Home  |   New!  |   Audio Sermons  |   Text Sermons  |   Bible Studies  |   Last Days Material  |   Great Plains Bible College  |   About Us
Glory to Christ Ministries Home Page

God Is in the Midst of Your Storm

by Patricia Dailey,
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center

Click to increase text size Click to decrease text size RESET
(text size)

printer iconPrint Sermon (printable version)  |  Back to Text Sermon Menu

God Is in the Midst of Your Storm

by Patricia Dailey
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center
43 Norwood St.
Everett, MA 02149

Matthew 14:22-32
And straightway Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

After Jesus fed about 5,000 men beside women and children, He sent His disciples out to get a ship for them to go to the other side of the sea. He sent the multitude away and went up alone into a mountain to pray.

The ship was in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves for the wind was contrary. In the fourth watch of the night (anywhere from 3 am to 6 am) Jesus went to them walking on the sea. They thought they were seeing a spirit. But Jesus told them to take courage and not be afraid: it was He.

Now, the Lord reveals Himself to us in the time of trouble, whether it’s in the night hours or in the daytime. He is there for His children to encourage them when our troubles are great, during our heartaches (times of crushing sorrow and grief). When we’re sick and it seems the sickness is unbearable, He is there for us. When the path of life is rough, He is there and reveals Himself to us.

God Was with Paul

Let's take a look at how He was there for Paul when they were out to kill him:

Acts 23:10,11
And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle. And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

There was a plot against the Apostle Paul to kill him. More than 40 men had made a conspiracy to kill him.

Acts 23:12,13
And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.

Paul’s nephew heard of this plot and told Paul. Then Paul called one of the centurions and told him to bring his nephew to the chief captain for he had a message for him.

Acts 23:22-24
So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me. And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night; And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.

The Lord had stood by Paul, telling him to be of good cheer (in other words, take courage) for as he had testified of Him in Jerusalem, he would also bear witness in Rome.

Right when Paul’s life was in danger, God intervened by having the chief captain see that he was brought to the castle: and when the conspiracy was made to kill him, God intervened again by having the chief captain see that Paul was escorted by night and safely brought to the governor.

Just think, at a time like this the Lord revealed Himself to Paul, coming and standing by him. And that’s just the way our God is to the children of God who love Him. He’s right there to encourage us just when we need encouragement.

Through Much Tribulation We Enter In

The Lord wants to encourage us. He allows the things that we go through, which are sometimes terrible to go through. Nothing happens to us but what God permits. We are told in Job 5:7 that man is born unto trouble.

Acts 14:22
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Now, it wasn’t time for Paul to die, so they couldn’t take his life. He still had a call to go to Rome and bear witness there. It encouraged Paul for the Lord to come stand by him and tell him this in the night hours.

Acts 27:13,14
And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.

Paul was on his way to Rome on this boat when a great storm arose. It was hard to even control the ship, so they had to let it drive on its own. They were exceedingly tossed with the wind and had to lighten the ship by throwing things overboard. The third day they had to throw the tackling of the ship over into the sea. They couldn’t see the sun nor stars for many days, and all hope that the 276 souls on that ship should be saved was then taken away.

But the Lord! The Lord revealed Himself to Paul in this hour of need:

Acts 27:22-24
And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

This is just the way the Lord works. When there is a need, right in that hour of need He’ll be there for His children. He sent His angel that night to stand by Paul with words of encouragement.

The Lord was concerned, and not only that, but Paul had to go to Rome to bear witness. Even though it looked like there was no hope, the Lord sent His angel to tell him not to fear for he must be brought before Caesar: and God had given him all those who were on that ship with him.

The Lord is no respecter of persons. As He encouraged Paul in a time when there seemed to be no hope, He will encourage you and me in our hour of need.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the night hours, or in the evening, or mid-day: He will be there for us. He is able, and He does encourage His children.

Notice how, in return, Paul encourages the people on the ship that no lives would be lost: "Be of good cheer! for I believe God." He also told them they would be cast upon an island.

Acts 27:41
And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.

The storm didn’t stop but continued on for days before they found themselves on the island of Malta.

Acts 28:2
And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.

