Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“In my distress, when seemingly closed in, I called upon the Lord and cried to my God; He heard my voice, out of His dwelling place, and my cry came before Him into His very ears.”
Psalm 18: 6
Hope Is Always There
"Listening God, You hear us when we cannot speak,
When despair and turmoil leaves us faint and weak.
In love You call us back to You again
And Your grace reminds us how You feel our pain.
Searching God, You find us when we go astray,
As self-centered living takes us from Your way.
In love You seek us, show us what we've lost,
And Your tears remind us what forgiveness cost.
Suffering God, You lift us from our deepest grief,
When emotion blinds us to our own belief.
In love You touch us with Your nail-torn hand
And Your wounds remind us why You understand.
Risen God, You show us love too strong for death.
Evil deeds defeated by Your living breath.
In love You teach us never to despair,
Your new life reminds us, hope is always there."
Today’s Study Text:
“And they (the disciples) awoke Him (Jesus) and said to Him, ‘Master, do You not care that we are perishing?’”
Mark 4: 38
“The Fraud We Call Fear” Part 15
“Jesus – Do You Care?”
"Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
O yes, He cares; I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief,
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares!"
Frank E. Graeff
Have I ever found myself wondering if Jesus cares about the problems I face?
Like the disciples, have I cried out and asked my Lord to come to my rescue?
“If you feel that the weight of your circumstances is too heavy to bear, maybe it’s because the burden is yours, not His.”
"Casting the whole of your care,
all your anxieties, all your worries,
all your concerns,
once and for all on Him,
for He cares for you affectionately
and cares about you watchfully."
1 Peter 5: 7
"Now, has the shadow touched your face?
Are the days dark, the prospects gray?
O heart, be brave!
The time of grace can never pass from you away.
Your Friend is tender, wise and true
For love of you.
He walked for you earth's changeful ways,
He bore for you the lonely hour,
He lived for you through toilsome days,
He met for you the tempter's power,
And joy through sorrow this Friend knew,
For love of you."
With the fierce waves nearly smashing their boat to pieces, the disciples recognized that they were completely over-powered. In desperation they cried out to Jesus, “Master, do you not care about us?” It’s as if they thought Jesus had left them alone to die out in the stormy night.
What a stark difference between Jesus and His fearful disciples. While Jesus was restfully sleeping after a long day’s ministry, His calm spirit didn’t rub off on His closest friends. Their first thought was that Jesus had forgotten all about them. This is what happens when fear completely overwhelms us.
I want to share with you the way Pastor Charles Spurgeon describes this scene: “The disciples forgot the solid reason for courage which lay near at hand; for, in truth, they were safe! Christ is on board that vessel, and if the ship goes down, He will sink with them…Should not the disciples feel secure with Jesus on board? Fear not! Ye carry Jesus…could they not trust Him? They had seen Him multiply the loaves and fishes, and cast out devils, and heal all manner of sicknesses; could they not trust Him to still the storm? Unreasonable unbelief! Faith in God is true prudence, but to doubt God is irrational…It was unseemingly in them to call Him ‘Master,’ and then to ask Him, ‘Carest Thou not that we perish?’ Alas, we, too, have been guilty of like offences! May this picture help us to see our spots, and may the love of our dear Lord remove them!”
What is so touching in this situation is that Jesus didn’t chide His disciples for waking Him up. He didn’t give them a lecture about their lack of trust in His ability. Instead, He recognized the desperate state they were in. He knew they couldn’t control the storm. And He, I believe, loved the fact that they came to Him when they were at the end of their limited capabilities. Never feel that any thing should stop you from taking your needs to Jesus. No matter how small they may seem, to our Brother and Advocate, who sits at the right hand of the Father, if something concerns you – it concerns Jesus as well.
Sometimes I think that just because I can’t see Jesus as the disciples could, that I forget He’s always at my side. The fact is that you and I have a Friend who suffered our infirmities, our heartaches, and our pains. It is our Jesus who says:
“Father, life’s terrible down there.
The ‘Evil one’ is mean and vicious.
We must protect and keep, forever
And always, our family –
Your children, for we love them so much.”
In his commentary on Mark 4: 38, Matthew Henry advises that when in a trying spot, a ferocious storm, and we simply don’t know what to do, we must “keep our eye on Jesus.” As prayed by King Jehoshaphat when in a tough place: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (II chronicles 20: 12, Amplified Bible). Henry goes on to say: “We may be at our wit’s end, but not at our faith’s end, while we have such a Savior to go to.” Praise God for this assurance. In the words of the great hymnist, Fanny Crosby, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!” As the hymn continues: “I in my Savior am happy and blest; watching and waiting, looking above, filled with His goodness, lost in His love.”
Writer James H. McConkey tells about a time when a fierce storm was sweeping over the Great Lakes. As he relates the experience:
“A steam tug towing a large barge began to founder. The captain and his mates took to a small boat. All night long they tossed to and fro, every instant in jeopardy for their lives. In the morning they were rescued by a passing ship. The captain afterward testified that all the long night as they were beaten and tossed by the tempest there was one thing which kept their hearts from sinking in despair. It was this – shining through the darkness and the storm, they saw the lights of home.”
Then James McConkey shares these inspiring words which bring hope and courage today to the stormed tossed boats of our lives, “We are sailing on a stormy sea. Often our frail boat is tossed and beaten with the tempest. Sometimes the gales seem too fierce for us to weather, and we are sorely tempted to give way to a troubled heart…But the Captain of our salvation knows the sore and frequent temptation to be trouble in heart. His remedy is simple: Think about the Father’s House! You will be like the tempest-tossed sea captain, for you and I will also see the lights of our home.”
Over the past few months, many of you have shared with me the challenges you are facing in your personal life. These “storms” have simply knocked you off your feet. And so today, I want to end our week with another song by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. It is my dream to someday hear this angelic group of singers in person – but until this happens, I just wear out their CD’s as I play and replay so many of their songs which have lifted my heart in stormy times. Today’s song is “So You Would Know” and I pray that you will feel Jesus’ loving arms around you as to listen to this heavenly music.
So You Would Know
From Jesus to You
"How many times must I prove how much I love you,
How many ways must my love for you I show,
How many times must I rescue you from trouble
For you to know just how much I love you.
Didn't I wake you up this morning?
You were clothed in your right mind.
When you walked up on a problem
Didn't I step right in on time?
When you got weak along life's journey,
My angel carried you
So you would know just how much I love you.
How many days must I be a fence all around you?
How many nights must I wipe your tears away?
How many storms must I bring you safely through for
You to know just how much I really love you?
Didn't I put food on your table -
Show up, when all of your bills were due!
When the pains were racking your body
Didn't I send my Divine healing down to you!!
When you were lost in sin and sorrow
I died to set you free
I wanted you to know just how much
I love you!
So you would know just how much I love you!"
Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
“So You Would Know”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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