NOT just any port in a storm….

We’re heading back to the spot just before Jesus lead Peter back into the boat.
Last time, we discussed how Peter had battled through a dark tempestuous night out in the middle of the wide open sea, at a time when it was truly man versus nature, without any of the modern nautical equipment around today and at the height of his terror, Jesus came to the rescue, but Peter’s new-found bravery as he walked with the Lord on water, was short-lived thanks to that terrorizing gusting wind.
We also have Jesus by our side in our storms and yet all of us have those moments when that wind blows just a little too hard and that fear of its howl is immobilizing and like Peter we freeze and those waves start dragging us under till we cry “LORD! SAVE ME!” 
So what about the time between those moments?
When the winds blow and howl and scream in our ears so loud that the voice that we had just heard so strong, as Peter did when he heard the Lord say “Come” we now question. Is it really HIS voice we hear over the sound of the storm. 
We are so deafened by the storm by this point that we are not really sure of anything and we just want to freeze in that fear of the unknown and uncertainty, and if allowed to IT WILL drown us right where we are.
We never even realize that we are so close to being back in the safety of that boat and the end of that storm.
Riding out storms can devastate even the strongest of sailors, it will knock the wind out of your sails, shiver your timbers and if you are not paying very close attention it will make you head to “any port in a storm” the nearest, closest spot available to you to dock that boat and get out of that storm.
Once your there you could turn from being an honorable first mate to becoming a scurvy sea dog, because all the “hail” and high water can make people do funny things.
When the going gets rough our flesh wants comfort, we want safety, we want this to end and to know all is accounted for and that our losses are minimal.
As Jesus said the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

We want  to run to the safest spot and into the nearest boat,  BUT the problem with this is that Jesus DID NOT led Peter back to any old boat, it was the boat that he was SUPPOSED to be in
Jesus has ALL POWER, he could have just materialized a different boat, he could have translated them to shore.
HE DIDN’T because Peter had to go through that storm and get back IN the SAME boat he just got out of, BEFORE THE STORM WOULD STOP!
Now you could ask WHY????? But ask yourself, and we really have to speculate on this, but how many times do you think Peter drew courage and renewed faith by remembering that journey?
I love to point out the fact that Peter carried out his commission from Jesus under the brunt of KNOWING HE WOULD BE CRUCIFIED at the end of his mission.
We all know that he, like all the disciples were persecuted, beaten, and tormented all while the power of God poured from them, miracles, healing, and leading the lost to Christ.
COULD Peter have went on to carry this out faithfully had he not took that walk and GOT back in that boat?
Had he not let Jesus help him overcome all that fear and let Jesus lead him back to the boat that you know he would not have wanted to be back in, had he not overcame it through Christ, would he have ever had the faith and courage to know that death would not be the winner in the end?
Could he have had the courage to go to that cross at the end of his life?
I will leave that for you to answer, but Jesus was teaching Peter in that storm.
Jesus does not send storms on us but when we are allowed to continue through one, IT IS because he wants us to have victory, true victory, not a cop-out running from it kind of thing, but true taking the head off a giant victory in that area of our life.
Anyone can run, he will not allow us to run, He created to “having done all to stand” “STAND.”
Our “boats” are no different from Peter’s and sometimes we feel like whoo-hoo I’m finally outta that boat! 
Only to discover we got to get back in it if we are to see the storm end.
So to help us hear the right voice and find the way back to our boat till that storm ends, we’ll use our compass:

Psalm 77:6 I call to remembrance MY SONG IN THE NIGHT: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search”
Now the wonderful thing about the Psalms are that they ARE SONGS!

Such as:  Psalm 69 To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim (set to The Lilies), A Psalm of David.

” SAVE me, O God; for the WATERS are come in unto my soul (neck).
I SINK in the DEEP mire, WHERE THERE IS NO STANDING: I AM come into DEEP WATERS, where the FLOODS OVERFLOW ME.
I am weary (worn out) of my CRYING; my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I WAIT FOR MY GOD.”

“DELIVER ME out of the mire, and LET ME NOT SINK: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and OUT OF THE DEEP WATERS.
Let NOT the WATERFLOOD OVERFLOW ME, neither let the DEEP SWALLOW ME UP, and let not the pit shut up her mouth on me.”
                      Psalm 69:1-3,14,15

Just as Peter answered Jesus, when asked if he to would leave him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the WORDS of eternal life.”
Jesus is the voice and the one port in our storm, get back in the boat, the storm will end and this storm may very well be the catapult to a level of faith you never would have imagined possible or a deeper relationship with the Lord that you can not fathom, but of a surety, one day, remembering this storm, and the quieting of it WILL BE YOUR SONG in another night and this storm will be proof positive that night too will end, the wind will cease and morning will yet again come.
Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved/NBJ 2015  ***REVISTED 08/27/2022 Praying it will be an encouragement today!