We can see here how God marvelously worked on behalf of Paul and the others on that ship: None of their lives were lost, just as the Lord had said. Those who could, swam to the shore, and the others used pieces of board to get to the island.

God Cares for You

God gives us examples such as this in His Word to show us that He cares about His own — those who love and serve Him. He is very concerned about us. Sometimes in the midst of trials we might feel He isn’t concerned about what we’re going through, but we shouldn’t let our minds go down that road.

If you’re a true child of God and you’re in need where the waters are rough, know that He’s right there for you in the same way He was for Paul in these two different trials that he faced.

You can draw encouragement from these two passages of Scripture and know that He does care.

When the disciples were in the midst of the storm in Matthew 14 and the contrary winds were blowing, we see that Jesus was concerned. He came to them, walking on the waters. They were afraid because they thought He was a spirit, but He spoke and encouraged them to be of good cheer.

In other words, He was telling them to be encouraged. He let them know He had come to them in the midst of that storm, and they didn’t have to be afraid.

And you and I could find ourselves in a great storm. We could find ourselves in one of the storms of life that hits us where it seems like everything is contrary. The winds are blowing strong against us and it seems like all hope is gone: but, listen, the Lord is with us. He will come and bring encouragement to us in the midst of the storm. He’ll come and He’ll make a way for us.

We just have to be patient and keep our faith in Him — a perfect trust.

Thank God, we can know He’ll be there for us.

We also look at how the Lord worked when Peter spoke up: "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water." Jesus told him to come. And Peter came down out of the ship, walking on the water to go to Jesus.

In the storm Peter had faith to come down from the boat and walk on the water to come to Jesus; but when he saw the boisterous wind, he began to sink.

He took his eyes off of Jesus and began to look at the storm. And this is what happens many times when these storms hit us: the storms of life, the trials of this life, the contrary winds blowing against us. We get our eyes off of Jesus and get them on what we’re going through. Then we begin to sink in despair.

We need to keep our eyes on Jesus in times like this. If we want the Lord to come and reveal Himself to us in the hard times — times of trouble and grief — we must keep our eyes on Him.

Patience in the Storm

Today, people want the Lord to get them out of the storm immediately, just as soon as they pray. Their prayers should be answered right away. Many times it can happen that way: God can move quickly to bring them out of the trial they are facing. But other times it doesn’t happen that way because He has a plan and purpose, a work He wants to do in your life. He wants to remove the things that are displeasing to Him in your life. He wants to do a greater work in you and me to perfect our character.

We should let Him work in us. Sometimes our character isn’t too nice. We can become very sharp with people. We can be very mean. And we can’t blame it on what we may be going through. That’s no excuse.

Sometimes when someone is very sick, they become very irritable and mean. But a true child of God, even if they’re sick and might feel irritable, has no reason to be mean and disagreeable with others.

But it happens. We all know those who have been just like that. But God wants to perfect us. We should let Him have His perfect way in our lives — at all times. This is an area where we should want God to perfect our character: where we take on His character.

Even though we may be having a hard day, that’s no reason we should be mean and disagreeable. Love works no ill. Love doesn’t shout at people just because of having a hard day. And even in the hard days, love should flow out to others.

Maybe you had a hard night where you couldn’t sleep. We’ve all had those type of nights, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to be mean and sharp with people.

You don’t realize how many pick up on the way you act as a Christian. They’re watching you. The people you work with are watching you. They hear what you have to say when you speak what you feel: You feel mean — you speak mean. You run off at the mouth when your mouth should be shut.

You can’t fool them. They see (and hear) what your character is really like. You have to be very careful about the way you act in front of others, about the way you talk.

Even ministers can have problems with this. I remember my husband and I riding in a car with a minister. He got so upset with someone and he really expressed his feelings — very loudly.

I thought to myself: "Oh, I’m glad he’s not my pastor. I wonder what he’s like in his own home! What is he like with his wife? with his children? And what is he like with the people he is pastoring?"

Anyone who professes to be a Christian has a bad testimony if they act like this. The Lord works to perfect our character, wanting His light to shine forth from our lives. Don’t think that when you’re mean to someone, those around you don’t notice it. Don’t think that when you run off at the mouth, people don’t hear and take notice.

