Destined to Step Out of the Ship & Step Onto the Shore: You Were Not Meant to be Destroyed By the Storm & Drowned By the Sea

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses twenty-six through fifty-six of the eighth chapter of this New Testament book. ”And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesu sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him” (Luke 8:26-39).

            “And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him. And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: for he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the women saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth And they laughed him to scorn, kmnowing that she was dead. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done” (Luke 8:40-56).

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find what I would like to describe as “the other side of the storm.” I am absolutely and completely convinced when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture you should clearly see that which awaited Jesus on the other side of the storm. Not only this, but what we find when reading this particular portion of Scripture is not only that which awaited Jesus on the other side of the storm, but that which awaited Jesus after He was awakened by His disciples while He was sleeping in the ship. It is actually quite an incredible scene that unfolded there in the midst of the sea, for what we find is the disciples and Jesus being in the same ship, upon the same sea, and in the midst of the same storm, and yet there were two drastically different responses to the storm which took place within the hearts, souls and minds of the disciples and Jesus. Scripture records and reveals how Jesus and His disciples were to pass over to the other side in a ship, and while they were passing over to the other side they encountered a storm in the midst of the sea. What is truly astonishing when reading the words which are found in this portion of Scripture is that in the midst of the storm we find Jesus sleeping in the hollow of the ship, while the disciples were undoubtedly trying to do everything they could to prevent the ship from capsizing and/or to prevent the ship from being overtaken in the midst of the storm by the wind and the waves. It is quite interesting and astonishing to read the words which are found in this portion of Scripture, for there in the ship in the midst of the storm we find Jesus sleeping—perhaps even sleeping soundly and peacefully—while the disciples were engaged in a tremendous bout with fear, anxiety, terror and dread. Scripture perfectly and adequately describes how the disciples—being overcome with fear within their hearts—cried out unto Jesus  there in the midst of the ship, and how immediately Jesus awoke from His sleep and arose from His place of rest.

            As we think about and consider Jesus in the midst of the storm I am absolutely and completely convinced there is something to be said about Jesus sleeping in the midst of the storm, as well as Jesus standing in the midst of the storm, and Jesus speaking to the storm. Not only this, but what we find within this passage of Scripture is a truly awesome and powerful picture which brings us face to face with the incredible truth that within this storm in the midst of the ship we find Jesus engaging in essentially four distinct actions. Initially we find Jesus sleeping in the midst of the storm, which could denote and suggest that either He was unmoved by the storm(s) which would rage all around Him, or the storm(s) which He encountered weren’t enough to cause Him to awake from His sleep and slumber. What is truly awesome when reading and considering the words found in this passage of Scripture is when you think about the fact that when we read of Jesus sleeping in the midst of the storm He wasn’t awakened by the wind, He wasn’t awakened by the waves, and He wasn’t awakened by the fierceness of the storm. STORMS DON’T MOVE JESUS! DISCIPLES MOVE JESUS! PEOPLE MOVE JESUS! DESPERATION MOVES JESUS! HOPELESSNESS MOVES JESUS! Oh if there is something I absolutely love when reading the words which are found in this portion of Scripture it is that it is essentially a precursor for what we would find when Jesus and the disciples finally did reach the other side of the sea. Upon reading the words found in this portion of Scripture we find that Jesus was never and would never be moved with and by the storms which would be manifested in the midst of and upon the seas. In each of the two encounters which Jesus and the disciples had with storms in the gospel narratives we find Jesus sleeping in the midst of one and walking in the midst of another. Oh stop and consider how absolutely incredible it is to think about the fact that Jesus is not moved with and by storms, for He is not only able to sleep in the midst of them, but He is also able to walk in the midst of them.

            I sit here today thinking about the narrative of Jesus and the disciples in the midst of this storm, and I can’t help but be gripped and captivated with and by the fact that Jesus did not appear to be at all bothered with and by the storms which He faced within His life. It is something worth thinking about to consider the fact that Jesus slept in the midst of one storm while He came walking in the midst of another storm as He walked upon the water surrounded by the wind and the waves. Oh I absolutely love the fact that when you read the preceding passage and portion of Scripture you will encounter and come face to face with the fact that Jesus was not at all bothered by the storm which was raging all around Him. Scripture and the gospel narratives seem to indicate that Jesus was entirely and altogether unmoved by the storm which was raging all around Him, and although the disciples were fearful, anxious, and perhaps even felt hopeless and desperate, Jesus was able to sleep through and in the midst of the storm. What I so love and find incredibly beautiful about this portion and passage of Scripture is how Jesus wasn’t at all moved by the storm, nor was Jesus moved by the wind and the waves that were crashing and raging all around Him. I am absolutely and utterly fascinated with and by the fact that this narrative of Jesus and the disciples in the midst of the storm seems to suggest the fact that storms have never, nor could they ever instill fear, anxiety, terror, dread, desperation, nor even hopelessness in the midst of the storm. What is so utterly remarkable is when you think about and consider the fact that although Jesus was indeed one hundred percent man and lived in the flesh He was not overcome with the same emotions, the same feelings, and the same thoughts as others during those days succumbed to—even and especially His disciples on this particular occasion. Jesus was one hundred percent man and lived and dwelt in the flesh, and yet what we find here in the midst of this narrative is Jesus sleeping soundly and peacefully in the midst of the storm without at all being awakened by the storm which raged all around Him. A question I can’t help but asked is if and had the disciples not cried out to Him in fear, in desperation and a feeling of hopelessness, would Jesus have even awakened from His slumber. Is it possible that had the disciples not cried out in desperation, fear, anxiety, terror and dread? Is it possible that the only thing that would and could have awakened Jesus from His sleep and His slumber was the desperate cry of the disciples there in the midst of the storm?

