Rev. Lois Blakey-Paige, pastor of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia preached a very encouraging sermon to the congregation on Sunday, Aug. 2. Afterward, several people said they felt like she was preaching specifically to them. She based her sermon on Luke 8:22-25 about Jesus calming the storm after He had told His disciples “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” Then a very bad storm came up and they were in great danger while Jesus slept. His disciples woke Him up and He rebuked the wind and the raging waters. The storm subsided and all become calm. Jesus asked the disciples, “Where is your faith?” Then, they asked one another, “Who is this?”
Pasto Paige emphasized throughout her sermon that “your boat won’t sink and your storm won’t last forever.” She then said that everyone is in the Boat of Life and has to cross many lakes. When Jesus told His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side,” it was a promise. Jesus was with His disciples, and He knew they would make it across the lake. He knew the boat wasn’t going to sink. And He knew the storm was not going to last.
Pastor Paige reminded the congregation what her father, Pastor Emeritus Dr. Louis R. Blakey, Sr., preached many years ago: “Either we are in a storm, or we have just come out of a storm, or we are headed into a storm.” Pastor Paige encouraged the congregation to remember three things while they are in the midst of their storms.
First, refocus. You might feel that Jesus is asleep but refocus and remember that Jesus has already said He would be with you as you go across the lake. Even though water might be filling up the boat, refocus and know that the boat will not sink and you will not drown. Refocus and do not think the worst.
Secondly, turn up your faith. Focus on the promises of God instead of on the impossibilities. You cannot escape the storms of life, but you can refocus and turn up your faith by remembering the promises of God. Know that you are not in the boat alone. Notice Jesus rebuked the storm first before He turned to question His disciples about their faith. In other words, He took care of the physical situation first before turning His attention to the spiritual.
Thirdly, when you go through the storm, know who Jesus is. The disciples asked, “Who is this?” Who is Jesus in your storm? Who can calm the storm? The answer is “Nobody but Jesus.” You can praise Jesus in the midst of your storm because your boat will not sink, and your storm will not last. Focus on the captain of your crew instead of focusing on the impossibilities.