Jesus told us:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33
Sometimes though, life can feel very troubling. We feel afraid, discouraged, worried, stressed and defeated. How can we find the peace of Jesus when we are sailing through troubled waters? Pastor G is going to share some answers with us in this two-week series.
This is Week One: BE STILL.
On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” ~ Mark 4:35-38
He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.” ~ Hebrews 13:5b-6a
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. ~ James 1:2-8
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~ Psalm 34:18
And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” ~ Mark 4:39-40
σιωπάω (Greek) siópaó. ~ Be silent.
φιμόω (Greek) phimoó ~ Be still.
They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” ~ Mark 4:41
Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. ~ Matthew 14:22-24
And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” ~ Matthew 14:25-27
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? ~ John 14:8-9
Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” ~ Matthew 14:28-31
IF YOU WANT TO WALK ON WATER, YOU’VE GOT TO GET OUT OF THE BOAT!
When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” ~ Matthew 14:22-33
The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. ~ Philippians 4:4-9
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. ~ John 14:27
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride…. ~ Psalm 46:1-3
The best day of your life is only milliseconds away from becoming the worst day of your life. – Reverend Lisle Kaufman
Cease striving (be still) and know that I am God; ~ Psalm 46:10
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: Mark 4:35-41
1) Are you currently experiencing any “troubled waters” in your life? Do you feel comfortable sharing them with others in your Aloha Group? If so, take some time to listen to each other’s stories. Don’t try to “fix the problem.” Just listen, be present, support, encourage and pass peace to one another. Trust that Jesus knows all about your situation as well and He may be choosing to pass His peace to you through other Christians around you.
2) After having been with Jesus for awhile, having seen Him do miraculous things, why do you think the disciples were still so amazed by Jesus’ ability to control the elements? Even though you have experienced some miraculous or supernatural things in your life do you ever find yourself being amazed when God works something out in your favor? Why do we do that?
READ: Hebrews 13:5b-6a, Psalm 34:18 and James 2:1-8
1) Do you trust Jesus’ promise referred to in the Hebrews passage? How have you experienced this in your life?
2) Do you feel as if God is very near to you right now? Why or why not? If not, what can you do to become more aware of this Scriptural truth, His promise to be near?
3) How do you feel about James encouraging us to meet all our trials (our troubled waters) with joy? What is James’ reason for this? How good are you at meeting your trials with an attitude of joy? Does James give us wisdom for how to be better prepared to meet our trials with joy? What is this wisdom? If you had to explain how that works, in practical terms, to a brand new believer, what would you say? How would you put it in your own words?
READ: Matthew 14:22-33
1) Have you ever heard or read this story before? Did anything new strike you this time that you hadn’t really fully noticed or fully understand in previous times? If so, what? What did Peter do right? What did Peter do wrong? What did the other eleven do right? What did they do wrong? Unlike the Mark 4 troubled water experience, this time they don’t ask who He is, they proclaim Him to be the Son of God. What do you think made the difference in their faith?
READ: John 14:8-9
1) How would you have felt, in Philip’s shoes, asking this question and hearing this answer?
READ: Philippians 4:4-9
1) Paul exhorts us to proper behavior as followers of Christ in this passage and then he makes a promise to us in the last verse. IF we will “dwell” on all of these things he has mentioned, THEN what will happen? What will God do for us? On the other hand, if we DO NOT do these things how likely are we to experience the peace of God?
READ: John 14:27 and Psalm 46:1-3
1) Next time you are experiencing “troubled waters,” how will these Scriptures help you find peace? Are there other Scriptures that come to your mind that help you find peace as well? If so, please share them with your group.