Thursday, May 13, 2010

Luke 8:22-25, “Why the Storm?" A Bible Study Devotion.

Luke 8:22-25, “Why the Storm?" A Bible Study Devotion.

Read Luke 8:22-25

There are many, many studies on this passage. Most of them teach this general lesson: When you encounter the storms of life, Jesus will be there with you. However, when I went over these verses the Good Lord pointed out the first line in the passage to me. It normally is overlooked, but it has tremendous significance. The first verse in the passage is (verse 22) reads: One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." Obviously, we all know that Jesus is omnipotent, so he knows what is going to happen. So in other words, Jesus is the one that places you in the very storm that you need him to rescue you from.

We all know that Jesus allows storms in our lives. That statement is not debatable. Have you had a storm in your life? Ok, then Jesus allowed it. But here it is one step beyond. It is Jesus himself who suggested getting in the boat at all. If he knows there is going to be a storm, and he knows you are going to be terrified, why does he place you there? The answer is "testing."

• Deuteronomy 13:3 NIV
You must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.

• Ezekiel 21:13 NIV
" 'Testing will surely come. And what if the scepter [of Judah], which the sword despises, does not continue? Declares the Sovereign Lord.'

• Luke 8:13 NIV
Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.

• Hebrews 3:8 NIV
Do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,

• John 6:6 NIV
He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

• 2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test.

This is a small sample. There are several verses about testing by God, Jesus. Ever hear of Abraham? So why does he test you? Look to the book of James: James 1:3,”because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." So this is great news. God is trying to develop your perseverance. ...but even better news, look to James 1:2. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds..." You might think, "Why is God doing this to me?" When you should consider it Joy... Why? Because when you are in a storm, you MUST rely on God to pull you out. Think back in your life. When were you the closest to God? When times were good or when times were bad? God wants us to rely on him.

Have you ever been a storm of life and thought, "where is God in all of this?" Read the rest of the passage. He is in the boat with you. He may appear to be sleeping, but he could just be testing your faith. So next time you are in a storm and you pray that God will bring you through right now, stop and consider that He might want you right there. Instead, pray for God to show you what he wants you to learn. Look at this; this will give you the hope and faith that you need. Again in verse 22, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." The storms happen on the journey. Jesus put them on that journey. But what is the destination that Jesus invites? It is on the other side of the lake, or the other side of the storm. He did not say, "Let's go out into deep water and stay there..." His destination from the start is the other side of the lake. Remember next time you are in your storm, the destination Jesus calls you to is on the other side...

So after the disciples wake Jesus up and he rebukes the storm, he says to them, “Where is your faith?" Did they learn what Jesus wanted them to learn? It would not appear so. It is good to know this before your next storm comes. Don't get to a place where, God says to you, "Where is your faith?" Remember the lesson we can learn from this story so you are prepared when the rain comes. Lean on God...persevere... And instead have God say to you, "Well done, good and faithful servant..."

Don't get too down on the disciples though: They did follow Jesus when he said, "Let's go...” They did call on him when things got rough. I wonder how long they stayed in that storm before waking Jesus? I wonder if they debated among themselves whether or not to wake him?

...coming soon, The Disciples Don't Deserve their Bad Rep..."

Written by Chris Vasecka

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