– You may have had small faith in the past, but you can change that! You must be saved, believe the scriptures, and love and obey the Lord, and your faith will grow. Jesus, take the wheel (Matthew 8:23-27) *Verses in NKJV*
Matthew 8:23-27, Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
#1. The storms of life will come.
– According to a study done in 1960, people are born with only two innate fears: falling and loud noises. The rest of our fears are “learned” as we grow up, as defense mechanisms to avoid danger.
– Surveys say the top fears include: Public speaking, going to the dentist, snakes, spiders, and mice, and enclosed spaces. These fears focus on perceived danger, despite not actually being harmed.
– In our story, the disciples, most of whom were fishermen, knew firsthand the dangers of storms.
– A fierce squall or storm was not uncommon in the Sea of Galilee. It may have been unexpected, but it was not uncommon… the disciples knew they could lose everything in the open sea.
– The first thing that stood out to me in these verses was verse 23, “Now when (Jesus) got into a boat, His disciples followed Him.” (The potential for danger didn’t stop them from following Jesus.)
– It is difficult for our brains to recognize the difference between real danger and perceived danger. Example: Physical reactions from a GoPro video, or feeling pain when someone else falls hard.
– Intellectually you know it isn’t real, but your brain stills triggers your body’s fight or flight mechanism, your heart races, hands get sweaty, adrenaline dumps, and you’re ready for action!
– Example, PTSD: September 2012, first in on a 12 y/o accidental hanging. My kids were 13 and 10.
– Traumatic scene, triggered hypervigilance, stress, isolation and avoidance.
– Constantly wanting to quit my job (flight), and always aggressively looking for danger (fight).
– Constant worry and bracing for next trauma didn’t help! It only made me weaker to resist.
– I can’t control the emergency calls I will be sent to, but I can control my thoughts and mind.
– Phil. 4:6-8, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
– 2 Cor. 10:5b, …bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
– Fear will come. Work at controlling your thoughts, and eventually your body will follow.
– Example, PTSD continued: I struggled for many years, and it was a difficult season for all of us.
– I saw doctors, therapists, made job adjustments… I was told I should leave my job and that the pain and scares may never go away.
– I sincerely prayed for years and tried to lay it down on the alter a dozen times, to no avail.
– Then finally, at The Men’s Advance a couple years ago, after 6 years, I laid it at the feet of Jesus and I was healed! (Men’s Advance 2021 coming August 12-14, sign up on the App!)
* I know the danger, and the very real potential to get hurt again, but just like the disciples I will continue to follow Jesus on to the boat.
– 2 Tim 1:7, For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
– Trusting Jesus is an action. The more you do it, the better at it you become. It’s okay sometimes to do it scared.
– Isaiah 41:10, Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
– Jesus wasn’t upset when the disciples woke him up to share their fears. He corrected them for letting their fears control them. Come to Jesus with your struggles and fears.
#2. Why is your faith so little?
– “Little faith” is used 5 times in the book of Matthew. The term refers to lacking faith in a specific event rather than an ongoing insufficient faith or permanent failure.
– If someone always lacks faith constantly, it would be considered “unbelief”.
– Simply put it means that in the moment their faith was tested, the disciples came up short.
– They have seen the signs that Jesus is the Messiah, seen him do miracles, but now in the midst of physical danger, they didn’t understand God’s protection. They missed their moment to show faith.
– When the moment comes, you have to recognize it and be ready.
– Example: man in elevator, trapped and destroyed it (fear of enclosed spaces). I wasn’t an EMT yet. I could have faked it and saved the day! I stood there like, “uh, I don’t know how”.
– I missed my chance because I wasn’t mentally prepared to take action.
– Our faith should be huge, because we have a Bible full of examples of what faith looks like.
– Romans 10:17, So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
– We have been going through Hebrews chapter 11 on Wednesday nights, the “faith” chapter.
– Hebrews 11:1-2, Now faith is the substance (or realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (or confidence) of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
– Chapter 11 is full of the testimonies of the saints and their powerful faith, that we can learn from.
– Hebrews 11:6, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
– 1 John 5:3-5, For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (This is the verse name Faith and Victory Church)
#3. Jesus IS the Messiah!
– Matthew 8:27, So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
– “Who can this be?”, or literally, “What sort of man is this?” Did they ask this rhetorically, or in utter disbelief? I think they were still confused and failing to understand what they were seeing.
– Jesus has already shown them he is the Messiah by healing the sick and cleansing the lepers, and now he shows them by controlling the weather.
– Psalm 89:9, You rule the raging of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them.
– Psalms 107:23-32, Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters, 24 They see the works of the Lord, And His wonders in the deep. 25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea. 26 They mount up to the heavens, They go down again to the depths; Their soul melts because of trouble. 27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And [e]are at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses. 29 He calms the storm, So that its waves are still. 30 Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven. 31 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! 32 Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, And praise Him in the company of the elders.
– This is why Jesus allowed the storm in the first place, to show them he is Lord and Savior.
– This story of Jesus calming the storm is for you to know he is the Savior too!
Jesus Christ is the Lord and our Savior: (This leads into the alter call)
– John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
– Eph 1:7, In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…
– prayer –
Pastor Jason Alexander preaches on Jesus, Take The Wheel. Please share online for others to see.
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