This is exactly what happened to the disciples of Jesus as they were crossing a lake. Here is what happened:
“When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake….Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.” – Matthew chapter 8
Another time the disciples were crossing the lake without Jesus and here is what happened:
“Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” – Matthew chapter 14
It doesn’t matter what your lake is: maybe it’s waking up and facing your spouse; maybe it’s getting onto the bus or subway and going in to work; maybe is heading the hospital for your cancer treatment; maybe it’s crossing the sea to live in a different country; or maybe, it’s facing your family when they find out you’re a Christian.
Problems and difficulties and the storms of life are impossible to avoid: trouble will come, problems will come; but Jesus is with us in the storms. This is the great blessing of being a Christian – Emmanuel – God with us. God is with us in the storm. He doesn’t wait to meet us after we somehow make it through the storm – Jesus is with us in the storm. So whatever challenge, difficulty, trouble, fear, sickness you are facing – Jesus is with you; God hears you; you are not alone.
Jesus never said you wouldn’t have any problems
Jesus never said life would be easy; Jesus never said that if you become a Christian you would get rich, get happily married and live until you were 90 years old without any persecution or sickness.
What Jesus did say is: “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:32-33
One thing I have taught my children is that when the storms of life come – not if but when – then they would be wise to remember to call upon God. They should, if they want to feel peace and get help, call upon God, pray that Jesus would help them. One of my daughters said to me one day: “You know what I learned from you mom and day? I learned that you don’t have all the answers. Sometimes you don’t know what to do and you don’t have all the answers. But in those times you pray and call upon God and trust that He is going to help you. And then you are able to face the problem.”
Yes – that’s it! That is the key to living a blessed and happy life.
Jesus said that those who follow Him will be persecuted. They will be turned out of their families, they will rejected by family, friends and even the world. Some will be hunted down and thrown in prison in killed.
“Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:4-14
Call upon God
The key in all our troubles is to call upon God; the key is to look for Jesus and expect Him to come and help us. It sounds so much like a cliché to say “God loves you; Jesus loves you.” But when you are in that storm of life and Jesus shows up – and you see Him, you hear Him, you feel His presence – that’s no cliché. It’s work living and dying for.