Hope's in the Boat with You

Early this year Connie Saylor blessed us with two blog posts on hope: Fill Us Up on Hope and Hope Helps Us Thrive. Today is the final piece to Connie's series on hope. Every time I read this piece, I am blessed. One of my hopes, is that this will bless you too.

If you would like to learn more about God or enjoy some spiritual fellowship, please join us at MOPS Bible Study on Tuesday 9:30-11:30 upstairs at PBF in room 201. All are welcome. It is a great place to come, ask questions and learn.

One of my favorite Bible lessons about the power of Jesus is found in Matthew 8:23-27. Jesus and His disciples are in a boat far away from shore when a furious storm comes upon them. The disciples panic because the waves are crashing over the boat. They are sure its going to capsize and they are all going to drown. They panic and then they start desperately looking for Jesus.

Where do they find Jesus in the middle of this turmoil and life threatening confusion? Fast asleep in the bottom of the boat. The disciples cry out and vigorously shake Jesus to wake him up, shouting, "LORD, save us! We're going to drown!"

Jesus looks up at them, shaking His head, and says, "Oh you of little faith, why are you so afraid?" He stands up and orders the wind and the waves to stop and be silent. Everything becomes calm. With just a word, He stops the unstoppable. The disciples look at each other in awe, exclaiming, "What kind of man is this!?! Even the wind and the waves obey Him!"

Sometimes when life gets beyond our control we cry out the same cry as the disciples, "Where are you GOD? Don't you know that I'm drowning here?"

We've forgotten that Jesus in the boat with us. He has not left our side. He's right there ready to take control if we give Him our faith. Only Jesus can exceed all our expectations and limitations. Only Jesus can give us hope in a situation beyond our control. Only Jesus can give us peace in the middle of a storm. And only Jesus can calm our hearts and put our lives back in order in the midst of confusion and chaos. Nothing is too difficult for Him.

When life's storms start tossing us around, do as the disciples did, and go straight to the source of all power and hope - Jesus. Only Jesus can control the winds and the waves that threaten to swallow us up. Look in the Bible and see what advice He has to give to help you through your personal storm.(Need a starting spot? Try Romans 8:26-39.) Realize that this storm has not taken Jesus by surprise, but He does have something to teach you in the midst of it.
  • Maybe He's teaching you to cling to him for your answers, not your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5-6; Proverbs 16:1; James 1:5-8)
  • Maybe He's showing you how powerful He is, putting you in a state of awe as you see Him calm the storm around you. (2Corinthians 4:7-9; John 16:33)
  • Maybe He's reaching out, giving a comforting arm and gently guide to you until you make it through the trial with Him by your side. (Matthew 11:28-30)
  • Maybe He's cementing your faith, helping you realize that GOD is good, even when everything else is falling apart on you, teaching you to rely on His kindness, mercy and love to get through your trial. Romans 4: 18-21; 2Corinthians 4:16-18; 5:7)
  • Maybe He's using you to lead someone else closer to Him through your prayers. (2Corinthians 1:3-5; James 5:13-20)
  • Maybe this storm leads you to consistent conversation (prayer) with Him. (Romans 12:12). James 4:8 says to come near to GOD and He will come near to you.
  • Maybe it's an opportunity to invite Jesus to come into the boat with you if you haven't done so already. (Romans 10:9-13) 

As we look to see who's in the boat with us, Romans 8:31-39 tells us that no matter how bad life gets and difficult the circumstances:

  • GOD is for us. 
  • Jesus is at the right hand of GOD interceding for us. 
  • We can conquer life's difficulties through Jesus who loves us. 
  • Absolutely NOTHING can separate us from GOD's love found in Jesus. 

What's your first reaction to life's turmoils? Looking back, can you see instances where Jesus gave you peace in the midst of a stormy period in your life?

Connie is the mom of 10 kids ranging from 10-25 years old. She has been involved with MOPS for almost 25 years. This year, Connie is one of our co-lead mentor moms and leads our MOPS Bible study on Tuesdays. When not raising her family or serving at MOPS, Connie enjoys reading, hiking and working out with her husband.