Church Online | 22 August | St Peter’s Brighton

Church Online | 22 August | St Peter’s Brighton

well good morning so who’s excited to be in church this morning let’s not take this moment for granted oh gosh it’s been a tough old season hasn’t it 18 months of a lot of pain a lot of frustration a lot of disappointment and it is a real joy to be together and especially if you’re here for the very first time as ali said we just we want you to know that you’re welcome we love you we’d love to connect with you at some point especially if you’re looking to make this place your home and you’re coming into brighton who knows maybe for the long haul it’s great to have you here if you’re watching online a massive welcome to you as well today today we’re going to be as ali mentioned we’re going to be continuing our series on do not be afraid and i want to speak this morning for a really simple thought do not be afraid because jesus is in your boat do not be afraid because jesus is in your boat and so today’s passage is taken from mark 4 verses 35 to 41. it’s going to come up on the screen behind me there are some bibles i think around if not you’ve got your tablets your phones and uh try not to go on instagram too quickly let’s uh read together mark 4 verses 35 41 that day when evening came he said to his disciples let us go over to the other side leaving the crowd behind they took him along just as he was in the boat there were also other boats with him and a furious squall came up and the waves broke over the boat so that it was nearly swamped jesus was in the stern sleeping on a cushion the disciples woke him and said to him teacher don’t you care if we drown he got up rebuked the wind and said to the waves quiet be still then the wind died down and it was completely calm he said to his disciples why are you so afraid do you still have no faith they were terrified and asked each other who is this even the wind and the waves obey him let’s pray together lord we invite your holy spirit into this space this morning we pray lord that as a result of today our faith would be raised that as a result of today we would be changed from the inside out so that we would look different and we would be more like you and more trusting in your goodness and your faithfulness amen i met our men and i wonder if we’re honest we’re all a little bit afraid of something aren’t we maybe it’s getting stuck in a lift maybe it’s that photo that you detagged of yourself on facebook a long time ago coming back to haunt you in the future maybe it’s when you see your partner online shopping well for me it’s needles i have a real problem with needles i’ll be honest with you i’m a fainter and uh when my wife rachel every now and then she watches 24 hours in a e uh even just walking through the room and catching a glimpse of a needle i begin to feel queasy so you can imagine four weeks ago today when i got a phone call at 3 50 a.m that when rachel said to me the baby’s coming and i got in the car and i had one contact lens in and i was trying to find the other one in the car as i was driving i got to hayward t forgot there and i got into the hospital just about in time and the midwife came to me and said your wife wants an epidural now my experience of epidurals in the past have had one experience it was a really really bad one her blood vessel was hit blood went everywhere and my wife is amazing by the way and i am useless i ended up on the floor and i came around with my feet up on the bed looking at her her saying what is wrong with you and so this fear begins to creep in again as the midwife says she wants an epidural i’m thinking okay lord please make me strong in this moment please help me and as i walk into the room the smell hits me the concern hits me the midwives everyone’s there and before i’ve even said hi to rachel i’m in the bar from splashing my face with water my wrists are under the cold tap and i’m just lord give me strength and then i hear rachel say where are you rightly so everything’s okay ethan is here right now four weeks later [Applause] but we all fear something don’t we and it’s interesting because the words fear not actually appear in the bible 365 times and i wonder whether that’s because in god’s sense of humor he needs to give us a daily reminder maybe like me you need reminding that we need to live in faith and not fear and especially when a storm comes especially when we’re in an unsettled time especially when the circumstances change and our boats so to speak get rocked because as christians when a storm arises in our life we need to know and to remember his faithfulness that he is in the boat with us he is faithful in our storms you know there are estimated to be 16 million storms a year worldwide and so in the same sense it’s not a question of if we’re going to meet a storm but more when we’re going to meet a storm maybe today you’re still feeling the ripple effects of this storm of covid maybe you’re feeling the ripple effects of a storm from years before maybe today right now in august as the sun shining on us actually you’re facing a real storm in your own life and oftentimes those storms that we face and we find ourselves in aren’t actually as a result of anything we’ve done they’re not as a result of our fleeing or as a result of our doing of anything wrong sometimes the storms are so random it’s like everything’s going really well and then suddenly out of nowhere a storm comes and changes everything this passage i believe is an encouraging story about jesus’s faithfulness he’s such a faithful good god and it’s a beautiful reminder of the faithfulness to us that he has for us in the storms that we face jesus who loves you so much wants you to know that no matter what you face he is right in the storm with you no matter the storms you might have to embrace he is right in the boat with you and jesus cares about the fear that entangles so many of our lives he cares about the anxiety that for some it’s impossible to get out of bed in the morning and it’s a miracle you’re here today for others he cares about the difficulties you’re facing relationally for others he understands the challenges you’re facing with work at the moment and he’s going to faithfully take you to the other side and in preparing for this message i was asking god is this really what you