Intro: Two weeks ago, we started a new series in our LIFE Lessons Bible Study: Discernment vs. Reckless Faith. Discernment makes all the difference in how we perceive the storms of life. Discernment is the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong, and to know and choose God’s will set before us. Here is a way to look at discernment: the ability to distinguish the majors from the minors, the excellent things from the mediocre, and the eternal from the temporal. We can understand the true weight and nature of all things with discernment.
When we ask God for discernment, faith becomes a means of protection against the storms of spiritual deception. Freedom to live in the truth becomes our greatest reality; to live the gospel by faith which pleases our Father. Finally, we grow and develop in our faith and trust in the God whom we openly say we love and serve because during the storms our lives witness the Truth.
In our passage today from Luke 8, Jesus is teaching the disciples about discerning the storms of life. Keep in mind, it is the heart of God to always prepare us and extend to us the grace we need each day. However, every day requires faith—living like we believe the Word of God is true! Jesus gives the Word, the disciples get into the boat as their starting point (A), and then Jesus says, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake” (v. 22). The end point (B) is the other side of the lake. Jesus’ plan is to take them from A to B. But, in the middle of the lake [a symbol of reflection and transition] they face a storm. Jesus allows the disciples to reflect on what he has said while living in the midst of the storm that arrives to test them. Do the disciples discern that Jesus gave them the Truth about making it to the other side? Do they believe he is the living Peace sent by the Father to guide them through life? The answer is they struggle to believe when they face the “storm” in the middle.
We all struggle with a variety of storms we face each day, but if we have asked for discernment, we have the ability to reflect on what God’s Word tells us about life as His children in a fallen world. We need great faith that prompts us to leave the safe shore knowing grace will carry us through the middle of the challenges and will deliver us victoriously to the other side. The enemy always seeks to stop us from faith in the Word, because Satan knows the Truth of God’s Word. Satan uses waves of fear to intimidate God’s children. The safest place in any storm you will face is dwelling with Jesus, because he is the Peace that guards our hearts and leads us forward in faith. If we will stay in Peace, we will always discern things more clearly. Have a wonderful weekend. Hope to see you in worship Sunday!
Luke 8:22-25 (NLT) Jesus Calms the Storm
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. 23 As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.
24 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. 25 Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”
The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
Prayer: Lord, as your children, we ask you for a spirit of wisdom and discernment to fill us. We want to know and focus on the things that are true, major, and eternal so we can live for your glory. We exalt you as Lord of heaven and earth and confess your authority and power over all creation. Help us to hold on to you, Jesus, because you are the supernatural Peace we so desperately need to deny fear any access to our souls. Use every storm as a way to build our faith and trust in you, because you have promised to take us safely to the other side of the lake of transition. In Jesus’ name. Amen.