            I have to admit that there is something absolutely incredible when reading the words found within this portion and passage of Scripture, for it highlights, underscores and demonstrates the incredibly awesome and powerful picture of Jesus seemingly being entirely and altogether unmoved with and by the storms which raged before and all around Him. I cannot help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with the powerful truth that storms have never seemed, nor do they ever seem to both Jesus at all. Perhaps one of the greatest truths and realities found within this portion and passage of Scripture is when we think about and consider the fact that Jesus’ sleep and slumber in the midst of the storm not only demonstrated His utter trust and reliance upon the Father who was in heaven, but also the lack of fear, the lack of anxiety, the lack of helplessness, the lack of hopelessness, and the lack of desperation within His heart and soul. Although Jesus was one hundred percent man and lived and dwelt in the flesh He was entirely and altogether confident in who His eternal Father was in heaven, and He placed His full trust, hope and confidence in Him We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for not only does Jesus sleeping in the midst of the storm suggest that storms did not seem to phase Him, but also His standing up in the midst of the storm, as well as His speaking to the storm suggests that the storms themselves could never and would never hold any sway or authority or power over Him. Oh how absolutely and utterly captivating and remarkable it is to think about and consider the awesome and powerful truth surrounding Jesus the Christ and how the same storms which produce fear, anxiety, terror and dread within us have absolutely no such effect within His heart and soul.

            I so love and appreciate the words which are found in this portion and passage of Scripture, for it demonstrates and reveals the incredibly awesome truth that when it comes to storms—it is not the storms that impact and affect Jesus, but it is the cries of His people in the midst of the storms. It is something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words found in this particular narrative that Jesus was sound asleep in the midst of the storm as the wind and the waves raged before and all around Him, and yet I would dare suggest that were it not for the cry produced within the heart of His disciples He would have slept during and throughout the entire storm. What I can’t help but think about is whether or not it was possible if Jesus would not and could not have slept until the storm passed and/or until the storm is over. SLEEPING UNTIL THE STORM PASSES! SLEEPING UNTIL THE STORM IS OVER! Now I fully realize and recognize there might be some of you who would read the words found in this writing and think and even suggest that sleeping until the storm passes and sleeping until the storm is over demonstrates a spirit of lethargy and complacency. I truly understand how and why you might think that way within your hearts and your minds, however, I would dare argue and contend that such a thought is not entirely, nor is it altogether true and even rooted in reality. I have long believed that Jesus’ sleeping in the midst of the storm demonstrated His absolute trust, confidence, and rest in who His eternal and heavenly Father was, while His standing up and speaking to the storm demonstrated His authority and power over nature and over the storms which we face within our lives. What’s more, is I have often believed that the peace Jesus was able to speak into the storm, and the peace Jesus was able to bring in the midst of the storm was a product and demonstration of the peace that was found within His own heart, within His own soul, and within His own mind. There is not a doubt within my mind that the peace which was found within the heart and soul of Jesus was the same peace He was able to manifest, introduce, demonstrate and exercise in the midst of the storm.

            If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s the tremendous fact that Jesus’ ability to sleep in the midst of the storm not only demonstrated the peace that was present within His heart, within His soul, and within His person, but it also demonstrated His supreme trust and confidence in the living and eternal Father. Stop and think about the fact that if sleeping in the midst of the storm demonstrated the peace that was present within the heart, within the soul, and within the mind of the Son of God, then sleeping until the storm passed, and/or sleeping until the storm was over would have undoubtedly demonstrated the same exact reality. There is not a doubt in my mind that it would have been entirely and altogether possible for Jesus to sleep throughout the storm and sleep until the storm had passed, and the only thing that awaked Him from that slumber and rest was the desperate cry of His disciples. Oh stop and consider for a moment how the one and only thing that would and could have awakened Jesus from His sleep and slumber in the midst of the storm—the only thing that would have awakened Him and caused Him to rise from His place of rest—was the desperate cry of His disciples there in the midst of the storm. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it calls and draws our attention to the undeniable truth that it would have been altogether possible for Jesus to sleep until the storm had passed—perhaps even slept until the storm had passed—and yet such a manifestation and reality within His life would not have suggested lethargy and complacency, but rather a supreme trust, confidence and rest in and before His eternal Father who was in heaven. We must needs realize, recognize and understand how absolutely incredible this is, for I have long and oftentimes asked what was the greater demonstration and manifestation in the midst of the storm in the company and presence of the disciples—sleeping in the midst of the storm, or standing up in the midst of the storm and speaking to the storm.

