July 6, 2012
For today’s lesson, let me take you back to your childhood. No, I am not hypnotizing you. Just remember back to when you were a 5 year old. It’s a dark, eerie night. The wind is blowing and making mysterious noises outside your window. Booming thunder! Bright flashes of lightning! Scary thunderstorms frighten little kids because they know they have no power over these powerful and highly stimulating storms.
When the parents come down the hall, one of two things happens. If the child has been obedient, respectful, and submissive to her parents’ authority and power over her, she’ll be confident that her parents have the power and authority to protect her from the storm. Her parents’ words and actions will soothe her and she’ll feel comforted and safe in their arms.
On the other hand, if the child has disrespected, rebelled against, and overthrown the parents‘ power and authority, and the kid is the one calling the shots regarding privileges and discipline, then she won’t be confident in her parents’ abilities to protect her from the storm. Even though the parents come through the door to save her, she’ll still be scared and anxious. The child will think, I can’t stop the storm and I have the most power. You certainly can’t overpower the storm, so go back and bring someone more powerful who can protect me from this storm.
In Mark 4, the disciples (some of them experienced fisherman) and Jesus were hanging out in a boat at sea. A powerful storm hit, so powerful that even these experienced fisherman were frightened for their lives. They woke up Jesus and accused Him of not caring whether or not they died. Jesus exerted His power and authority over everything … and calmed the storm.
The disciples had put their confidence in themselves and their own knowledge, not in Jesus and His character, skills, teachings, and promises. They ranked their own power above that of Jesus! What would you have done?
Think about the storms in your life. Do you really trust God’s power? Are you respectful, obedient, and submissive to His authority in all areas of your life? If so, your confidence will come from and be in Him and in what He brings to the table. You will have bold confidence, assurance, hope, and peace in the storms of your life. Don’t wait for the storms to begin trusting Him … not because He won’t help you. He will help. The problem is, you won’t believe it because you have been ignoring Him in non-stormy times, overthrowing Him just like the rebellious 5 year old we talked about, putting trust and confidence only in yourself. It’s a pretty limited pool of power, compared to God’s.
Today, examine the source of your confidence even in the little events of daily life. Is it from elements that are about you … or from Him? Begin to trust Him in all things. Get your confidence from Him. Then it will be easy and natural to trust Him during life’s stormy times and your ability to navigate life’s storms will truly be miraculous. Your source of power is your decision, so choose well.
Father, I come to rest in Your loving presence. I know this day and the days before me will bring difficulties. It is my human way to think my way through these trials on my own. Please remind me that You are with me … that I am not alone in the midst of this storm. I pray that You will send your peace, the peace that passes all understanding to all those praying and growing with the Stepping Stones Devotionals. My Lord, strengthen all of us and prepare us for this day … transform our fears and anxieties into confident trust in you, our Lord and God. I pray this in the name my source of confidence, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
… and he rose and rebuked the wind and said unto the sea; “Peace, be still” and the wind ceased and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39
my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:2-4
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8