37). It is here that we find the disciples in our text. Despair defined: the complete loss or absence of hope.
H. There are several things we need to look at in this story:
1. This particular storm came without warning. (There arose.)
2. This particular storm came at the worst possible time. (Jesus was asleep.)
3. This particular storm was humanly insurmountable. (The ship was full of water.)
4. This particular storm was emotionally devastating. (They were in fear of perishing. It was a Great storm – these men were seamen.)
5. This particular storm caused spiritual doubt. (Master, carest thou not!)
I. Here are some things that will get you through the storm and one the other side.
1. The Presence Of God – vs. 35 “let us” Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (The last time I look, He was still in the boat! It did not take the disciples long to forget because they were too busy rowing and bailing. Never, never … !! How often, in the midst of problems, our perspective of who and what our God is changes.)
Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
2. The Promise Of God – vs. 35 “pass over” Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (The Lord told the disciples in advance that they all would pass over. Therein, we find the problem: they thought they would all “pass over” because they were seasoned fishermen who knew every inch of the Sea of Galilee, not that they would all pass over because the Lord said they would and remained in the boat.)
Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
3. The People Of God – vs. 36 “they” Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. (They not only forgot who the Lord was, they forgot who they were! They were born of God and were loved by God.)
4. The Prayer To God – vs. 38 “say unto him” Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Verse 1 – Jeremiah was in prison. It would have probably worked out better for the disciples if they had remembered the Lord a little quicker. As long as they “had it under control,” they just kept working in their own flesh.)
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
5. The Power Of God – vs. 39 “He arose, and rebuked the wind…sea” Matthew 19:26-27 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. (Oh, the amazing power of our Lord who created the universe with the word of His mouth! All power belongs to Him according to Matthew 28:18.)
6. The Peace Of God – vs. 39 “said unto the sea, Peace, be still.” Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: (The Lord not only command the sea to “be still” but prefaced it with “peace.” We need God’s peace before the stilling of the storm, not just afterward.)
7. The Purpose Of God – vs. 40 “ye have no faith” Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Easy to preach but often hard to maintain.)
Job 23:13-14 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. 14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
8. The Person Of God – vs. 41 “What manner of man is this?” 2 Timothy 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (Master! We know He is in the boat, but we often forget who He is!)
Acts 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
9. The Period Of God – vs. 5:1 “they came over” 2 Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Sometimes, troublesome times are short and sometimes they are long. God controls the strength and length of the storms.)

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