            We would like to think that Jesus’ standing up in the midst of the storm and His speaking to the storm was the greatest display and demonstration on this particular occasion, and yet the truth of the matter is that I would argue and contend that the greater demonstration there in the midst of this storm was Jesus’ ability to rest in the midst of it. I am absolutely and completely convinced that Jesus’ ability to sleep in the midst of the storm was a truly wonderful and powerful demonstration that He was indeed and was in fact able to fully trust and rely upon the eternal Father. There would be those who would dare argue and contend that sleeping until the storm is over and sleeping until the storm has passed is a sign of weakness, a sign of lethargy, a sign of complacency, and a sign of foolishness, however, I would dare argue and contend that sleeping until the storm has passed, and sleeping until the storm is over is a powerful demonstration of our trust and confidence in the living and eternal Father. If you and I are truly willing to be honest with each other we must needs admit that we have all experienced storms in one way or another. There is absolutely no denying that each and every one of us has indeed and has in fact experienced storms within our hearts and lives, and has indeed experienced the wind and the waves crashing before and all around us. What’s more, is that one of the greatest truths we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we have indeed and have in fact been able to sleep in the midst of those storms. There would be those who would argue and contend that we have been called into a place where we are able to stand up in the midst of and speak to the storms which we face within our hearts and lives, and I feel compelled to draw and call your attention to the absolutely awesome and powerful truth that we can indeed and can in fact sleep and experience rest and peace in the midst of the storms. What if I told you that it was not only possible to sleep in the midst of the storms you face within your life, but also possibly sleep until the storms are over and sleep until the storms have passed? Would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the fact that it is entirely and altogether possible to sleep in the midst of the storms we face, as well as to sleep until the storms have passed and until the storms are over?

            SLEEPING UNTIL THE STORM HAS PASSED! Oh I must needs emphatically declare and proclaim unto you that what I mean by sleeping until the storm has passed does not mean that we literally sleep in our beds under our sheets with our heads upon our pillows. When I speak of sleeping until the storm has passed and until the storm is over I am speaking of our ability to live in that place of quietness, that place of trust, and that place of rest within our hearts and souls despite the storm raging before and all around us. Although Scripture does not explicitly state this particular fact, I would argue and contend that Jesus would and could have slept during and throughout the entire storm which raged before and all around Him on this particular occasion. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus would and could have slept during this storm and might very well have slept throughout and during the entire storm until the storm itself passed, or until the ship arrived safely at the other side of the sea. We know that the ship would arrive safely to the other side of the sea after Jesus would stand up in the midst of the storm and speak to it thus causing the wind and the waves to listen and obey His voice, however, it is highly possible that Jesus would and perhaps even could have slept until the storm itself had passed and was over, or until He and the disciples arrived safely at the place they were destined to journey unto. Oh stop and consider that for a moment, for there is something to be said about being able to sleep until the storm has indeed passed, and/or sleeping until you arrive safely to that place where you were destined, ordained and appointed to go. I firmly believe Jesus and the disciples were ordained and appointed by the living and eternal Father to arrive on the other side of the sea, and that there was a great work which needed to be accomplished and fulfilled in that place.

            There is something we must needs think about and consider when reading the words found in this portion and passage of Scripture, for the words we find here before us strongly suggest that it is possible to sleep until the storm has passed and until the storm is over, or to sleep until we have arrived in that place the living and eternal God and Father has ordained and appointed us to go. The more I think about and the more I consider the words found in this portion and passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the powerful truth that there are essentially three different realms of sleeping in the midst of the storm—three distinct realms which we must needs recognize, understand and be entirely and altogether aware of. The first realm is sort of that introductory realm where we are able to sleep in the midst of the storm, and that place where we experience that initial peace and rest which the eternal Father has provided for us. The second realm is not only the ability to sleep in the midst of the storm, but also sleep in the midst of the storm until the storm has passed. This second realm is one that is absolutely and entirely interesting, for it not only speaks of having a trust, confidence, rest and peace in the eternal Father in the midst of the storm, but also maintaining that peace, maintaining that rest, and maintaining that trust and confidence in the midst of the storm. There is something truly powerful when thinking about and considering the fact that it is highly and altogether possible for us to sleep in the midst of the storm—and not only sleep in the midst of the storm, but also sleep until the storm has passed and until the storm is over. There is something absolutely and incredibly astonishing when you think about and consider the fact that we can indeed and can in fact “sleep until the storm passes,” and experience that trust, that confidence, that rest and that peace in the midst of the storm until the storm is over. The third and final realm of sleeping in the midst of the storm is sleeping until the ship arrives safely at the place it was destined, ordained and appointed to go. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus and the disciples were ordained and appointed by the eternal Father to journey to the other side of the sea, and with that being said it might have been possible to sleep until the ship arrived safely to that place destined, ordained and appointed by the Father.

