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Calming the Storm- Mark 4:35-41

Devotions for the storms of life

Read: Mark 4:35-41

Key Verse: v40

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

What Does it Mean?

The disciples found themselves in the midst of a terrible storm. The boat was being battered by wind and waves, and was taking on water. As they panicked, fearing that they were going to drown, Jesus lay sleeping, with His head on a pillow. Picture that scene if you will. With the boat being tossed on the violent waves, and the wind howling, and waves breaking over the side of the boat, the idea of anyone remaining asleep in those conditions is somewhat ludicrous. The boat was on the verge of sinking, and Jesus was sleeping? The disciples’ response, as they woke Jesus up, is possibly something we’ve all thought, or said at some point in our Christian lives. In verse 38, the disciples ask of Jesus, “don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” (NLT). When storms are raging in our lives, it often feels like Jesus is obliviously sleeping in the boat, not caring that we might die.

But the truth is, Jesus wasn’t – and isn’t – sleeping in the boat because He didn’t care about the perilous situation. He was sleeping in the boat because He knew that there was no reason to fear the situation. With confident faith, He commanded the wind and the waves to be still, and they succumbed to His authority. And then He turned to His disciples and asked them why they were afraid, why they still didn’t have faith. The disciples had seen Jesus perform miracles, but they still didn’t understand His power. The same is true of us, at times. We’ve read the gospels, we know who Jesus is, who His Father is, we know that He defeated death on the cross. And yet when the storms are raging, we forget that ALL power has been given to Jesus (see Matthew 28:18), and we forget that trusting in Him gives us access to calm in the midst of the storm. We must set aside all thoughts that Jesus doesn’t care about us, and remember the authority we have, through Him, over every kind of storm we face.

Bottom Line

There will always be storms in life – some more fierce than others – simply because we live in a fallen world. When the storms hit, we have two principle choices, and these are both evidenced in verse 38 – we can succumb to fear, as the disciples did, or we can remain calm, as Jesus did, putting our faith above our fear. We must remember that Jesus wasn’t sleeping in the boat because He didn’t care about the perilous situation the disciples were in, but because He has authority over all things, and knew there was nothing to fear.

Journaling and Reflection

  • Re-read verse 38. Can you empathise with how the disciples felt when they saw Jesus sleeping, on a pillow, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the boat was sinking? Have there been times when you have felt as they did? How did it make you feel?
  • Jesus doesn’t sleep in the boat because He doesn’t care about us; He sleeps in the boat because He doesn’t care for the devil’s schemes. How does this statement affect the way you think about the storms you face and Jesus’ response to them?


Father God, thank you that through Your Son, Jesus Christ, we have the authority to calm the storms in our lives. Forgive us for the times we have questioned Your care for us, and help us to remember that putting our trust in You releases us from the prison of fear. Amen.

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