New Hope Notes
Faith For All Seasons
An Everyday Faith
Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
Weíre going to look at a slippery issue called faith and how it is built, measured, and revealed in the context of a storm. When the disciples get caught in a pretty bad storm, the wind and churning waves become a classroom. And in this classroom, we learn faith.
Someone has said, "Life is like a tube of toothpaste, you donít see whatís in it until itís squeezed." Likewise, God reveals some character issues within us in storms, and we can then choose to participate in building and repairing it, or reject it. But the storms give us a map and an assessment of where we are. And this map has a big yellow arrow telling us, "You are here!"
Question 1: What are some ëstormsí that you have encountered in your lives?
In the book of Mark, the disciples are caught in a mega-storm and theyíre scared. Now, itís bad when an uninitiated civilian like myself gets scared in a sea storm, but when weather beaten sea veterans like the disciples are frightened, you know itís really bad. In the midst of the storm, Jesus gives us one of the best lessons for what we can term, ëA Faith For All Seasons.í
"On that day, when evening came, He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up." (Mark 4:35-37)
"And He Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, "Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith?" (Mark 4:38-40)
"They became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" (Mark 4:41)
See this picture with me. The disciples are in the middle of a storm and worried that theyíre going to drown. So they begin to cry and yell at Jesus whoís asleep, unconcerned. They yell at Him, "Donít you care? Arenít you concerned as we are, that weíre gonna die!?" In essence theyíre saying, "Jesus, this is no time for resting! This is the season for worry and concern! If youíre not concerned, it obviously means that You donít care."
Well, Jesus awoke, rebuked the wind and seas, and teaches a lesson for an everyday faith. A faith for all seasons.
Jesus turns to His disciples and says, "Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith?" Now the Lord hardly ever says that in the Bible. He may say, "Oh ye or little faith," but he hardly ever says zero, zippo, zilch, or no faith. So why did He say that? What did they forget?
The disciples forgot that:
WE CAN DEVELOP A STRONG CONFIDENCE BECAUSE:
GOD WILL NEVER FORSAKE YOU.
"And on that day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side." And leaving the multitude, they took Him along with them, just as He was, in the boatÖ" (Mark 4:35-36)
The secret to this whole scene are the words, "Let us go." What the Lord is saying, is "Letís go, my presence is here with you, the very one who created the Galilean Sea, and the winds to blow." That is why Jesus only had to stand up and say, "Be still!" and the waves calmed. He only had to turn to the winds and say, "Hush!" and they stopped. When the Lord says, "Letís go," you know youíre okay.
"ÖHe Himself has said, ëI will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,í so that we confidently say, ëThe Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?í (Heb. 13:5-6)
Hereís the lesson: When youíre walking where Jesus is walking, when youíre doing what Jesus is doing, when youíre speaking what Jesus is speaking, you can have great confidence because thatís where He is going. When youíre in His presence, youíre fine because He is the Creator.
Question 2: How has the presence of God changed your approach to storms in life? Discuss the examples from Question 1.
Like the Rambo movies, where no matter what harrowing circumstance may face Sylvester Stallone, no matter how many armies attack him, we can be assured that he will live. Why? Because heís the star! And so when Jesus says, "Letís go," the disciples are going to be okay because they are with the Lord. When you are walking with the Lord and He says, "Letís go," youíre going to get through anything. It wonít guarantee you that you wonít hit storms along the way, but it does guarantee you that you will get to the other side because you are walking where He is walking.
There is one requirement that we must recognize which is a very important lesson on faith. It wasnít the disciples that said to Jesus, "Letís go over here," and manipulated our Lord to go with them. No, the secret of faith is this: It is not about getting Jesus to walk where you want to go, itís making sure that youíre walking where He wants you to go. A whole different world opens up then, where faith and confidence are birthed.
In this American religion that we have today, itís almost about, "God, just bless me. I donít know if itís right or wrong, but I donít care. Just bless me anyway." But that is not what the Lord is teaching us about an everyday faith.
FAITH IS BEING CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT JESUS IS CONCERNED ABOUT
"And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, "Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith?" And they became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" (Mark 4:39-41)
When He rebuked the winds and the seas, He said, "How is it that you have no faith?" Not little faith or doubting faith, no faith! The lesson here is: if it doesnít rile up Jesus, it shouldnít rile up me. Often Iím concerned about things that Jesus isnít concerned about, and the things Heís concerned about, Iím asleep at the wheel or hitting the snooze button.
The disciples were concerned about the storm, but Jesus was asleep. If you will be concerned about what the Lord is concerned about, you will be walking with Him in faith, following Him. If instead I am concerned about something that Heís not, then Iím flying in a "No Faith Zone."
When we walk with the Lord, all the resources of heaven, all the confidences and assurances available, will be released in our lives. If we hit a storm, He will hush it. When we hit waves, He will calm it.
But, when we are doing something outside of what the Lord is concerned about, weíll hit a wall and cry out, "Lord címon, donít You care?"
But, Heís says, "Why are you getting riled up about something over there?"
And when I hit a wall, Iím mad, and I say, "Why are you sleeping Lord? You donít care!"
Jesus then replies, "It has nothing to do with care, it has everything to do with faith. You are flying in a no-faith zone."
Question 3: Gauge your own walk. Are you flying in a ëno-faith zoneí outside of where Jesus is going? What changes can you make to go where He is telling you walk?
The question we all need to address is, "What is Jesus concerned about in this season of my life?" If we look at the life of David, a man that was after Godís own heart, you will often see written in the Scriptures, "And David inquired of the Lord." Whether itís an emergency, an event, or an attack, he would inquire of the Lord. What he was asking was, "Lord, are you as concerned about this as I am?" Instead of just moving in his own way expecting the Lord to just bless whatever heís doing, he was inquiring of the Lord. Seeking the path that God wanted him to walk.
Likewise, we each should be praying the following regularly:
Itís like a survey. When we encounter a problem, we need to ask the Lord, "Lord, are you very concerned about this, somewhat concerned, or not concerned at all." That is what David would do. Then after the Lord would answer, David would say, "Well, that is the level of my concern as well." And as he would do this, the Lord began to say, "Here is a man after my own heart." That is where faith will be, where miracles will be, and where He will calm the storms that we encounter.
Question 4: What are you concerned about in this season of your life? (The Homework from Sunday Service) How concerned is God about these areas?
If we are going to have a faith for all seasons, we need to say, "Lord, in this season of life, what you are most concerned about?" and switch to make sure that we are following the Lord. Then we are not walking in timidity, but in faith.
In Jesusí life, He was always concerned about what God was concerned about. In John 5, He says, "I do nothing on my own initiative. What I see the Father do, I do. What I hear the Father speak, I speak." He didnít maneuver God to fulfill the purposes of his own desires, but He instead fulfilled the purposes of God.
We will all hit storms in our lives, but listen to the promise of God in Romans 8:28, "For God will work all things together for good, to those that love God and are called according to His purposes." When we are walking in faith, He will work all things for good and will calm the storms we encounter, but it is only for those who love God and are called according to His purposes. So let us answer the call when Jesus moves and says, "Letís go!"
Question 5: How will you be different from what you have learned today?
Summarized by: Bryan Fujioka