NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passage: Matthew 8:23-27
- What’s typically your first response to experiencing a disaster or the elevated threat of a disaster?
- What determines whether life’s storms are positive or negative defining moments?
- How has your faith and walk with the Lord grown as you have gone through a storm of life?
Food for thought:
The local news this week included an account of a man who came upon a disaster-in-the-making: on a frigid day a car had plunged into a swollen stream. The driver remained in the car that continued sinking into oblivion. The man stripped off his outer layer of clothes, jumped into the freezing water, swam out to the car and rescued the driver just before the passenger compartment fully submerged. When faced with disaster, the man had launched into action.
When life’s storms brew, people respond in various ways. Some, like the man in the news story, react. Others become paralyzed with fear, unable to act. Still others think only of self-preservation, even at the cost of people or relationships.
In Matthew 8:23-27, Jesus slept during that storm. Pastor and author Gregg Matte draws lessons from this event for those who desire to be difference-makers in life, starting with the fact that the disciples knew where to turn (and did so!) when the waves threatened to swamp them. Our faith in Jesus is not valid simply in eternity. There is no “do not open until December 25” notice attached to our faith. We can draw on Jesus’ faithfulness today, whatever the nature of the storm around us.
For the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus hushed the wind, calmed the waves and dispersed the storm. Sometimes He does the same for our storms, but sometimes He accompanies us through the storm, strengthening and encouraging us as each wave crashes into the small boat of our life. The disciples were “amazed” at Jesus’ work on their behalf, as we should be, regardless of what that work looks like in our particular storm.
In the disciples’ case, they found themselves in the storm because they followed Jesus (Matthew 8:23). We must recognize that following Jesus does not exempt us from the storms of life. Indeed, He may well lead us into those storms. Either way, He could not lead us through storms or out of storms if we never entered storms. Without storms, how would we learn to turn to Him?
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at Lifeway.com/masterwork.