want me to speak on it seems quite obvious it seems quite simple and just out of nowhere a storm came two weeks into ethan’s life rachel had to rush him into hospital and uh he had to get lots of checks and over that 24-hour period of time of unknown and uncertainty i basically realized i was rubbish in a storm and so i found myself asking the question what is the christian response supposed to be in a storm and i know of course really the answer is always jesus isn’t it the sunday school answer is to be more like jesus to follow him closer to live like him to love like him but in all honesty i don’t look like jesus in a storm in fact i relate far much more to the disciples the other 12 guys in the boat that were petrified for their lives just as a way of hands has anyone actually ever been in a storm in a boat like real life storm in a boat ah cool so it’s not fun um from experience and these guys will testify that as well once upon a time i was on a stag do and we were heading over to isle of wight from winchester and the weather was lovely on the way out there and we got over to the isle of wight and we enjoyed some pasties and we enjoyed some beers and we got back on the yachts on the boats back to come over to winchester and out of nowhere a storm arose now we had a transatlantic yachtsman overseeing us looking after us and he’d he’d sailed around the world twice before so we’re in pretty safe hands but then in terms of experience after i kind of went downhill rapidly so the next person who was most experienced was my dad who in his own words had been sunbathing a couple of times in greece on a boat and then the third most experienced was myself at 16 i got my dinghy license which was useless on a yacht so all to say we were we were pretty concerned when the storm came i never sailed on a yacht like this before and to make matters worse the words that the transatlantic yachtsmen use will never ever leave me we should not be out in this we shouldn’t be out in these conditions we suddenly found ourselves in a scary scary situation lots of grown men basically chundering their pasties over the side of the boat feeling scared feeling anxious we were all afraid i didn’t handle it well but by the grace of god we’re here to tell the story today but i don’t know about you i don’t look like jesus in the storm i get a bit worried i get a bit anxious i get afraid i think worst case scenario just ask my wife in verse 38 of this passage the bible tells us that jesus is sleeping and so the disciples they wake him up they’re terrified but these disciples let’s not forget actually this was their profession they were professional fishermen before jesus asked them to follow him and become fishers of men this used to be their day jobs and they had experience in this field and yet they’re still frightened for their lives i think like the disciples we can be just kind of going through life making the best of it and then inevitably out of nowhere a storm hits us and we’re thrown into a fight with pressures with illness with financial situations sudden unemployment relational breakdown covered it’s in these moments when we’re in the storms that we as christians must remember that god is stronger than whatever is holding us back if he was able to stop a thunderstorm then he’s able to come into the storms of your life today and bring restoration and healing and we can be encouraged that we serve a god who is not surprised by the storms he’s not afraid in them and he is with us through them and he wants us to know and have our faith developed within them as well and so even in the storms we face today or the storms you’re going to face in the future i want you to know you can know his peace be promised of his presence and be expectant of his power firstly know his peace he settles our souls jesus is the prince of peace perhaps as well as being tired that’s also why he’s able to sleep and it’s interesting because people are always watching how we deal with the storms in our lives and peace is a powerful weapon we’re called as the people of god to be a people of peace anxious for nothing i have a friend he’s recently been in a a real bout of illness and real struggle and it’s kind of been a storm within a storm it’s been in this time of covet he’s not had people around him in the same way he would have before and he’s kind of had to go alone in hospital for a lot of this season i’ve had my faith raised as i’ve seen him so aware of jesus peace in his life when people see the peace in us in our storms they see jesus they want something that we have and he comes into the storms of our lives and he settles our souls he brings peace and jesus is so determined that his disciples get this that just before he went up to heaven he says in john 14 27 peace i leave with you peace i give to you not as the world gives do i give to you let not your hearts be troubled neither let them be afraid there are some storms that maybe some of you have faced in the past that have broken you if you’re really honest that for some it’s felt impossible to get back from some you’ve been so impacted that you’ve actually stopped stepping into all that god had for you you’ve been so shaped and limited as a result of the storms that you’ve lost your peace and your trust i want to tell you today i believe in an all-healing all-powerful god that wants to settle some souls today he wants to bring calm to the waters of your life and your hearts today for some he wants to help you to forgive others for others he wants to help you to forgive yourself and to know freedom from what may well have held you back to bring his peace to you again today and secondly he promises his presence he wants us i believe as christians to pursue him you know jesus in this moment he’s so confident of god’s presence and authority that he is able to fall asleep on a pillow i wonder what it would look like for us to learn that rhythm where we’re so confident in god that we too can sleep in our storms to be so aware of his presence with us because the thing is even when it feels like he’s asleep we’re told in romans that he’s at the right hand of the father and he’s interceding for us so even when it looks like he might be asleep in the back of your boat he’s actually fixing the rudder he’s actually making a way where there was no way