Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons

Storms and Faith

2005-01-30 Mark 4:35

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35  On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side." 36  Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37  And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38  But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" 39  Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40  But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" 41  And they feared exceedi1ngly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!"


I. Storms are frequently sourced in demonic opposition to our faith in Christ, but are for our benefit


A. Faith: believing God is who He said He is and will do what He said He’ll do (Heb 11:6)

When we lose faith, we lose perspective.  We think we’re perishing when we’re not


Storms tempt us to focus on the cares of the world which choke out the word and make us unfruitful (neither God nor we get glory)

Our natural impulses go through a “value filter” that determines our response. We change our filter when we renew our mind with Truth.

When we falsely think God doesn’t care, we despair, take things into our own hands, use others, burn out, give up, Satan wins.


B. Thinking God doesn’t care or that He would allow things to happen to us that weren’t for our good is THE Satanic root of atheism


C. We’re frequently tested in areas of strength to increase our humble reliance on Him, and weakness

God will allow our self-absorbed plans, timetables, and objectives to founder on the rocks of independence


Fear of circumstances that causes distance between us and God is bad, but fear of sinning. or displeasing God, or losing reward is good.

God lets us go through discomfort for our benefit (so we’ll change) and his glory        (Heb 4:11 {for line above} 89x don’t fear)


II. We fear because we really don’t know Jesus (person, plan/objectives, words)


A. Our comfort level is proportional to the degree that we embrace Christ as our objective (focus on what He’s said He’ll do)


We become anxious because we don’t get what we want when we want God doesn’t operate on our timetable


B. We become anxious when we bump Christ off the throne of our lives and then realize we’re inadequate for the things we may face.


The disciple’s agenda was focused on themselves, not on believing and obeying Christ. They were concerned about their safety and security.


III. Cultivating Intimacy (obediently and dependently) with the Lord Jesus will solve everything


A. If Christ said it, it will happen, regardless of appearances. That is the basis of faith. If our concern is that we will perish or lose out by following Christ, we will be anxious, and our anxiety betrays our refusal to embrace His agenda, to place ourselves in His hands.


If He is with us, we need nothing else; even in the valley of the shadow of death (Ps 23; Phil 4:6-9 peace of God; God of peace)


B. Our focus needs to be on what God has said (commands and promises) on the character of God (infinite love and goodness) and plan of God (wean us from self-sufficiency and attachment to temporal objectives, to daily dependence and eternal pursuits).


The more focused we are on the presence of Christ, the less effected we will be by circumstances. Cultivating intimacy with Christ is the same today as it was 2000 years ago: Willingness to follow regardless of the cost; Listening to Him; Responding to what He said in words and obedient actions; Initiating communication when doubtful of His perspective on things, ie, a progressive relationship.


Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

1. Is fear natural? Is it good or bad? Are other natural emotions good or bad?

2. How do we change or “values filter” so we respond correctly to the inevitable storms of life?

3. How does being “honest with our fears” help us conquer them? Is it ever appropriate to just “repress and press” (gut it out)?

4. What are some of the things that would aid your trust in Christ? What would hinder that trust?

5. How can you cultivate greater intimacy with Christ in the weeks ahead? How will you know you’re progressing?