Focus Part 1

We have all taken a picture that was out of focus.  Something happened at the last minute causing us to change our perspective.   Our walk with God can seem to get out of focus also.  We have Jesus in our lives and we are moving towards Him in our daily walk and then something happens.  We can get distracted by a host of things causing us to lose our focus on Jesus.

Matthew 8:23-25 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

They were not merely tired of fighting the waves and wanted Jesus to end the storm, they were afraid of drowning.  God doesn’t want us to face our storms alone.  He can and will quiet any storm when we seek Him.

Matthew 8:26-27 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.   The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this?  Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

When we allow situations to rattle us, we lose our focus, forgetting God’s power.  Without fearing for their lives they could have made the same request.  Their fear showed they were not trusting God.   How should they have known Jesus could calm the seas?  It had happened before in an account in the Holy Bible.

Jonah 1:4-6 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.  All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.  But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep.  The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”

The sailors were afraid for good reason they did not know God and they feared drowning.

Jonah 1:11-15 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”   “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”   Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.”  Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.

These verses clearly confirms for us that God caused the storm, and God then calmed the storm.

Jonah was running from God to avoid going to Nineveh.  He knew God is compassionate and Jonah did not want Nineveh spared.

Jonah 4:1-2 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry.  He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.

God doesn’t want calamity in our lives either.  We can be struggling in this fallen world losing our focus.  When we are trusting God, growing deeper in love with Him, we will stay focused on Jesus knowing He can calm any storm.

We will continue in this series next week.

Written and posted by Joyce E Poggensee

Verses referenced: Matthew 8:23-27, Jonah 1:4-6, Jonah 1:11-15,   Jonah 4:1-2

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