Calming the storms of life

By: Dr. Bitrus Audu

Luke 8:22-39 and Mark 4:35-36 (Jesus and his disciples encounter a storm)

Life is like a journey from this side of eternity to the other side of eternity which is our ultimate destination.  There are hurdles to cross and storms to calm if we must arrive our destination happily.  The factors that led to victory over the storm, which the disciples of Jesus encountered in this passage can be applied as fundamental principles that can equally calm the contemporary storms of life.

  1. Divine Initiation

“One day Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let’s go to the other side of the lake’ (Luke 8:22)

It was the Lord Jesus that initiated that journey, not the disciples!

The disciples were simply obeying the Master’s instruction “let’s go to the other side of the Lake”.  That was the Master’s command and that was His will for them, which they were carrying out in obedience.  They were not undertaking that journey in rebellion or self will, like Jonah who was running away from the Lord.  Jonah did not overcome the storm of his journey but the disciples did, because their journey was in accordance with the will of their Master.  I believe that this is one major factor that gave them victory over the storm.    The question I would like to ask here is “Who initiates your daily actions and what your life is pursuing right now?”  

If we are to answer this question sincerely some of us may answer like this: “Money and wealth, quest for power and fame initiated it.  In the case of marriage plans some may point to beauty, family background, educational qualification, and even the pressure to get married etc.  Gone are the days, when Christian men and women spend quality time in prayer and fasting seeking the will of God concerning any step they want to take in their life.  

Today, many people are pursuing life the way Lot chose the plain of Sodom and Gomorrah:  “Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD…. (Gen. 13:10).  What Lot saw like the garden of the Lord was actually the garden of devils.  He lost everything to the storms of life in Sodom including his wife.  This was because he followed his own eyes and human wisdom instead of finding out the will of God.  Be sure of the will of God in your journey of life.  

2. Divine priority (The presence of God)

Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.” (Mark 4:36)

The disciples left the crowd but took Jesus with them just as He was   

The disciples did not just jump into the boat and out into the sea for the journey with the excitement that their Master initiated the journey.  No! They made sure that the Master who initiated the journey was in the boat with them.  It seems it was a choice they had to make between their Master and the crowd, because the Bible says: “Leaving the Crowd behind, they took him along”.  They chose who to leave behind, the crowd, and who to take along – Jesus!  

When it comes to doing things God’s way, it is usually a choice between God and “the crowd.”  It is a choice between what is popular and what God approves.   Abraham is a good example.

The disciples also made sure that they took him along just as he was.  What does this mean?  “Just as he was” means that they did not try to change any thing in Jesus before taking him along with them in the boat.  They didn’t try some cosmetics or some make-ups on him.  They did not try to “polish” him to be more contemporary before taking him along with them.  If they did, their Jesus would have been turned into “another Jesus”.  “Another Jesus” wouldn’t have calmed the storm in their journey.  The Jesus that calms storms of life is the Jesus that men take Just as he is.  

But how is Jesus by the way?  Jesus is holy, Hebrews (4:14-16), Jesus is humble, (Phil. 2:5-11) Jesus loves, (John 15:13, 1John 3:16), Jesus is compassionate, (Matt. 9:35-37) Jesus is truthful, Jesus is the way, Jesus is the Life (John 14:6). Jesus is the Savior (Matt. 1:21).  That is why he saved them from the storm.  That is how he is and much more.  Can you imagine what would have been the case if The Lord Jesus was not with them in that boat when the storm came?  Or what do you think would have been the case if when the storm came and they went to call the attention of Jesus but discovered that it was “another Jesus” who could not calm storms?  

The point is this, we must not only begin with God but His presence must continue with us all through the journey of life.  You can never tell at what point the storm will come but if the master is with you there will be nothing to fear.  Again Two questions to ask: Who is in your boat, Jesus or the crowd?  If it is Jesus, is it Jesus as He is or is “another Jesus”?  Crowds don’t calm storms.  “Another Jesus” does not calm storms either.  It is only Jesus as he is in the hearts of men that calm whatever storm we encounter in life.

 3. Divine faith

“‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disciples” (Luke 8:25)

The Lord Jesus Challenged them on the need for faith in Calming

down the storm

If the disciples were to sincerely answer the questions Jesus put to them one by one, I imagined some would have said: “Our faith was on the experience of Peter, James, John and Andrew who are professional fisher men who are used to the sea”.  Some would have said: “Our faith was on our number and strength.  We thought with our number and strength we could calm the storm.  

If we are to sincerely answer the question, some of us may find out that their faith is on their jobs, wealth, husbands, wives, etc.  The Bible says: “The just shall live by faith” and that without faith it impossible to please God.  Every other thing will fail with time but if your faith in on the Lord Jesus and Jesus is in your boat just as he is.  You can be sure that every storm in your life will be calmed down. Faith means to trust, believe in, depend on, look up to.

So the question again “Where is your faith?”  You must check carefully where your faith is if your storms must be stopped.  Jesus only intervened in the disciples’ circumstance when they show a little faith in approaching him with the problem after all other things they trusted failed.  They could have saved themselves much pain if they had lived by faith in the Lord

4. Divine purpose (Luke 8: 26-39)

Why didn’t Jesus and the disciples go back and wait for when the sea would be calmer before embarking on the journey again? What was so important to make them risk their lives in the open sea?  In other words, what was the purpose of the journey to the other side?

  • There was a soul bound by demons that needed deliverance.  A soul bound so much that he lived among the dead in the grave.
  • Jesus knew that the man’s situation needs urgent attention.
  • To Jesus saving that one soul was worth the risk.  Notice that as soon as the man was delivered Jesus and the disciples went back across the lake again to the other side.
  • What purpose are you risking your life for?  A divine purpose or a carnal purpose?
  • A carnal purpose cannot stand the storms of life but no storm can stand a divine purpose !


Four fundamental principles are required in calming down the storms of life:  Knowing and doing the will of God, Pursuing God’s constant presence as a priority in our lives, living by faith and pursuing a divine purpose in life.

I don’t know what storm you are facing in your life right now but I do know that your life s storm can be calmed dawn if you follow these principles.  

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