The key success factors used by Jesus (while on earth as a human), Apostle Paul and Prophet Jonah to overcome the raging storm (adversities and adversaries) around them are: Know God (His Word, His Spirit, His Presence, His Power); know how to access to God through Prayer as led by His Spirit and His Word. To each of these three witnesses of God’s reality in our lives, God is real and living. There is no unbelief and doubt. From the way they conversed with God, listened to Him, prayed (talked) to Him, walking in cool calmness and confidence, we can see that they know God in their daily living, storm or no storm. It is clear that handling of storm, whatever mode it may come, physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, is in the daily consistent and persistent preparation and not at the last minute when it hits like the hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunami, flood, fire, adversities and disasters in life (career, family, relationship, finance, safety and security etc.) Preparation takes time and there is no short-cut. Jesus-the Son of God took thirty years to prepare.
After looking at the how Prophet Jonah (about 800-750 BC) responded to a storm, today we study how our Lord Jesus (7–2 BC to AD 30–33) handled a storm. We read from Luke 8:22-39 (NKJV) (Bible verses are quoted in parts from Luke 8:22-39; boldness of some verses added; my notes before the verses are in capital letters).
JESUS SPEAKS THE WORD TO DECLARE AND COMMAND: HE KNOWS HIS WORD CARRIES THE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD, HIS FATHER IN HEAVEN. BECAUSE HE STAYS IN THE FATHER AND DOES THE WORK OF THE FATHER HE KNOWS WHAT IS AHEAD AND DOES NOT WORRY ABOUT THE STORMY AND SEEMINGLY THREATENING CIRCUMSTANCES FROM THE ENEMIES. HE IS ON A MISSION SENT BY THE FATHER. HE KNOWS THE PURPOSE AND OUTCOME OF HIS JOURNEY. HE STAYS IN PEACE. HE MERELY LAUNCHES OUT, CROSSES OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LAKE, DOES THE WORK-SAVING AND DELIVERING, AND RETURNS IN THE SAME PEACE AND CONFIDENCE HE ALWAYS CARRIES EVEN TO THE FINAL MISSION ON EARTH, THE CROSS. HE SETS A ROLE MODEL FOR HIS DISCIPLES.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”
Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?”
And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes…there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, …“What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man…
32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. 33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned……and (the people) found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.
SOME PERSONAL NOTES ON OUR WORK ON EARTH: (workplace and marketplace employment and making an independent productive living)
The grand ‘masters’ in the world (of sports or chess or music or politics or any other profession) know this: Preparation through daily long hours of practicing according to the perfect synchronization and execution of every move, based on calculation and prediction of every element (including human) and every factor seen and unseen, submitting the body and soul to the strict discipline of proven success.
An average factory worker knows too if he needs to be continuously employed and earn a decent living for himself and family, he has to be educated and trained for the specific job and role before he can fit in. In today’s increasingly highly developed and competitive technological and global market-driven age, a worker knows too that to ensure continuous employable status he needs more than mere mechanical skill. He also needs to be trainable and upgraded in technological knowledge and skills which become outdated within every five to ten years.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Jesus wants us to be wiser than the people of the world. Christians are not exempted from living a life of highly disciplined preparation in the physical as well as in the spiritual (through training and practicing in the words of God, guidance and empowerment by the Holy Spirit): acquiring knowledge, training and practice that produce a good and meaningful worthy job (bearing good fruits), not only overcoming our personal life’s adversities, fulfilling the abundant-life goals of the Kingdom of God, but also contributing to the well-being of others on earth.
[ Build on the Rock ] “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
[ Persecutions Are Coming ] “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.
1 Thessalonians 4:10-12
10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.