            I am sitting here today thinking and considering the words which are found within this portion and passage of Scripture, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that Jesus slept and was sleeping in the midst of the storm, and the only thing that awoke Him from His slumber and from His sleep was the desperate cry of His disciples. Perhaps one of the greatest things I can’t help but think about is what it would have looked like if not only Jesus had slept in the midst of this storm, but also if the disciples slept in the midst of this storm. We know that Jesus was fast asleep in the midst of the storm, and how His sleeping demonstrated a very real and powerful trust, confidence and peace before His Father who was in heaven, and yet I can’t help but wonder what it would and could have looked like for Jesus and His disciples to sleep in the midst of the storm—and not only sleep in the midst of the storm, but also sleep until the storm has passed, or even sleep until the ship has arrived at the place it was ordained and appointed to go. SLEEPING UNTIL THE STORM HAS PASSED! SLEEPING UNTIL THE SHIP ARRIVES AT ITS DESTINATION! What makes this all the more intriguing and astonishing when you think about and consider it is that when we think about and consider the storms which the disciples faced and experienced there were essentially two different and distinct scenarios with Christ they could have walked in and enjoyed in the presence and with the person of Christ. I am absolutely convinced that on the one hand the disciples might very well have been able to sleep in the midst of the storm together with Christ—despite the fact the storm, the wind and the waves raged and roared all around them. It might very well have been possible for the disciples to experience that same place of quietness, that same place of trust, that same place of rest, and that same place of confidence before the living and eternal Father.

            With this being said, I am absolutely and completely convinced the disciples could have not only slept in the midst of the storm together with Christ as they experienced the same degree and measure of quietness, trust, rest and confidence in the Father, but they could have also walked upon the water in the midst of the storm and stood with Christ there in the midst of the storm. SLEEPING TOGETHER WITH CHRIST IN THE STORMS, STANDING TOGETHER WITH CHRIST IN THE STORMS! We know from the words which the apostle Paul wrote that we have been seated together with Christ in heavenly places, and yet the truth of the matter is that I would dare say it is possible to sleep in the storms together with Christ, as well as stand in the midst of storms with Christ. Would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the fact that there in the midst of that first storm the disciples could have experienced the same trust, the same confidence, the same rest, and the same peace Jesus Himself experienced, exercised and demonstrated? Would it surprise you to think about the fact that the disciples could have indeed slept together with Christ in the midst of that storm—and even if they did and/or could not physically sleep in the midst of the storm, they could have experienced perhaps a degree and measure of the peace, the quietness, the trust and the rest that was found in the heart, soul and mind of Christ. Imagine and consider if you will what that scene would and could have looked like for the disciples to sleep in the ship together with Jesus as the wind and the waves of the storm raged and roared before and all around them. We who read the Scriptures have the advantage of reading it in hindsight after the events have actually happened, and with that being said I am absolutely and completely convinced that we have a great and powerful need within our own hearts and lives to be those who are able to experience that same degree and measure of rest, quietness, trust, peace and confidence as Jesus experienced in the midst of the storm. What’s more, is there is not a doubt in my mind that we as the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ can indeed and can in fact stand together with Christ in the midst of the storm—despite the wind and the waves raging all around us, and despite the rain pounding down upon us, and despite the storm being upon and over us.

            Perhaps one of the greatest truths we must needs realize, recognize and understand is that we have indeed and have in fact been called into the powerful place of not only standing together with Christ in the midst of the storms we face, but also sleeping together with Christ in the midst of the storms we face. We know that Jesus was able to stand up in the midst of that first storm and speak to the storm, thus bringing peace, rest and calm to it, and with that being said I can’t help but wonder what it would and could have looked like for the disciples to stand there together with Jesus as He spoke to and commanded the storm, as well as the disciples sleeping together with Christ in the midst of the storm. SLEEPING TOGETHER WITH CHRIST IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! STANDING TOGETHER WITH CHRIST IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! In all reality, I would dare say there are two distinct ways the disciples could have stood together with Christ in the midst of the storm, for the disciples could have stood together with Christ as He stood up in the midst of the storm to speak to and command it, and/or they could have stood together with Christ upon the sea in the midst of the storm which raged all around them. There was and there could have been a standing together with Christ in the midst of the storm as the disciples stood beside Him as He exercised dominion, authority and power over the storm, while there was also the possibility of the disciples standing together with and round about Jesus in the midst of the second storm they face. Oh would it shock and surprise you to think about the fact that Simon Peter might not have been the only intended to depart from the ship and walk upon the water? What’s more, is I can’t help but ask you if you would indeed and would in fact be surprised if I told you that perhaps it wasn’t merely about walking on the water in the midst of the storm unto Jesus, but actually arriving to where Jesus was and standing together with Him in the midst of the storm.

