In the book of Mark, chapter six, we read that the disciples got into a boat, at night, and took out across the sea. In their obedience to Jesus, the disciples ran directly into a storm. Their obedience literally took them into the nucleus of a disaster.
I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means you will never have to face any storms. I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means that the waters of life will always be calm. I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means life will be rosy and all of your days sweet.
But I can’t.
These disciples were following Jesus, and they ran right into rough-seas. The disciples discovered, as many of us have also discovered, that:
You can be both in the center of God’s will, and still in a storm.
There is a lot of preaching today as well as many Christian books that tell you that if you follow Jesus, than you will never have to face any challenges in life. That wasn’t true for Jesus, or for anyone else I know who has followed Him. Following Jesus doesn’t offer immunity from troubles. What it does give is the opportunity to experience Him in the midst of the trouble.
Life comes with troubles, regardless of whether or not you follow Jesus. You get to choose if you want Him to join you in your troubles, or if you’d rather go through them alone.
What I want you to remember as you face life’s storms is that Jesus is with you. You are not alone. And, rather than focus on the problems, focus on the promises. If you focus too much on the problems, you will lose sight of the promises. Fix your eyes on Jesus and His Word and He will bring peace and calm to the struggles you are facing. I guarantee it. Because He says so.
God has a purpose for pain. He doesn’t always reveal it when we want Him to. In some cases, we won’t discover what it is until we get to Heaven. But He has promised us that if we love Him, He will use the good, the bad and the bitter winds for our good, His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom.
When you feel like giving up, look up. Fix your hope on Him.
The Urban Alternative