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This is Different

Have you ever read stories in the Bible about people who questioned God and who He is and what He can do? The disciples left all they had and followed Jesus. They were with Him night and day, watching Him do miracle after miracle. Yet, when something scary and different blew their way, where was their faith?

While in a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee, Jesus and the disciples ran into a fierce windstorm out on the water. Now remember that some of these disciples had been fishermen by trade. They knew the water and they knew how to handle a boat. They had likely been on the water before in a storm. But this is different. Luke 8 tells us the winds were so fierce that they were taking on water and “they were in jeopardy” and they were afraid – even though the creator of the winds and sea was in the boat with them. They had yet to fully grasp that the Son of God was in their boat.

Coronavirus is different

We have all been through storms in our life. An unexpected death of a loved one. An unexpected job loss. Maybe, an unexpected rebellious child. An unexpected divorce. An unexpected betrayal of trust. Or an unexpected illness. Whatever storm you’ve been through before, I’m sure you can join me in saying that this Coronavirus is different. We’ve never seen our government issue “Safer at Home Act” before. We’ve never been asked to “social distance” before. We have never had to go around wearing masks to protect ourselves and others.

In fact, our generation has probably not seen and personally experienced a pandemic virus. I mean – this is stuff you read about in history books before there was penicillin. This is stuff where you go through ancient cemeteries and read the tombstones were people died from typhoid and stuff. Can you honestly say that you would ever think that in our day with all the medical knowledge that we have that we would ever see a national outbreak of a virus? This is different.

Those of us able to work – work from home (except for essential professions). If someone coughs or even clears their throat, everyone moves as far away as they can. This is different. Kids are all doing school online – and the parents are groaning that we have at least another 30 days of “social distancing,” “safer at home” orders, and online school. This is different.  Did you ever think we would live through a shortage of toilet paper? This is different. 

In the “different” do we ask “Where is Jesus?”

In the different, will we be like the disciples in the midst of the storm? They looked around and said – “Where is Jesus?” Remember – they had seen him do all these miracles of healing people, casting out demons, raising the dead. But where was Jesus in their storm? Well – they found Him. He was sleeping. They wake Him up and said, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” They we’re not just informing Him the boat was going down. I can almost hear them saying, “Don’t you care about us? We’re in a pickle here. Why are you just sleeping?” Their tone, almost accusatory. They were scared and their faith went MIA. 

What about us? Are we searching for where Jesus is in the midst of the storm? Do you feel like He’s asleep somewhere and totally unaware of the storm? 

In the “different” where is your faith?

Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and the waves and there was immediate calm. Then He said to the disciples, “Where is your faith?” They were in a boat with the creator of the universe – the one who made the wind and waves – and still they said to each other: “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” They still didn’t get it. If they had gotten it, then they would have known that the safest place to be in the entire universe was right where Jesus was – regardless of the storm raging around them.

Master, we are perishing!

Our nation is at a place of crying out to Jesus and saying, “Master, we are perishing.” The more the number of positive cases and deaths we see with COVID-19, the more likely you will either know someone who has the virus or be a victim yourself. Jesus says, “My child, where is your faith?” If we genuinely trust Him, then we do not need to fear when the storms of life crash in on us. God is not taken by surprise by any storm we face. Certainly, if He chose he could rebuke COVID-19 and wipe it off the face of the earth. But when that doesn’t happen and we see friends and family suffering with the virus or even dying, where is our faith? Does it go MIA like the disciple’s faith did?

The fiercer the storm, the harder it is to see God, but my friend, we can stand on the promises of God like Deuteronomy 31:6 that says, “Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.” Or Exodus 15:26 that says, “If you will carefully obey the Lord your God, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His commands, and keep all His statutes, I will not inflict any illnesses on you… For I am Yahweh who heals you.”

Promises from God’s Word:

Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Exodus 33:14 My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.

Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Isaiah 30:15 In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.

Isaiah 43:1-3 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 145:18-19 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

Isaiah 12:2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

When we don’t understand the “different”

We also know that God tell us, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” (Isaiah 55:8) We may not understand what is going on or why someone is healed and others are not. And that is where faith comes in. Trusting God when we can’t understand the why. But knowing that loves us with an everlasting love and continues to extend his faithful love to us (Jeremiah 31:3), means we can trust Him even in the storms. 

Jesus is asking, “Where is your faith?”

It can be easy to criticize the disciples for not knowing who Jesus was despite all the miracles and listening to His teaching every single day. But do we not do the same? When the storms come and life gets threatening, all the things that God has done for us in the past races right out of our memory as we become focused only on the storm we are going through right now. But today, Jesus is quietly whispering across our hearts and asking, “Where is your faith?” Stand on the firm foundation of Jesus. Trust in His unfailing, everlasting love and know that He is at work. Look for how He is deepening your faith and trust in Him and know that He only has your very best in mind for everything you face. He loves you and He’s there in the storm with us. Where is your faith?

God, it becomes so easy to forget all the times in the past where you held us in the palm of your hand and brought us through the storms of life. Thank you that you never leave us or forsake us. Thank you that you are always in the midst of life’s storms with us, working out your divine plan for each one us. Help us to stand strong in your faith and fully trust You, even when we don’t understand Your plan.

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This week’s featured Christian Tees designs:

Nobody but Jesus

In a world that says, “Look at me!” I want the world to see nobody but Jesus. Based on the song by Casting Crowns. Watch the music video on YouTube

Living for the world to see Jesus

Graduating Seniors

For all the seniors celebrating graduation in a few months. Includes Jeremiah 29:11. If you have a senior graduating, this design makes a great gift.

Graduating Seniors

Here are some of our favorite designs

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

New in the Teespring Store: The Prayer of Blessing

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store.

God instructed the Israelite priests to pray the prayer of blessing every day over the people. The prayer is found in Numbers 6:24-26. Hang the canvass in your home or carry the mug, tote bag, or water bottle and let the prayer of blessing impact all those who you meet throughout the day.

We’ve also put this design on a poster, coffee mug, a stainless steel water bottle, phone cases, and a few other products.

Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
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  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
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Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

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