There is something incredibly powerful when you think about and consider the fact that the disciples would and could not only have been those who stood together with Christ as He spoke to and commanded the storm, but the disciples also could very well have been those who could stand together with Christ in the midst of the storm after they had just walked upon the water in the midst of the storm. How incredibly powerful it is to think about and consider how the disciples could not only have been those who each got out of the boat and walked upon the water in the midst of the storm, but the disciples could have also stood together with Christ there in the midst of the storm upon the water with the wind and the waves crashing before and all around them. It is truly something remarkable to think about and consider these two storms which the disciples faced, for I am absolutely convinced that both storms would and could have served as an invitation to stand together with Christ in the midst of the storm. I firmly believe that both of these storms would and could have served as powerful opportunities given unto the disciples to stand together with Christ in the midst of the storm, and they each had an opportunity as Christ exercised His authority within, over and upon the storm in two entirely different ways and means. I am absolutely convinced that Christ exercised His authority and His power in the midst of and over the storm on the one hand by standing up in the midst of it and speaking to it, while on the other hand He came walking in the midst of the storm upon the water with the wind and the waves crashing before and all around Him. With this being said I would dare say that Christ exercised His peace, His quietness, His trust and His confidence in the midst of the storm by sleeping in the midst of the storm, as well as standing in the midst of the storm. In the first storm Jesus stood up in the midst of the storm almost as if Jesus was indeed standing up to the storm and standing face to face with it. On the other hand Jesus would stand in the midst of the storm as in order for Simon to get out of the boat and come unto Him walking upon the water Jesus would have had to stop His forward motion and stand still. Oh stop and think about what it would have been like for the disciples to realize Jesus was there with them in the midst of the storm, that Jesus had indeed come unto them in the midst of the storm walking upon the water, and as Jesus stood there upon the water in the midst of the storm with the wind and the waves crashing before and all around Him.

Permit me to be so bold and ask whether or not you are one who is not only willing to sleep together with Jesus in the midst of the storm, but also whether or not you are willing to stand together with Christ in the midst of the storm. Are you one who is willing and able to stand together with Christ in the midst of the storm as He speaks to and commands it? Are you one who is willing and able to stand together with Christ in the midst of the storm as He stands there with His feet firmly planted upon the water beneath His feet—even with the wind and the waves crashing before and all around Him? There is an incredibly powerful invitation when you think about and consider these verses, for the disciples were given an incredibly awesome and powerful invitation by Jesus to not only sleep together with Him in the midst of the storm, but also to stand together with Him in the midst of the storm. What’s more, is we must needs realize and understand that we ourselves have been given this tremendous and incredible invitation within our own hearts and lives. We as the saints of God have been given an awesome and powerful invitation to stand together with Christ in the midst of the storm as we don’t stand based on the authority and power within us ourselves, but rather in His authority and power. We as the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ have the wonderful invitation to experience the same quietness, the same peace, the same trust, and the same rest Jesus had within this storm—that which enabled Him to sleep peacefully in the midst of the storm with the wind and the waves crashing before and all around Him. Oh how truly wonderful and awesome it is to think about the words which are found in this portion and passage of Scripture, for they bring us to the place where we acknowledge whether or not we are those who are able to sleep together with Christ in the midst of the storm and/or whether or not we are able to stand together with Christ in the midst of the storms we face within our hearts and lives.

If you continue reading the words which are found within the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke you will find that after Jesus stood in the midst of the storm and spoke to it thus bringing calm, peace, quietness and rest to the storm, both Jesus and the disciples arrived safely at the other side of the sea. It would be as they came to the other side of the sea of Galilee which was the land and country of the Gadarenes that there came out of the city a certain man which had devils a long time. Immediately after Jesus and the disciples came out of the storm which rose up against and upon them in the midst of the sea they would experience and encounter an entirely and altogether different reality in the country of the Gadarenes. It would be there in the country of the Gadarenes Jesus would encounter a man from the city who had devils a long time, and as a direct result of his being possessed and oppressed by devils for a long time he wore nor clothes, nor abode in any house, but instead abode among the tombs in the land. Oh it is truly something worth thinking about and considering how immediately after Jesus and the disciples came through the storm and arrived on the other side of the storm they would not only encounter a man from within the city, but would also encounter many devils which had possessed and oppressed a man from the midst of it. FROM THE STORM TO THE SHORE! FROM THE STORM TO THE SPIRITS! Oh it’s truly something worth thinking about and considering how Jesus would stand up in the midst of the storm after being awakened in the midst of it, and would speak to the storm thus bringing peace, quietness, and rest to it, and immediately after bringing peace and rest to the sea in the midst of the storm Jesus would enter into another situation where that same peace, that same quietness, that same trust, and that same rest would also be needed. In all reality, I am absolutely convinced it is truly wonderful to read the narrative of the storm, for the narrative of the storm not only demonstrates the peace and the rest which was found within the heart, the soul and mind of Jesus, but it also demonstrates the authority, the power and dominion that was found within Him. Jesus was not only able to rest in the midst of the storm because of the peace that was present within Him, but Jesus was also able to speak to the storm because of the authority which He possessed as the living and eternal Son of God.