 

Making it through the night……

“But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, TOSSED with waves: for the WIND was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night (the blackest, darkest hour)  JESUS WENT UNTO THEM, WALKING ON THE SEA.”
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they CRIED OUT FOR (because of) FEAR.
But STRAIGHTWAY (Immediately) JESUS SPAKE unto them, saying, BE OF GOOD CHEER (have courage) IT IS I ( I AM ); BE NOT AFRAID.” Matthew 14:25-27
Through the journey of this life many times we find that we are that ship, the waves crashing and tossing us about, unable to catch balance tossed with that horrible great wind that is blowing down on us in the worst possible hour.
The fourth watch, when we have been tossed by the raging waves of trails of life and circumstances that we have no control over.
Trails and troubles that comes just as a part of this life for us and for all others.
But when you add that horrid wind, that cold, fierce blowing of the fury of the enemy, because he loves to kick you when your down and it is always during last stretch of the night.
He thinks of it as this, you are already weak, tired, and completely exhausted, just worn out from the hours you have already battled through the dark and he knows if he can get you to lose focus that this night is never going to end, he will destroy your faith in God.
Notice Jesus came in that hour, Jesus knew where they were, he knew what they were battling and he knew at what point they would break IF he did not step in.
Being in an exhaustive state it is hard to see whose hand is whose and this was Jesus coming to their rescue but they were so mentally drained that they were afraid that he too was more trouble headed their way.
When they cried out (as we cry out to Him) it was then that he said IT IS I, and encouraged their faith.
Peter was so distraught, he needed reassurance, just as we too sometimes need to know that He is aware of what we are going through, that He really is there, and that He really is going to take us through the night.
“And Peter answered and him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me to come to thee on the water.
And he said, Come, And when Peter was down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
BUT when he SAW THE WIND boisterous (violent) HE WAS AFRAID, he cried, saying 
Lord, SAVE ME.” Matthew 14:28-30

Jesus had given him that reassurance that he was aware and was completely on the scene, and at 
the comforting voice of his Lord he began to walk on those horrible waves that had held him as their terrorized prisoner only moments earlier. 
In life, we sometimes feel like we can’t catch a break.
We think we see the shimmer of the morning starting to break through and then the darkness
only returns with even more blackness and wind howling.
We feel like as soon as things are finally looking up something happens and it all crashes in on us.

“And IMMEDIATELY JESUS STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND, AND CAUGHT HIM, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, Wherefore didst thou ( why did you) doubt?
And when they were come into the ship, THE WIND CEASED.” Matthew 14:28-30

