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No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner, because God will be right there with you; he’ll keep you safe and sound. – Proverbs 3:25-26, MSG
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, NLT
Facts about crises:
1. Expect the unexpected.
… when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. – James 1:2, NLT
2. No one’s immune.
He causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. – Matthew 5:45b, NCV
3. It can happen anytime.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftmanship. – Psalm 19:1, NLT
4. I get to choose how I respond.
Disciples’ reaction: panic. “… don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” – Mark 4:38b, NLT
Jesus’ reaction: peace. “Why are you afraid?” – Mark 4:40, NLT
When facing an unexpected crisis, remember:
1. God is close.
Don’t be afraid, because I have saved you. I have called you by name, and you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you cross rivers, you will not drown. – Isaiah 43:1-2, NCV
2. God is caring.
I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. – Ephesians 3:19b, NLT
3. God is in control.
In this world you will have trouble. But be encouraged! I have won the battle over the world. – John 16:33b, NIrV
1. When facing a crisis, do you tend to lean more toward panic or peace?
2. What “unexpected storm” is troubling you right now?
3. Review the last three points about God’s nature. Which do you need to focus on?
4. Describe a time you witnessed someone have peace (and not panic) during the middle of a storm. How did their faith affect you?
5. How can you currently praise God in the middle of whatever struggle you’re facing?
6. Do you know someone who’s currently battling an unexpected crises? How can you reassure them that God loves them?
Prayer: Father, thank You that in times of anxiety or panic we can find rest and security in You. Help us to thank You for all the ways You’ve blessed us, even during tough times, and guard our hearts and minds with Your peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Memory Verse: In this world you will have trouble. But be encouraged! I have won the battle over the world. – John 16:33b, NIrV