What is worth mentioning, highlighting and underscoring in this portion of Scripture is the incredibly awesome and powerful truth that the same peace and rest Jesus exercised in the midst of the storm would be the same peace and rest He would experience when being confronted by this man from the city who was possessed a long time by devils. Scripture does not reveal how long this man had been possessed by these devils, and yet we know that this man was undoubtedly tormented, oppressed and possessed by them for quite some time. On this particular day, however, Jesus would show up on the shores of the sea of Galilee, and it would be when Jesus showed up on the shores of the sea of Galilee this man came running out of the city and met Jesus there on the shore of the sea. The question I can’t help but ask is whether or not this man knew and was somehow aware of the presence of Jesus in the midst of the sea, and whether or not he was deliberately and intentionally waiting for Jesus to arrive on the shore of the sea. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if the storm which came upon the sea was not a storm that was perhaps instigated and created by the legion of demons which were present within this man, and whether or not this storm was designed and intended to destroy Jesus there in the midst of the sea. What’s more, is the fact that when you read this particular portion of Scripture you get the strong sense that what those evil spirits sought to do to Jesus would ultimately and inevitably be carried out against the herd of swine which were feeding nearby as they would enter into the swine and cause them to run violently down the hill and be choked in the sea. OH I can’t help but see a strong and powerful link and connection between the evil spirits entering into the swine and causing them to run violently down the hill and be choked in the sea and that which they perhaps attempted to do to Jesus and the disciples there in the midst of the sea. Is it possible that the very same thing the evil spirits attempted to do to Jesus and the disciples in the midst of the sea would ultimately be manifested in the midst of the swine? If this is indeed possible then it strongly suggests that the storm which the disciples and Jesus faced there in the midst of the sea was a storm that was intended to destroy and drown them in the depths of the sea.

The more I read and consider the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding this man’s awareness of the person and presence of Jesus on the shore of the sea, and how this man might have been aware of the evil spirits’ desire and attempt to destroy Jesus in the midst of the sea. I can’t help but think how it might very well have been possible that when this man not only saw the storm cease and subside in the midst of the sea, but also saw Jesus arrive safely to the shore of the sea and step upon dry land he recognized and realized the authority, the power and the dominion that was present within Him. Scripture is unclear as to whether or not this man was indeed aware of Jesus’ fame and name based upon reports and accounts he had heard, but there is a part of me that wondered if there was not some type of hope, desperation, and need manifested within his heart and soul. Perhaps this man desired to be set free and delivered from these evil spirits and devils which had been tormenting him, and perhaps Jesus was aware of it while on the other side of the sea of Galilee. I can’t help but think about the fact that Jesus was aware of this man and the torment and oppression of this man, and He was determined to get to the other side of the sea to bring deliverance and freedom to him. With this being said, I can’t help but be aware of the fact that the evil spirits and devils which possessed, tormented and oppressed this man were aware of Jesus’ movement from the other side of the sea of Galilee, and might very well have thought the evil spirits and devils could have somehow destroyed and drowned Jesus in the depths of the sea. There is not a doubt in my mind that this man perhaps watched the storm emerge upon the sea and threaten the lives of Jesus and the disciples there in the midst of the sea. There is not a doubt in my mind this man watched as the storm picked up speed and gained strength upon the sea and thought for sure the winds and the waves would have crushed the ship and destroyed Jesus and the disciples. What I can’t help but wonder is whether or not this man saw Jesus stand up in the midst of the storm and not only speak to the storm, but also command the wind and the waves to be still

Is it possible that this man watched as Jesus stood up in the midst of the storm and spoke to the wind and the waves and commanded them to be still, and after witnessing this display of power, dominion and authority, he was determined within himself to see if Jesus could bring deliverance and freedom to his physical person and body? I can’t help but wonder and think about whether or not when Jesus stood up in the midst of the storm and spoke to it as He commanded the wind and the waves this man might very well have been aware of it. What’s more, is there is a part of me that wonders whether or not this man experienced a tremendous sigh of relief and hope within his heart and soul when He saw Jesus and the disciples arrive safely upon the shore of the sea after having just passed and come through the storm which threatened to destroy and drown them in the midst of the sea. With this being said, I find it absolutely power that there is something about sleeping in the midst of the storm, standing up in the midst of the storm, speaking to the storm, and stepping upon the shore. SLEEPING IN THE STORM! STANDING UP IN THE STORM! SPEAKING TO THE STORM. STEPPING ONTO THE SHORE! Oh there is something truly powerful about Jesus standing up in the midst of the storm, but there is something else just as powerful about Jesus stepping on to the shore. I am absolutely and completely convinced there is something worth noting about Jesus being able to stand up in the midst of the storm unafraid and not at all intimidated or threatened by it, however, I would also argue and contend there is something equally as powerful about stepping on to the shore. Stepping on the shore means that you have not only stood up in the midst of the storm, but that you survived and made it through the storm. I would love to know what the evil spirits thought when they not only witnessed in stunned horror as Jesus spoke to and commanded the storm, but also watched as Jesus arrived safely to the other side of the shore and stepped on to the shore.

