Friday, January 6, 2017

In Our Storms

When Jesus encountered two men on the road to Emmaus who were despondent, he employed passages from the Old Testament to console them, evoking in their minds the promises of God and the memory of his faithfulness.

Passages like these, the ones that comfort me by putting me in touch with the person of God include:

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34: 18

"I will fear no evil, for you are with me."
Psalm 23: 4

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age".
Matthew 28: 20

"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Hebrews 13: 5

I also encounter the person of Jesus in Mark's telling of Jesus' disciples banding together against the gales of a storm.

Jesus has pulled away from the crowds to be with his Father, sending his disciples across the lake in a boat.

When he sees them struggling, he walks out onto the water.

Thinking Jesus is a ghost, they cry out in terror. Jesus' words of comfort to his disciples?

"Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid."

And I love the verse right after that:

"Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished"
(Mark 6: 51 NASB).

I love that Jesus went out onto the sea, in the dark of night, in the midst of the storm.

It wasn't the disciples looking for Jesus, but Jesus looking for the disciples.

He didn't call to them from the safety of the shore; he put himself in their storm.

And came to their boat.

Which to me is the message of the incarnation (see Matthew 1: 23, "And they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, 'God with us'" NASB).

As you turn to the Scriptures for hope and comfort, Immanuel is the one you seek.

Stay Strong!

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