So many troubled waters, waves of sickness, waves of financial woes, waves of worry about our children and their futures, waves of family issues, the winds of past hurts and unresolved heartaches and the stone cold blow of lack of closure to doors of the past. It all rocks, it tosses, and that wind will blow. 
But Jesus came through in that darkest most tempestuous hour,  even though they thought they couldn’t make it, HE KNEW when they couldn’t and by allowing Peter to walk on those waves, he was really showing him something.
People are so mean about Peter, they are always pointing out the fact that he temporarily slipped, but how many of them have ever been in Peter’s sandals?
We can look at others and think well, this or that, but until we have truly, truly been in their shoes we don’t know how we would react, but Jesus does and he knows what we can handle has nothing to do with what we FEEL like we can handle.
Storms to weather, giants to fight, crosses to bear, and no one likes it. I have yet to meet a Christian who jumps up in Church and shouts “Woo, hoo bring on the storm!”
I have fought some hellacious giants, there are battles that I am not sure that I will win in this earth but I know if I hold on and keep the faith, that even if it is at the feet of the Lord in New Jerusalem that the battle will have been won.
There have been times when warnings to church has come that storms were brewing and I’d be like, please, please no, no more storms.
We all go through it and some are worse than others and there is always someone else whose storm makes ours look like a sunny morn.
I never will forget the testimony of a certain preacher, I love to hear him, he straight shoots, preaches hell, fire, brimstone, mingled with love and compassion and all with a comedic edge that can make you dig where he is coming from without making you want to hide under the pew.
He often made remarks about his childhood that confused me, because his Mom is an awesome woman and I couldn’t figure out how all this happened to him. 
One night he told us what God had brought him from, he had been born to stoned parents who had a house full of kids, and kept having kids, he told us about watching his baby sibling die, believing the baby may have frozen to death because there was a hole in the ceiling with snow actually falling in, and he kept a crew cut all the time and had a very visible scar on his head, he went on to tell us that he received that after opening a can of food without permission and being hit with the still attached to the can, jagged top.
When he and his siblings rescue came, he was eleven and his Mom later told me that he was barely dressed and wearing a ladies top.
And to know him now and to know that God stepped in and changed this child’s life and fulfilled HIS PURPOSE for him, placing him with a good family that would teach him of a God that loved him despite what that horrible storm he had lived in for eleven years had tried to convince him of.
Don’t try to wait out the storm to pursue the things of God for your life.
The young man who asked Jesus if he could “bury his father” before following him was answered by “Let the dead bury their dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”
It will not always easy, but sometimes we have to stop fighting with things that are dead, and trying to change things that will never be changed, and accept them as such, and go on in our walk with the Lord. 
Sometimes we have to take what we have and work with it, even if we think we are lacking what we “need” to get the job done.
In the story of Elisha, we are introduced to him as he is plowing a field having only eleven oxen, now we know that can’t be done and that is why we are told that HE HIMSELF IS THE TWELFTH OXEN!
Field needed plowed, he needed an ox, so he did what had to be done.
He could have said well, whenever we get another ox, I’ll take care of that field, but he didn’t.
So the giant you face is monstrous, the cross is growing might heavy, and that wind is threatening to smash your ship to smithereens, BUT JESUS IS RIGHT THERE.
He will slay that giant, He will give you His strength to make that cross lighter to bear, and He will lead you BACK TO SAFETY AND THAT STORM WILL CEASE.
Morning will come breaking through and at the end of it all, that little ship will be stronger, having weathered that dreaded storm, it will now be a proven sea worthy vessel, those giants won’t look quite so tall when you know the hand that is stretching out to catch you is the hand that controls it all.
Just so someone out there will know, this is NOT what I had planned for today, and He showed me things in this I had never noticed and I feel his presence with it, I will never pretend to know your pain or tell you life will be great, but one day the storm will pass and maybe sooner than you know!
I want to leave you with this, quote it, memorize and keep it to your heart:
Psalm 56:3 : “WHAT TIME I AM AFRAID, I WILL TRUST IN THEE.”

May God bless you and keep you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Φλογιζω/ all rights reserved. NBJ/2015 **REVISTED 08/24/20222**

Awesome song, hope it will encourage you Shared from YouTube

 

NOT just any port in a storm….

We’re heading back to the spot just before Jesus lead Peter back into the boat.
Last time, we discussed how Peter had battled through a dark tempestuous night out in the middle of the wide open sea, at a time when it was truly man versus nature, without any of the modern nautical equipment around today and at the height of his terror, Jesus came to the rescue, but Peter’s new-found bravery as he walked with the Lord on water, was short-lived thanks to that terrorizing gusting wind.
We also have Jesus by our side in our storms and yet all of us have those moments when that wind blows just a little too hard and that fear of its howl is immobilizing and like Peter we freeze and those waves start dragging us under till we cry “LORD! SAVE ME!” 
So what about the time between those moments?
When the winds blow and howl and scream in our ears so loud that the voice that we had just heard so strong, as Peter did when he heard the Lord say “Come” we now question. Is it really HIS voice we hear over the sound of the storm. 
We are so deafened by the storm by this point that we are not really sure of anything and we just want to freeze in that fear of the unknown and uncertainty, and if allowed to IT WILL drown us right where we are.
We never even realize that we are so close to being back in the safety of that boat and the end of that storm.
Riding out storms can devastate even the strongest of sailors, it will knock the wind out of your sails, shiver your timbers and if you are not paying very close attention it will make you head to “any port in a storm” the nearest, closest spot available to you to dock that boat and get out of that storm.
Once your there you could turn from being an honorable first mate to becoming a scurvy sea dog, because all the “hail” and high water can make people do funny things.
When the going gets rough our flesh wants comfort, we want safety, we want this to end and to know all is accounted for and that our losses are minimal.
As Jesus said the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

