WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 19, 2021
TOPIC: STRUGGLING AGAINST THE WIND
BY T. O. BANSO
“He [Jesus] saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves” (Mark 6:48a New Living Translation).
Running against the wind could be strenuous and frustrating. Runners know that wind is a major factor in running. It could be an advantage or a disadvantage. If it’s a tailwind or the wind is behind them, it aids running; it improves their speed. But they experience what is called wind resistance when it is a headwind or the wind is blowing in their faces.
The faster a runner goes, the more wind resistance he faces, and the more energy he needs to push forward. In view of this, runners learn the strategies to deal with wind resistance, which could slow down running and affect performance negatively. It is said that when faced with wind, a runner requires more energy to run the race thus affecting the finishing time. In other words, they work harder. In fact, runners are advised to use windy conditions for training as it compels them to work harder to achieve a good finishing time. Wind resistance does not affect only running. It also has an impact on cycling and walking. Wind, generally, has effects on aircraft during flights.
Sometimes life could be windy. When the wind is blowing at your back, you are on top of the world. Everything is going on smoothly. Things are splendid. No bad news; no lack. Your desires are being met. Even when there are problems, they are solved as soon as you pray about them or, sometimes, even before you pray. You’re experiencing something that a runner experiences when the wind is aiding his running rather than blowing against him. At this time, your prayer and desire are “May this last forever.”
However, we do know that life is not a bed of roses. Even roses have thorns. You may be in an air-conditioned room and wish you remain there. You’re enjoying yourself. But if you’re just a visitor there or it’s your office, you must leave eventually and go out. You need the special help of God if it is a hot day and you don’t have an air-conditioner car to take you home.
God must help you even more if you have no car at all that would take you straight home and you have to board public transport with no air-conditioner. In addition, you have to still trek some distance home after you alight. People in poor countries experience a lot of this. It doesn’t matter how long you have stayed earlier in the air conditioner, few minutes under the sun would make you forget the comfort you have enjoyed.
Sometimes in life, we struggle against the wind. We have our destinations clearly set before us. We have our plans well laid out. We have a fair idea of when we should achieve our goals. Suddenly, the unexpected happens. There are hiccups. Sometimes they last longer than one thinks they will.
After finishing teaching the multitudes and miraculously feeding 5,000 men with five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus made his disciples get back into the boat and headed out across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. Jesus went up into the hills alone to pray (Mark 6:45-46). The disciples were having a smooth ride in their boat until they got to the middle of the lake.
Meanwhile, Jesus was alone praying and He saw that the disciples were in serious trouble. Many times troubles don’t rear their ugly heads until much later after you’ve started a journey, a business, a project, a relationship, etc. That’s the time when it may be too late for one to help oneself but requires another person’s help, more importantly, God’s help. The disciples were not just in serious trouble, but it happened in the night!
Verses 47-52 tell us the whole story, “During the night, the disciples were in their boat out in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning he came to them, walking on the water. He started to go past them, but when they saw him walking on the water, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost. They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘It’s all right,’ he said. ‘I am here! Don’t be afraid.’ Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were astonished at what they saw. They still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the multiplied loaves, for their hearts were hard and they did not believe” (New Living Translation).
Jesus’ disciples were in serious troubles trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. They were in dangerous condition. There was no means of communication to reach Him and tell Him their situation. Many people have died as a result of a boat mishap. In Acts 27, Paul and the other 275 passengers and crew onboard the ship taking him to Rome nearly died from a tempestuous headwind called Euroclydon. But they were shipwrecked on an island (verses 13-37).
Don’t forget Jesus told His disciples to proceed on the journey to Bethsaida. Despite that, they were in serious trouble. They were in the will of God yet they were in serious trouble. That tells us that even when one is on the King’s assignment one could be in serious trouble. The wind could blow contrary. As it happened to these disciples, the wind blew against them to endanger their lives and frustrate their journey.
Notice that this happened in the middle of the lake. As we say, they were in the middle of nowhere. Though there was no way of communicating with Jesus, He saw they were in trouble. How? He saw it in the spirit. Why? Because His eyes were always on them. God’s eyes are always on you, whether you know it or not. But is better you know it so that your mind can be at rest in Him.
David understood this; therefore, he said, “I lay down and slept. I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side” (Psalm 3:5-6 New Living Translation).
God is watching over you as you travel on the sea of life. He sees what is happening in the beginning, middle, and end of your journey. He sees you when you’re in serious troubles or challenges. He loves you and because of that, He will not allow you to be submerged in the sea of life. He is watching over you.
He told Moses, “Now go and call together all the leaders of Israel. Tell them, ‘The LORD, the God of your ancestors — the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — appeared to me in a burning bush. He said, ‘You can be sure that I am watching over you and have seen what is happening to you in Egypt’” (Exodus 3:16-17 New Living Translation).
Don’t forget this: “He [Jesus] saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves” (Mark 6:48a New Living Translation). You could be in such a situation now in your business, marriage, ministry, academic, career. You will not perish in this condition. The current trouble will not see your end. You will not only survive it, but God will also do a new thing for you. He will put a new song in your mouth (Psalm 40:3).
As I said in the introductory part of this message, you always require more energy and have to work harder when the wind is blowing in your face. Struggling against the wind and waves, as the disciples did, is not easy. It is exhausting; it could be frustrating. If that describes your situation now, don’t give up. Never, never, give up!
While the disciples were struggling, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves, they had no idea that their deliverance was on the way. They had no idea Jesus had seen their situation and help was on the way. Help is on the way for you too. Keep rowing and struggling against the wind and waves. You must never surrender to the wind and the waves. Keep rowing. God is coming for you. Hallelujah!
Jesus left where he was praying and at 3 o’clock in the morning, He came to His disciples, walking on the water. Jesus started to go past them, but when they saw Him walking on the water, they screamed in terror, thinking He was a ghost. They didn’t know it was Jesus. That aggravated their trouble. All of them were frightened when they saw Him. Jesus had to calm them down by assuring them He was the one. “‘It’s all right,’ he said. ‘I am here! Don’t be afraid” (verse 50 New Living Translation).
Seeing Jesus, they knew their deliverance had come at last. They knew an end had come to their trouble even if the wind and waves were still blowing against them. I believe so because earlier in Mark 5:35-41, when they were in a similar situation and Jesus was in the boat sleeping, they had woken Him up and He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” But this time, the Bible says Jesus climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. Just like that! He didn’t even command the wind and waves to stop. They stopped of their own accord! The Bible says the disciples were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure and marveled, for they didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the multiplied loaves, because their heart was hardened (Mark 6:51-52).
If you’re currently in trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves, invite Jesus into the boat of your life, home, marriage, business, and so on today. It’s not possible for the wind and waves to continue to blow against you when Jesus is in your boat. If they try to seek attention and blow, you should not be terrified You have His authority to command them to cease and they shall cease in the name of Jesus Christ, the name that is above every other name.
If you’re not in any trouble and not rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves, don’t wait until you find yourself in such a situation before you acknowledge that you need Jesus in your boat. Invite Him today. Jesus will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He will be with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). You are not alone.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I command the wind and waves blowing against my life, home, business, ministry, career, etc. to slow me down or wreck me to cease in Jesus’ name. Lord Jesus, I surrender my life to you and invite you into my boat today. I receive divine strength to keep rowing and struggling against the wind and waves until my help comes from above. I shall not be tired or weary in Jesus’ name as I await my deliverance.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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