DESTINED TO STAND IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! DESTINED TO STEP ON TO THE SHORE! STANDING IN THE STORM, STEPPING ON TO THE SHORE! Oh dear reader I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that you have been called to not only stand up together with Christ in the midst of the storm, but you have also been called to step out of the ship and step on to the shore. I absolutely love what is found within the latter portion of this particular passage, for what we find here in this text is a powerful picture of Jesus coming through the storm and being entirely and altogether undeterred by the storm which was experienced in the midst of the sea. Despite the fact that hell itself might have cast that storm upon the sea and hurled it against and upon Jesus and the disciples, neither Jesus nor His disciples would be destroyed by the storm, nor would they be drowned in the sea. Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—please understand and mark these words well for you were never created, nor were you intended on being destroyed by the storm or drowned in the sea. YOU WERE NEVER CREATED TO BE DESTROYED BY THE STORM, NOR DROWNED IN THE SEA! Within this passage of Scripture we are brought face to face with a Jesus who would and could not be destroyed by the storm and who would and could not be drowned in the sea. Instead of being destroyed by the storm and drowned in the sea Jesus would stand up in the midst of the storm, speak to the storm and command the wind and the waves to be still, and would ultimately step out of the ship on to the shore. This is something we must needs recognize and understand, for despite the fact that the enemy and adversary thought he could destroy you with the storm and drown you in the sea you were destined to not only come through the storm, but also to come out on the other side of the storm and step on to the shore. Oh this same reality was evidenced and manifested when Jesus was crucified and buried in the heart of the earth, for undoubtedly all of hell itself thought they had destroyed Jesus with the storm of crucifixion and drowned him in the sea of burial. DESTROYED BY THE STORM OF DEATH AND DROWNED IN THE SEA OF BURIAL!

I absolutely love how what we find here in this passage is not only Jesus Himself stepping out of the ship and stepping on to the shore after coming through the storm, but Jesus also brought all twelve disciples safely through the storm. Stop and consider the fact that it wasn’t merely about Jesus Himself stepping out of the ship and stepping on to the shore, but it was also about Jesus causing each of the twelve disciples to step out of the ship and step on to the shore of the sea. If there is one thing this powerfully proves and demonstrates it’s that not only can Jesus Himself overcome absolutely every storm we face within our lives, but Jesus can also bring us safely through every storm we face within our lives. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it calls and draws our attention to the truly wonderful and powerful picture that we have indeed and have in fact been called to come through the storm(s) we face and have faced within our lives, and we have been called to step on to the shore after having passed through those storms. Jesus sleeping in the storm demonstrated the peace, the rest, the trust and the confidence that was found within His heart, His soul and His mind. Jesus standing up in the midst of the storm and speaking to it demonstrated the authority, the power and the dominion that was present within His person as the eternal Son of God. Jesus stepping out of the ship and stepping on to the shore was a powerful demonstration of the ability to overcome the storm and the ability to come through the storm on the other side. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that Jesus had already demonstrated the peace and rest that was present within His heart and soul by sleeping in the midst of the storm, and He had already demonstrated the authority and power within His heart and being by speaking to the storm, and when He stepped out of the ship on to the dry ground and upon the shore of the sea it was an awesome and powerful demonstration of His ability to come through and overcome any and every storm that was brought against and upon Him. Oh what a truly awesome and powerful thought it is to think about and consider the fact that there was something truly powerful and prophetic about Jesus stepping out of the ship and stepping on to the shore of the sea was a wonderful display and demonstration that the enemy and adversary would and could not destroy Him by and through the storm.

There is not a doubt in my mind that what we find when we see Jesus arriving at the country of the Gadarenes, and when Jesus stepped out of the ship and on to the shore is an incredibly notice which was served unto hell itself that there was absolutely no storm which could destroy Him, and there was no sea which could drown Him. Although Jesus had indeed found Himself in the midst of the storm and would be awakened by His disciples in the midst of the storm, He would indeed and would in fact be unaffected and unimpacted by the storm which hell sought to destroy Him with. Oh Jesus would indeed find Himself in the midst of the storm, and yet He would stand up in the midst of the storm, would speak to the storm, and would essentially come out of the storm. This is something we must needs recognize and understand, for I am convinced the same reality was manifested in the death and burial of Jesus the Christ, for the adversary not only thought they had destroyed Him through death, but they also thought they had drowned Him in burial. In all reality, we must needs realize and understand that the enemy and adversary still moves and operates this way, as the enemy and adversary seeks to destroy us in the midst of the storm—and not only destroy us in the storm, but also drown us in the sea. What makes this all the more interesting is when you think about and consider the direct connection between baptism and burial and how despite the enemy attempting to drown us in the midst of the sea we commit ourselves to being buried in and through baptism as a means of allowing our old man and our old selves to die as we are crucified with Christ. What’s more, is that I am convinced the enemy and adversary sought to destroy Jesus in the storm and drown Him in the midst of the sea, for in the Old Testament we find the living God drowning and destroying the giants within and upon the earth in the flood which covered the face of the whole earth, and as God drowned and destroyed Pharaoh’s Egyptian army in the midst of the Red Sea. Oh there were within the Old Testament two incredibly powerful examples of the living and eternal God using the sea and the waters to accomplish His divine plan and purpose, and as a direct result of that—not only were giants destroyed from the earth, but so also was an enemy and adversarial army of Pharaoh and Egypt destroyed.

