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.
It is dark outside and the darkness is closing in. I will admit, in the wake of all that has happened since I last shared my thoughts, the world at large has become a frightening place. It is, I suppose, no more frightening than it ever has been; perhaps it is simply in sharper focus.
As a boy growing up in the midwest, I remember the thunderstorms. Because Kansas and Oklahoma are flat you have the advantage of seeing them coming. You could literally watch the horizon and see mammoth thunder heads marching toward you and you could prepare.
Jesus spoke of being prepared for the end times and His coming using the analogy of weather:
and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
The Pharisees were searching for a sign here. In essence they were looking for a miracle like the others Jesus had performed. They wanted another show. Instead, Jesus rebukes them for their hypocrisy:
A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.
Jesus is omnius here. As usual, He cuts through the menutia and gets right to the point by using that which they know so well – the Torah (Old Testament). God used Jonah, after great protest, to deliver a final warning to the people of Nineveh and because of that warning, there was a great spiritual awakening in that city. The people repented of their sins and turned back to God. Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees in a language they understand and making a point; no more signs, I am here as your last warning. Stop being so outwardly religious and repent. The signs are all around you and you’re so busy doing right you’re not being right with the father!
That is the message Jesus has for the unbeliever, the hypocrite, ” Stop worrying about looking right, sounding right, and doing right and BE RIGHT! In a world that is less and less right, a world that is less focused on the God of the bible today than at any other time in recent memory, what message is there for the believer?
God tells us not to be afraid. But, you might say, as I have recently, “I am afraid!” When we are afraid, we must return to the truth of the scriptures. God’s promises can be trusted and leaned on as rock stands against the storm. So, as this unrighteous generation sinks deeper into the mire of sin and debauchery, know the truth. God is in charge and he will help us, protect us, and indeed uphold us for He is righteous.
The storms come as the world system tightens its grip on the imagination of the people. Take rest in the truth that the world system is not in charge. God is and He has given us our marching orders. We are to go not stay, pick up our cross, not stand idly by. for those of us who are saved can not have our salvation taken from us; what of those who remain lost? Are we to forsake them to the devil and eternal damnation? No! we are to go forth with no fear.
This course of action is neither easy nor safe but the consequences of inaction are dire. In these last days, we who believe must proclaim the truth to all who will hear it Safe in the knowledge that God is with us. Scripture tells us in the book of John:
If you are reading this today and your heart aches for the lost then take solace in Jesus and the peace that he brings. Though it has been said before, I will echo it again. ” I would rather go through a storm with Jesus than sail through life without Him.” If you are afraid, know that I echo your fears but I also know that the promises of scripture can be trusted. As the storm gathers I leave you with this:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Grace & Peace,