Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 July 2021 Mark 4:40.

Mark 4:40.     Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?

Awright friends, time to get excited, hopefully we’ll be going into stage 3 of the pandemic reopening next week, meaning we can then have about fifty percent capacity in our churches. Isn’t that good news? It surely is! For the first time in over a year it might make sense to reopen, although I believe some of the pandemic regulations like masks and physical distancing might still be in place. But whatever happens, today is Sunday, which means we ought to be celebrating the Lord’s Day, by gathering technologically, hopefully not for much longer, (smile) to give Him much thanks, sing His praises and glorify His holy name. 

And, as we do each Sunday, our opening salvo is a glorious burst of worshipful song. Today’s song of worship is titled ‘Ride Out Your Storm.’ And we could not find a more appropriate song for these rather stormy times we have been recently experiencing. We are going to do the Reggae version, as done by the well-known Jamaican singer George Nooks. So, in an upbeat reggae tempo, with plenty riddim and background vocals, let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony, offering up sincere sacrificial praise to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

‘Don’t give up just ride out your storm. You’ve been in the storm and it seems like forever. And your nights of confusion have been too long. Your ship has lost anchor, and the storm’s got you drifting. Just hold on to Jesus And ride out your storm (Chorus: Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. You’re hurting now, but your morning is coming…Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm) Remember His promise, He said I’ll never forsake you, though the waters are troubled, they’ll do you no harm. Don’t give up the battle for your answer is coming, just hold on to Jesus, hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. 

Ride out your storm God is still there with you, you may not feel him but you’re not alone. I know you’re hurting now but your morning is coming, Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. Oh Ride out your storm God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. Although you’re hurting now, your morning is coming, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. You know He’ll never leave you, so just hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Hold on to Jesus, and ride out your storm.’ 

Oh friends, that was magnificent! There was no doubt in heaven that we were sincere in singing the praises of Jesus. The problem now is for us to put all that we’ve just said into action, which is much easier said than done. Yes, even for those of us with strong faith, when the violent storms of life hit us with hurricane-like force, it is ofttimes difficult to bring it to the forefront and stand strong on the promises of Jesus. But we have to do it, if we expect to overcome the storms, or merely to ride them out. And today I just want to reacquaint us with some scripture that helps us to do just that. 

So let’s start at the beginning, it’s usually the best place. (smile) That means we are going right back to the Old Testament, when the Lord brought the Israelites out of 400 hundred years of bondage in Egypt. Now what does the Good Book tells us about that mighty Exodus? ‘And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night from before the people.’ (Ex. 13:20-22) 

And the scholars inform us that ‘This glowing cloud was the shekinah glory of Yahweh (a visible manifestation of God on earth), which later filled the tabernacle (Ex. 40:35) and then Solomon’s temple (1 Kin. 8:10), and finally departed from the temple and the city just before the Babylonian captivity (Ezek. 8-11). This “glory of the God of Israel” will not return to Israel until the Second Coming of Christ (Ezek. 43:1-7), at which time the glowing cloud will once again cover God’s earthly people. But back then, it guided the people through the wilderness, assured them of God’s presence, and protected them from the Egyptians (cf. Ex. 14:19-20).’ 

Now that alone should be enough to convince us that God is always with us, and will never leave nor forsake us. But I know that we are a stubborn, hard-ears lot, (smile) so listen to Moses to those Israelites who were just as stubborn and hard-ears as us. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them (the enemies they’d meet in the Promised Land): for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) Then Moses said the same thing to Joshua, the new leader, adding at the end ‘fear not, neither be dismayed.’ (Deut. 31:8) 

And if that wasn’t enough, after Moses died and Joshua took command, the Lord Himself reassured Joshua. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh. 1:5) But they had to meditate on His word and keep His commandments; ‘for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:8-9) 

And nothing has changed since then my brethren, except for Jesus coming and giving us even more assurances. Like He promised the disciples and all those who believed on Him and did His work: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) And remember the physical calming of the storm, when they were crossing the Sea of Galilee? The disciples were terribly afraid because the boat was in serious danger of capsizing, but Jesus lay sleeping comfortably in the stern, But they awoke Him and asked ‘Master, carest thou not that we perish?’ (Mark 4:38) 

He obviously did, but He knew that there was no cause for worry since He was with them. That’s why after getting up and rebuking the wind, saying to the sea, ‘Peace be still,’ He also rebuked them by asking: ‘Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?’ (Mark 4:39-40) And friends, it’s the same question Jesus asks of us when the storms of life beset us and we become so terrified that we don’t know our A from our E. (smile) ‘Where is your faith? Why is it so small? Haven’t you seen and heard enough about me and My word, and know that I am the eternal calmer of storms?’ 

Yes my fellow saints, we ought to know better than to be terrified of the storms of life when we have Jesus running the show. So, I hope this li’l review will reassure us, boost our faith, and keep us standing strong and steadfast, so that we can confidently ride them out on the strong and massive shoulders of Jesus. Much LOVE!

…the greatest storm pilot there ever was…Jesus…                                                                                                    

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