Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 February 2022 Mark 4:40.

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

Once more unto the snow dear friends, once more! Yes, another beautiful snowstorm has inundated us overnight! But thank God, it’s not as bad as the last one a couple weeks ago – at least not yet, because they are calling for 10-20 cm of the darling white stuff to fall between today and tomorrow. In some places there are still high snowbanks from the previous storm, so can you imagine the mess if this one deposits much more than we already have. 

But as I keep saying, that’s why we have Jesus, our Guide and Comfort through the times of storm! Oh give Him some thanks and praise my believing brethren for His most honourable, diligent, compassionate and ever-faithful work in our less than sterling lives! 

And I guess because we are in a time of storm, both literally and figuratively, we ought to talk about that occasion when Jesus showed exactly who and what He was during one particularly rough storm. All three gospels tell the story – Matt. 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25, but we’ll use Mark’s description for our purposes today. 

Now, he describes it thus: ‘And the same day (after Jesus was finished teaching), when the even (evening) was come, he (Jesus) saith unto them, Let us pass (cross) over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there was also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full (already filling). And he (Jesus) was in the hinder part (the stern) of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How it is that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:35-41) Now that’s an easy question to answer my brethren: Jesus is the One who created the wind and the sea, therefore He is able to tell them to be peaceful and calm! 

Now many of us will make light of the concerns of the disciples, because they had seen Jesus do several miracles, but I know from personal experience out on Lake Ontario, that when the winds and the waves buffet your small boat on a large expanse of water, it’s no fun. 

Oh, on that memorable day, some years ago, I learned from first-hand experience what ‘the shivering of the timbers’ meant, having only read about it before, and at times did fear for my life, as well as the five, mostly inebriated others, who were on the boat with me. (smile) And I daresay that many of the disciples couldn’t even swim, so even though they had seen Jesus do miracles, that was a new situation for them. 

But here are a couple of interesting notes from the scholars. Re 4:40, where Jesus comments on the faith of the disciples, they say that He constantly questions in order to spur people to deeper trust. Then give examples in Mark 2:8, 19, 25, 26; 3:4, 23, 33; 4:13, 21, 30.’ And if you look at those verses, you will indeed see Jesus posing questions that cause His listeners to think seriously about whatever He was saying. 

And per 4:41, they claim: ‘The fear must have been a mixture of reverential awe and real fright – it would be chillingly eerie to witness the instantaneous dissipation of a violent storm.’ No doubt it was! But friends, that’s the kind of person; the immutable, unchangeable, omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present Being, the One and ONLY Living God, that we have as our Lord and Saviour! And right now, in these troubled and trying times of storm, He’s asking us the same questions: why is our faith so small, why are we so fearful, when we have the One who created the universe and all therein as our Guide and Protector? 

Yes, we ought to be anxious when the storms hit us suddenly, but not afraid, because He’s not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, LOVE and a strong and disciplined mind! And an article on the website puts it this way. ‘The symbolism behind the story of Jesus calming the storm should bring great encouragement and hope for anyone facing a storm in life.. The apostles were shocked and still lacked faith that Jesus was the Son of God who “Even the winds and water obey.” 

But since we know more about Jesus and His kingdom than the young disciples did, we ought not to be as afraid as we ofttimes are when the storms of life come upon us. Oh, we must be concerned and do whatever is in our power to calm them, but overall, we should know deep down that Jesus is with us, and that as He faithfully promised, will eventually work everything out for our good. What’s the purpose of having Him as Lord and Saviour if we don’t trust him to look after our welfare eh? 

And furthermore, Jesus has been so wonderful to us that He’s even given us tools to handle the storms of life and to help advance His kingdom. We call them our Thursday Blessings. And since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared out loud, let’s do just that nuh. Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Oh my people, when we are so abundantly blessed, how can we still live in fear eh? No way! Now let’s go about Christ’s business with diligence and excellence, and use those blessings to care for, comfort and bless others, just as generously as He’s done to us! Much LOVE!

…ONLY Christ…can calm the storms of our lives… 

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