We want  to run to the safest spot and into the nearest boat,  BUT the problem with this is that Jesus DID NOT led Peter back to any old boat, it was the boat that he was SUPPOSED to be in
Jesus has ALL POWER, he could have just materialized a different boat, he could have translated them to shore.
HE DIDN’T because Peter had to go through that storm and get back IN the SAME boat he just got out of, BEFORE THE STORM WOULD STOP!
Now you could ask WHY????? But ask yourself, and we really have to speculate on this, but how many times do you think Peter drew courage and renewed faith by remembering that journey?
I love to point out the fact that Peter carried out his commission from Jesus under the brunt of KNOWING HE WOULD BE CRUCIFIED at the end of his mission.
We all know that he, like all the disciples were persecuted, beaten, and tormented all while the power of God poured from them, miracles, healing, and leading the lost to Christ.
COULD Peter have went on to carry this out faithfully had he not took that walk and GOT back in that boat?
Had he not let Jesus help him overcome all that fear and let Jesus lead him back to the boat that you know he would not have wanted to be back in, had he not overcame it through Christ, would he have ever had the faith and courage to know that death would not be the winner in the end?
Could he have had the courage to go to that cross at the end of his life?
I will leave that for you to answer, but Jesus was teaching Peter in that storm.
Jesus does not send storms on us but when we are allowed to continue through one, IT IS because he wants us to have victory, true victory, not a cop-out running from it kind of thing, but true taking the head off a giant victory in that area of our life.
Anyone can run, he will not allow us to run, He created to “having done all to stand” “STAND.”
Our “boats” are no different from Peter’s and sometimes we feel like whoo-hoo I’m finally outta that boat! 
Only to discover we got to get back in it if we are to see the storm end.
So to help us hear the right voice and find the way back to our boat till that storm ends, we’ll use our compass:

Psalm 77:6 I call to remembrance MY SONG IN THE NIGHT: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search”
Now the wonderful thing about the Psalms are that they ARE SONGS!

Such as:  Psalm 69 To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim (set to The Lilies), A Psalm of David.

” SAVE me, O God; for the WATERS are come in unto my soul (neck).
I SINK in the DEEP mire, WHERE THERE IS NO STANDING: I AM come into DEEP WATERS, where the FLOODS OVERFLOW ME.
I am weary (worn out) of my CRYING; my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I WAIT FOR MY GOD.”

“DELIVER ME out of the mire, and LET ME NOT SINK: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and OUT OF THE DEEP WATERS.
Let NOT the WATERFLOOD OVERFLOW ME, neither let the DEEP SWALLOW ME UP, and let not the pit shut up her mouth on me.”
                      Psalm 69:1-3,14,15

Just as Peter answered Jesus, when asked if he to would leave him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the WORDS of eternal life.”
Jesus is the voice and the one port in our storm, get back in the boat, the storm will end and this storm may very well be the catapult to a level of faith you never would have imagined possible or a deeper relationship with the Lord that you can not fathom, but of a surety, one day, remembering this storm, and the quieting of it WILL BE YOUR SONG in another night and this storm will be proof positive that night too will end, the wind will cease and morning will yet again come.
Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved/NBJ 2015

 

Making it through the night……

“But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, TOSSED with waves: for the WIND was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night (the blackest, darkest hour)  JESUS WENT UNTO THEM, WALKING ON THE SEA.”
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they CRIED OUT FOR (because of) FEAR.
But STRAIGHTWAY (Immediately) JESUS SPAKE unto them, saying, BE OF GOOD CHEER (have courage) IT IS I ( I AM ); BE NOT AFRAID.” Matthew 14:25-27
Through the journey of this life many times we find that we are that ship, the waves crashing and tossing us about, unable to catch balance tossed with that horrible great wind that is blowing down on us in the worst possible hour.
The fourth watch, when we have been tossed by the raging waves of trails of life and circumstances that we have no control over.
Trails and troubles that comes just as a part of this life for us and for all others.
But when you add that horrid wind, that cold, fierce blowing of the fury of the enemy, because he loves to kick you when your down and it is always during last stretch of the night.
He thinks of it as this, you are already weak, tired, and completely exhausted, just worn out from the hours you have already battled through the dark and he knows if he can get you to lose focus that this night is never going to end, he will destroy your faith in God.
Notice Jesus came in that hour, Jesus knew where they were, he knew what they were battling and he knew at what point they would break IF he did not step in.
Being in an exhaustive state it is hard to see whose hand is whose and this was Jesus coming to their rescue but they were so mentally drained that they were afraid that he too was more trouble headed their way.
When they cried out (as we cry out to Him) it was then that he said IT IS I, and encouraged their faith.
Peter was so distraught, he needed reassurance, just as we too sometimes need to know that He is aware of what we are going through, that He really is there, and that He really is going to take us through the night.
“And Peter answered and him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me to come to thee on the water.
And he said, Come, And when Peter was down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
BUT when he SAW THE WIND boisterous (violent) HE WAS AFRAID, he cried, saying 
Lord, SAVE ME.” Matthew 14:28-30

Jesus had given him that reassurance that he was aware and was completely on the scene, and at 
the comforting voice of his Lord he began to walk on those horrible waves that had held him as their terrorized prisoner only moments earlier. 
In life, we sometimes feel like we can’t catch a break.
We think we see the shimmer of the morning starting to break through and then the darkness
only returns with even more blackness and wind howling.
We feel like as soon as things are finally looking up something happens and it all crashes in on us.

