Success in the Storm of Mark 4

How do you handle the storms of life? We know they are inevitable, yet we often find ourselves ill-prepared and overwhelmed. Let’s take a look at how the disciples and Jesus handled a storm in Mark 4.


As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!” Mark 4: 35-41


Are you prepared for storms?

Several of the disciples were fishermen, so it is fair to assume that their boats were prepared for possible storms. They could read the skies and predict a possible storm. But Jesus said “Let’s go” and so they went. If you’re going to face a storm, please make sure Jesus is the one leading you and walking through it with you!

How quickly do you turn to Jesus?

Jesus was asleep during the storm, but the disciple were awake. They noticed the winds picking up. They watched the waves begin to swell higher. They felt the first waters filling the boat and crashing around their ankles. Yet it wasn’t until they were convinced they were about to die that they turned and woke up Jesus. His response was immediate: He calmed the storm. In fact, it completely stopped, and “there was a great calm.” Why did they wait?! Don’t have the same delay during your storms. Turn and call on Jesus. He’s right there, waiting to calm the storm, waiting to take your hand and guide you. It is Jesus who can handle the storm – don’t wait to call on his name!

Is your fear overriding your faith?

The disciples moved from fear to fear – fear of the storm, then fear of Jesus’ power and identity. Jesus suggests to them that there is an inverse relationship between fear and faith – more faith, less fear. In our humanity, we will have moments of fear. Storms are frightening and powerful. But if you know the answer to the disciples’ question – “Who is this man?” – then you know that faith is far more powerful. This Man is in control even of nature itself. He is worthy of worship. He has conquered death. He is alive and sitting on the throne even while you read this, let alone during the storm itself. Stand in awe of this Man! Every time you turn to him, watching him work wonders, and identify yourself as his follower, friend, and sibling, your faith gets stronger and your fear gets weaker.

Keep digging into this truth with further study and reflection:

  • Register now for our upcoming event, where Dr. Denny Bates will expound on Mark 4 and its impact on our success during life storms and transitions. CHANGING PLACES.
  • Reflect on the psalms and the power of God – Psalm 50 and Psalm 107 are good starting points.
  • Read through other storms in the Scriptures – Job, Jonah, Peter’s shipwreck in Acts 27-28. Study how these men handled the storm, and how God works in our storms.