We are living in tumultuous times in the United States. We are a divided nation; there is no common ground to rally around. The very existence of our country as founded is on shaky ground. Our nation has been besieged by unrest and rioting. A dark cloud of division and strife is covering our land. Families are crumbing at an alarming rate. We are living in a time of despair, despondency, and hopelessness. Let us rise up and call out to God to heal our nation and our families.
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” Matthew 8:23-25
This story from scripture is not about the storm. As in our lives, the biggest issue is not the crisis. The issue at hand is whether we are trusting in the Lord to bring us through the storms of life. An even bigger issue is whether we can trust in Jesus for his protection and care even when He does not appear to be paying attention to our needs.
The Psalms are full of desperate cries by Israel for God’s protection, deliverance and mercy. The Israelites thought that God had His eyes closed to their plight and had shut His ears to their cries for help. Just as God sustained Israel from destruction and defeat in the desert, Jesus will also sustain, protect and deliver us in these tumultuous times.
And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” Matthew 8:26-27
Nothing can stand in the way of Jesus! There is no storm in life that Jesus cannot overcome. Jesus’ calming of the storm showed His disciples that their safety and destiny is under His command. Nothing can stand in the way of His grace. That same grace is available to us today.
And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Now a herd of many swine was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged him, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the swine; and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the waters. Matthew 8:28-32
Two truths about Jesus are revealed in this story. First, Jesus commands and the demons obey. The demons recognize Jesus as the “Son of God.” He is superior to them; they have no power to stand against Him. The second truth is that the demons seek to destroy. The demon-possessed men were naked, out of their minds, self-destructive, living amongst the dead, and isolated from the rest of the world. Our culture is like the herd of pigs rushing to its demise. No matter how alluring or seductive the demonic world may be, it will always lead to destruction.
We find ourselves in a culture that has been allured into living amongst the dead, out of their minds, self-destructive, and isolated from the ways of God. The very wellbeing of our families is at stake in a culture that hates families and Christians. We need to be praying daily for protection of our families in a hostile culture and for the conversion of souls.
We are in the midst of a storm of demonic forces. Jesus’ crucifixion on Calvary was the place where His ultimate superiority over the demonic world came to a head. For three days, it appeared that the demons had destroyed God’s plan for His people. But with Jesus’ joyful resurrection, the demonic forces in this world were defeated for all time. Jesus is Lord! He has the power to defeat every enemy. In Jesus, our ultimate victory is guaranteed just as the ultimate defeat of the demons is guaranteed.
For the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7
Jesus has defeated the demonic forces in this world. We need to place our trust in Him to defeat the forces seeking to destroy our families and nation. Jesus will not allow us to be disgraced or put to shame. Jesus will defeat the foe seeking to kill and destroy our land.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
By the wounds of Jesus, our nation and our families will be healed! We need not fear the storm. Jesus is with us as we place our trust in Him.
[For] he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12
Just as Jesus interceded for us, we need to be interceding for those who are far from Him. Pray for our country to return its godly foundation. Pray for the conversion of souls. Pray for the forgiveness of the sins of our nation. Jesus is our only hope. He will not let the demons destroy us. Trust in the risen Lord. He is the joy of our salvation.
Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Roman 12:12