he’s actually changing the situation he’s actually fighting your battles just like we sang about this morning and by the way i’m convinced he can handle our frustration as well my experience is that it’s okay to wrestle with god it’s better to be in dialogue with him to say do you not even care than to be bitter and to try and shut him out like the disciples some of the questions you might be asking today in your situation is don’t you care he might feel like he’s asleep and he doesn’t care but he’s never going to leave you he’s never going to forsake you he’s never going to give up on you even when you want to give up on him he is fighting for your affirmation your affection and your attention because he wants to be in proximity with us he wants you to put your trust in him again today no matter how scary the situation you’re in know that he is with you his presence is with you and even when it doesn’t look like it he’s making a way psalm 56 3 says when i’m afraid i put my trust in you like jesus we need to learn how to sleep in our storms having complete trust in god’s faithfulness and thirdly we need to expect his power do we believe in an all-powerful god because in this story we see god’s sovereign power being unleashed which is showing us god’s kingdom is at hand the same power that made the world in the first place is now living in jesus and acting through him and that same power is available to us today when we invite him into our lives into our boats the same power that made the world in the first place is acting through him in this moment he brings calm and stillness he has authority to calm your storm he has authority it’s funny isn’t it because i think sometimes we can have faith for god to move in other people’s lives but not our own oh he can heal that person i’m going to pray in faith that that person can be healed or oh i’m stuck in this situation but i’m going to pray for that person because i think they can be free jesus asked the question to the disciples do you have no faith do you have no faith the disciples had no faith but a shed load of fear but a whole lot of fear can never compare to just a little bit of faith and i want to encourage us today just to have a little bit of faith just before this story jesus was with his disciples and his followers and he was talking about faith the size of a mustard seed the smallest seed in this story the disciples they haven’t rejected jesus they’ve just failed to recognize his power they didn’t just even have a little bit of faith they failed to understand him and for some of us today god is just asking for just a little bit of faith to just have a little bit of faith to trust him in the storm of your life because it’s not about the size of our faith it’s about the object of it 2 timothy 1 7 says for god has given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind there are some today carrying brokenness unforgiveness bitterness disappointment god i believe wants to bring freedom to your situation today by the power of his spirit for others he wants to renew our minds so that we would be in awe of him and his power and not fear the world i believe god in his power wants to bring an end to the waves that are still rocking and shaking some of your boats today god can bring calm and peace today he has the power to say no more pain no more sickness from the effects of the storm because where the spirit of the lord is we believe there is freedom right do we believe it that there is freedom in this place that there is freedom in him and the thing about jesus is he is committed to us even if it’s just a little bit of faith he’s committed to developing faith within us because the point of faith is that it allows us to then trust him for the next storm it allows us to trust him for other people’s situations the storms you face can be god’s way of getting you to acknowledge his faithfulness and be prepared for the next situation that you’re having to trust his faithfulness in and in the same way that as i saw my friend know the peace of god that surpasses all of his understanding i believe that people are watching how we respond in the storm is an amazing opportunity when people see how we respond to his faithfulness and when we know that jesus is in the boat of our lives we can trust him the disciples they missed the point that jesus was in the boat and it can be really easy for us sometimes to miss the fact that he’s in the boat with us perhaps today you’re going for a storm and you know you haven’t invited jesus into your boat i really believe jesus longs to come into your life and bring rest to your soul for others it’s like you have faith for others but then you can’t quite apply that faith to yourself he just asked for just a little bit of faith again today some today you need to be reminded of how jesus has calmed storms in the past and how he can do it again he’s been faithful to you he is a faithful god some of us believe that we don’t deserve saving i hear people say i can’t fathom how he could love me how he could give me this gift i’m not worthy i can see how it could work for that person but not me that’s why it’s grace it’s by nothing that we’ve done is by nothing we can do no one deserves it it’s this free gift that is available to each and every one of us a little bit later on in mark the same book we see this story mirrored jesus no longer slumped on a pillow asleep but instead hanging on a cross and it’s as if you hear the whisper do you have no faith do you believe three days later he steals the storm for good he conquers the grave death the enemy is defeated and you can know the blue skies that are promised forever he is faithful the disciples asking the question who then is this and i believe that god is asking us to move from a place of fear to awe filled fear of him to be aware of his goodness his power his authority and his love for our lives no matter what you’re facing if you have jesus in your boat it’s going to be okay jesus said before they got into the boat let’s go over to the other side we’re going to get to the other side one day when there will be no more pain no more sadness no more sickness no more mourning no more tears no more wailing no more covered there’ll be freedom there’ll be peace there’ll be presence and we’ll experience his power as we’re in heaven