“And IMMEDIATELY JESUS STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND, AND CAUGHT HIM, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, Wherefore didst thou ( why did you) doubt?
And when they were come into the ship, THE WIND CEASED.” Matthew 14:28-30

So many troubled waters, waves of sickness, waves of financial woes, waves of worry about our children and their futures, waves of family issues, the winds of past hurts and unresolved heartaches and the stone cold blow of lack of closure to doors of the past. It all rocks, it tosses, and that wind will blow. 
But Jesus came through in that darkest most tempestuous hour,  even though they thought they couldn’t make it, HE KNEW when they couldn’t and by allowing Peter to walk on those waves, he was really showing him something.
People are so mean about Peter, they are always pointing out the fact that he temporarily slipped, but how many of them have ever been in Peter’s sandals?
We can look at others and think well, this or that, but until we have truly, truly been in their shoes we don’t know how we would react, but Jesus does and he knows what we can handle has nothing to do with what we FEEL like we can handle.
Storms to weather, giants to fight, crosses to bear, and no one likes it. I have yet to meet a Christian who jumps up in Church and shouts “Woo, hoo bring on the storm!”
I have fought some hellacious giants, there are battles that I am not sure that I will win in this earth but I know if I hold on and keep the faith, that even if it is at the feet of the Lord in New Jerusalem that the battle will have been won.
There have been times when warnings to church has come that storms were brewing and I’d be like, please, please no, no more storms.
We all go through it and some are worse than others and there is always someone else whose storm makes ours look like a sunny morn.
I never will forget the testimony of a certain preacher, I love to hear him, he straight shoots, preaches hell, fire, brimstone, mingled with love and compassion and all with a comedic edge that can make you dig where he is coming from without making you want to hide under the pew.
He often made remarks about his childhood that confused me, because his Mom is an awesome woman and I couldn’t figure out how all this happened to him. 
One night he told us what God had brought him from, he had been born to stoned parents who had a house full of kids, and kept having kids, he told us about watching his baby sibling die, believing the baby may have frozen to death because there was a hole in the ceiling with snow actually falling in, and he kept a crew cut all the time and had a very visible scar on his head, he went on to tell us that he received that after opening a can of food without permission and being hit with the still attached to the can, jagged top.
When he and his siblings rescue came, he was eleven and his Mom later told me that he was barely dressed and wearing a ladies top.
And to know him now and to know that God stepped in and changed this child’s life and fulfilled HIS PURPOSE for him, placing him with a good family that would teach him of a God that loved him despite what that horrible storm he had lived in for eleven years had tried to convince him of.
Don’t try to wait out the storm to pursue the things of God for your life.
The young man who asked Jesus if he could “bury his father” before following him was answered by “Let the dead bury their dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”
It will not always easy, but sometimes we have to stop fighting with things that are dead, and trying to change things that will never be changed, and accept them as such, and go on in our walk with the Lord. 
Sometimes we have to take what we have and work with it, even if we think we are lacking what we “need” to get the job done.
In the story of Elisha, we are introduced to him as he is plowing a field having only eleven oxen, now we know that can’t be done and that is why we are told that HE HIMSELF IS THE TWELFTH OXEN!
Field needed plowed, he needed an ox, so he did what had to be done.
He could have said well, whenever we get another ox, I’ll take care of that field, but he didn’t.
So the giant you face is monstrous, the cross is growing might heavy, and that wind is threatening to smash your ship to smithereens, BUT JESUS IS RIGHT THERE.
He will slay that giant, He will give you His strength to make that cross lighter to bear, and He will lead you BACK TO SAFETY AND THAT STORM WILL CEASE.
Morning will come breaking through and at the end of it all, that little ship will be stronger, having weathered that dreaded storm, it will now be a proven sea worthy vessel, those giants won’t look quite so tall when you know the hand that is stretching out to catch you is the hand that controls it all.
Just so someone out there will know, this is NOT what I had planned for today, and He showed me things in this I had never noticed and I feel his presence with it, I will never pretend to know your pain or tell you life will be great, but one day the storm will pass and maybe sooner than you know!
I want to leave you with this, quote it, memorize and keep it to your heart:
Psalm 56:3 : “WHAT TIME I AM AFRAID, I WILL TRUST IN THEE.”

May God bless you and keep you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Φλογιζω/ all rights reserved. NBJ/2015

Awesome song, hope it will encourage you Shared from YouTube