Keep Your Testimony

Be very careful when you’re at work, and things around you aren’t what they should be. Keep your mouth shut. It’s not a good testimony for you to spout off at the mouth to the unsaved. If you profess to know Christ, think what you’re doing in representing Christ.

If you’re around those who are disgruntled and upset with the boss or some co-worker, and are talking them down behind their back, don’t you get involved. You’ll ruin your testimony. And it’s wrong to join those who are backbiting.

Keep the lid on your can. In other words, don’t let anyone put their garbage into you. Keep your testimony, and don’t get involved in backbiting and gossip. If you’re upset with your boss, go to him personally and talk with him about it. But don’t talk about him behind his back. And don’t go to him with complaints about the other employees.

You’ve got enough to do in working out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Don’t try to straighten out those around you. And don’t get involved in something that the Lord would have to chastise you over.

Now, no matter what we go through, what we have to face in this life, know that we won’t sink in despair if we keep our eyes on the Lord.

Peter cried out, "Lord, save me!" and Jesus reached down with His hand and pulled him up from the water. He told him, "O ye of little faith. Why did you doubt?"

I might ask you the question, "Why do you doubt? Why do you really doubt when we know that the Lord has shown us in many Scriptures how He’s always there for us in the darkness of the night, in the wee hours of the morning and throughout the day"

There are many, many passages of Scriptures showing us that our Lord cares about His own. And if you’re one of His, know that He cares about you — so much so that He warned you in this message not to talk against an employee or against your boss. He doesn't want you to mar your testimony on the job and have to correct you.

God Fought for Jehoshaphat

Now, let's see how the Lord was there for Jehoshaphat:

II Chronicles 20:2,3
Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

We see here where King Jehoshaphat got word that three invading armies were headed toward Jerusalem. He feared . . . and set himself to seek the Lord. He also proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah, and they came together to pray and fast.

II Chronicles 20:12
O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee.

BUT our eyes are on Thee! And that’s where our eyes should be too. Yes, our eyes should be on the Lord; not on other people, but on Him. As long as our eyes are on Him, we can rest assured that He will move on our behalf.

II Chronicles 20:14-17
Then upon Jahaziel . . . came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.

To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.

"Fear not, nor be dismayed, for the Lord will be with you!"

II Chronicles 20:18
And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.

The Levites stood and with a loud voice praised God. People say you’re too loud: "You shout too loud when you praise God. You preach too loud!"

Psalm 47:1
O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

People say that God isn’t deaf. That’s true, yet He said to shout unto Him with the voice of triumph. I don’t find any place in the Scriptures where He says we can’t shout our praises unto Him for what He’s done.

Here in Chronicles they certainly appreciated what the Lord told them, falling before Him and worshipping Him.

II Chronicles 20:20-22
And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

Keep Your Eyes on the Lord

See how the Lord took care of that for His people? We can see from these Scriptures how God will move on our behalf when we have our eyes on Him.

Jehoshaphat had told the Lord that they had no might against the great company that was coming against them, and they didn't know what to do: but their eyes were on Him.

We can see from these Scriptures how faithful God is to move on our behalf when we have our eyes on Him.

You may have a great storm coming against you. You may feel like you don’t have much strength and you don’t know what to do. Listen, it’s time to call upon the Lord: "Lord, I need you to strengthen me. I need you to help me with this storm that has come against me. I need strength."

We know our strength comes from the Lord, for He has promised to strengthen those who will wait upon Him:

Isaiah 40:29-31
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

He will bring us through every storm when we keep our eyes on Him. We should learn something from these Scriptures of the importance of putting our eyes on the Lord.

When Peter had his eyes on Jesus, he walked on the water to go to Him. It was when he took his eyes off the Lord and began to look at the storm, that he began to sink. Because Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah put their eyes on the Lord, He took care of the battle that was coming against them. It was when they began to sing and praise — having their eyes on Him — that the battle was won.

printer iconPrint Sermon (printable version)  |  Back to Text Sermon Menu

↑ Top  |   Home Page  |   What's New!  |   Audio Sermons  |   Text Sermons  |   Bible Studies  |   Last Days Material  |   Contact Us