I am absolutely and completely taken back by this concept and reality of the Lord Jesus Christ stepping out of the ship and stepping on to the shore, for not only was He very much alive upon the shore, but the disciples themselves were alive. What’s more, is that not only were both Jesus and the disciples alive and well, but I would dare argue and contend that the ship in which they were sailing in suffered absolutely no damage or destruction. Oh I can’t help but see this as a direct parallel for just as Jesus stepped out of the ship and on to the shore after coming through the storm, so also would Jesus step out of the tomb and step on to the earth after coming through the storm of death and burial. In addition to this, we must needs recognize and understand that not only did the Lord Jesus Christ step out of the tomb after the enemy attempted to drown Him through burial and destroy Him through death, but Jesus would also deliver those whom the enemy attempted to destroy through death. Not only this, but Jesus would deliver those whom the enemy would attempt to drown through burial—a reality which was evidenced in the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the apostle Matthew. It was in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we are brought face to face with the fact that when Jesus died upon the cross and gave up the ghost thus commending His spirit into the hands of the eternal Father there would be a great earthquake that would strike the ground, and as a direct result of the death of Jesus the graves of many were opened. If you continue reading the words which are found within the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew you will find and discover that when Jesus rose from the grave there would be another earthquake which would not only produce the stone rolled away from the entrance of the tomb He was buried in that He might come forth, but many of the righteous dead whose tombs were unlocked through the death of Jesus would emerge from those tombs and would walk among men in the earth. Oh how absolutely powerful that this process of graves being unlocked and the righteous dead being resurrected wouldn’t end here at the resurrection of Jesus, for Scripture records how at the sound of the last trump the dead in Christ will rise first, and we which are alive and remain will be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. How awesome and wonderful this truly is when we take the time to think about it, for not only does Jesus Himself step out of the ship and on to the shore line after coming through the storm, but Jesus also brings others through the storm and allows them to step out of the ship and on to the shore.

As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely and incredibly powerful that what the enemy and adversary sought to produce within and against the life of Jesus and His disciples would eventually be manifested in an unprecedented way as after Jesus would command the evil spirits which came out of the man from the Gadarenes, He would also grant them permission to enter into the swine which were feeding nearby. Scripture is very clear that after the evil and unclean spirits had entered into the swine they would run violently down the steep hill into the sea and would be choked in the midst of the sea. That which the enemy and adversary attempted to do within the lives of Jesus and the disciples would ultimately backfire and be overcome by Jesus as not only would He bring deliverance and freedom into the heart of this man from the Gadarenes, but He and His disciples would step out of the ship and on to the shoreline very much alive and well. Oh I can’t help but wonder what it was like for the disciples as they stepped out of the ship and on to dry ground as they most certainly feared for their lives there in the midst of the sea. Imagine what it was like as not only did Jesus bring His disciples safely through the storm and allow them to step out of the ship on the other side of the storm and on dry land, but Jesus would also bring deliverance to that man from the city of the Gadarenes who was possessed, tormented and oppressed by and with unclean and evil spirits. How absolutely remarkable and wonderful this truly is when you take the time to think about it, for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful and powerful truth that it wasn’t just Jesus who stepped out of the ship and on to the shore, but it was Jesus and His disciples who stepped out of the ship and on to the shore.

It is absolutely astounding to read and consider the words which are found in this particular passage of Scripture, for while I absolutely love that Jesus was able to sleep in the midst of the storm, while I love that Jesus was able to stand up in the midst of the storm, and while I love that Jesus was able to speak to the storm, I find it utterly fascinating that Jesus was able to step out of the ship and step on to the shore after coming through the storm which hell sought to destroy Him with. Not only this, but Jesus would also bring twelve other men safely through the storm which came upon them in the midst of the sea, and the words He would speak unto them was a question of why they were so fearful and where their faith was. Despite their fear and lack of faith Jesus would still stand up in the midst of the storm and would speak to the storm, thus manifesting the peace, the rest, the quietness, the authority, the power and the dominion that was present within Him in the midst of the storm. What we must needs realize and understand is that Jesus still speaks to storms and Jesus still brings men and women through the storms which they faced. If Jesus could bring twelve men through this particular storm which came upon the raging sea, and if Jesus could bring countless millions, if not billions or trillions of men and women through death and burial into the power of resurrection, then Jesus can most certainly bring you through the storms you face—regardless of how fierce those storms might very well. There is not a doubt in my mind that you were destined to come through and come out on the other side of whatever storm you are facing—and not only were you destined to come through and come out on the other side of whatever storm you are facing, but you were also destined to step out of the ship and step on to dry ground. I absolutely love that Jesus not only stepped out of the ship and on to dry ground, but Jesus also stepped out of the tomb and on to the ground outside it, and it because He has done both He is able to deliver and bring us through both storms and death. There is absolutely nothing that Jesus cannot bring us through, and there is absolutely nothing Jesus cannot deliver us out of and deliver us through. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this truth and how absolutely incredible it truly is, for it brings us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that not only does Jesus still speak to and calm storms, but Jesus also delivers and brings His disciples and His followers through the storm. It is with all of this in mind I leave you with the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the eighth chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome, as well as the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the sixth chapter of this same epistle, and the words which are found in the fifteenth chapter of the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints, and in the first epistle written unto the Thessalonian saints:

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we belie that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:1-14).

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? IF God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifeth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, not powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:28-39).

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:50-58).

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

SLEEPING IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! STANDING UP IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! SPEAKING TO THE STORM! STEPPING OUT OF THE SHIP! STEPPING ON TO THE SHORE! YOU WERE MADE AND DESTINED TO COME THROUGH THE STORM, STEP OUT OF THE SHIP, AND STEP ON TO THE SHORE!

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