with him i want to be honest with you god’s word doesn’t promise that storms won’t come and they might even last for a little bit but what god’s word does promise and what i believe to be true for my life is that no matter the wind and the waves that come crashing around you no matter how much your boat might get rocked he is with you his peace is promised his presence is assured and his power is always at work he will never leave you he’ll never forsake you and so know this that you are not alone today if you’re in a storm he is with you the same jesus who still the sea of galilee is with you and can steal your swarm today no matter how distant you feel no matter how far you’ve run away he is pursuing you and he wants relationship with you and says let me back in your boat today and today god is calling us to leave behind anxious fear and to replace it with awful fear of him truth is i want to shout about god’s faithfulness from the rooftops over six years ago my wife and i we were not really being given an explanation for why we weren’t able to conceive and just over four weeks ago as i held my second son i was in awe of a faithful father of a faithful god who when the world says there’s no way he makes a way who when it looks like there’s no possibility he creates all probability of his kingdom breaking in and through and when people see our faithfulness and when they see our awfilled wonder at our good god they really honestly they want to know who it is you have in the boat of your life with you they want to know the one who’s made a way when there was no way they want to know who you’ve put your faith in because the awfilled fear of the lord is the antidote to every other kind of fear that we might experience that’s what happens with these disciples their fear moved from fear of the storm to an awful fear of jesus and they had a mind shift and in the same way today some of us we can have a mind shift even if it’s just a mind shift that we need to have faith the size of a mustard seed even it’s just a small amount of faith so let me ask you is jesus in your boat because if jesus is in your boat he’s making a way his peace is available his presence is promised and we can be expectant for him to move in power love us to stand together we’re going to invite the holy spirit who is already here but to come and do what he wants to do so i want to encourage us that’s in this moment maybe just put out our hands in front of us it’s by nothing that we’ve done that gives us access to him it’s by everything he’s given of himself so just in your hearts just begin to invite the holy spirit holy spirit we welcome you in this place holy spirit come i’m just gonna wait on him jesus the holy spirit we thank you for your faithfulness in our storms maybe just some of us in this moment we just need to thank him for the breakthrough we’ve seen in the past for others it’s like you just know that you you want to have your soul settled again today you want that peace that surpasses your earthly understanding and for others i really believe that we believe in an all-powerful god and believe that he wants to bring freedom today for some i think he wants to bring freedom to the fear that’s entangled your life to bring freedom to your fears for others it’s like the the storm has passed and it’s dealt with but yet you still feel the boat is rocking you’re still feeling the ripple effects of the storm and just believe that he wants to minister to you so it’s amazing we’re able to pray for each other again although we’re not quite able to touch we’re able to pray for another again and we want to encourage that we’ve been seeing the holy spirit moving powerfully and if i’m really honest with you um it’s always a privilege to preach it really is but my heart is that people would meet with the holy spirit that people would be changed and so if you know today that you’re in a place where you’re saying i know that i need to come and come and meet and pray with someone else and be ministered to by the holy spirit that the greatest counsellor the one that has all power i think i encourage you to come down to the front now and i think for some people there’s a sense as well that you don’t even necessarily know what you’re walking down for but you you’ve that word of just a little bit of faith that’s kind of what you’re holding on to this morning so if that’s you can i encourage you to begin to come forward the prayer team are going to come out as well and there was a sense before the service as well that they’re going to be some people today that it’s just like you need to be you just need to be still it’s like you just need to come forward and be still before the lord and know that he is good and experience that peace that that hasn’t been present for a really long time i sense as well that there there’s a couple of people here that um you have felt so battered by the storm it wasn’t a storm you were going through but you were like a you’re almost like watching it happen and actually it’s really it’s it’s affected your relationship with god you know that’s you i’d love to pray for you as well this morning but the spirit of the lord is there is freedom and there are some here today i believe with every fiber of my being in a god that for nothing is impossible but there is some fear that’s entangled your life today he says no more and he wants to replace that fear for an awful fear of him if you’re um on team if you’re one of our group leaders love to pray it’d be great to have you praying the rest of us we’re gonna remain engaged the holy spirit is just as present in your seat there’s nothing particularly special about this but this is a sign of stepping into an obedience of wanting to say yes lord that’s me i think there’s a couple of people you’re going to stay where you are but you know that actually what all you need is just a little bit of faith if that’s you and you don’t have the confidence to come down here this this morning why don’t you just ask someone around you just to just to pray for that little bit of faith just in the same way that when i saw my friend and it raised my faith that someone might just raise your faith this morning the rest of us we’re going to worship
rn

Church Online | 22 August | St Peter\'s Brighton

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