Religion within the Storm – Your Day by day Bible Verse

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Faith needed in the storm
By: Betsy St. Amant Haddox

And he said to them, Why are you afraid, little faith? Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. And the men were amazed and said, "What kind of man is it that even the wind and the sea obey him?" And when he got to the other side, in the land of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men who came out of the graves hit him so violently that nobody could pass this way. – Matthew 8: 26-28 (ESV)

One thing I often forget when reading the Bible is that the chapter and section breaks were not originally there. It is common for people to see these various interruptions in reading the word as a "stopping point" and come back to it later as if the next section was a completely different story. But many treasures can be mined if we look at larger parts before and after these breaks and use the right context.

Such an example can be found in Matthew 8. Verses 23-27 of this chapter are referred to in many translations as “Jesus calms a storm”. Verse 28 takes up a "new" story entitled "Jesus heals two men with demons". However, if you read these verses as a continuous report, you may see something crucial.

When Jesus got on the boat with the disciples, he interacted with a large crowd in which there were many healings, along with the interaction with the writer who was reluctant to follow Christ.

Jesus was tired. It had been a long day. When he got into the boat, he went to sleep.

Queue storm.

Now Matthew uses a word for storm that far surpasses a gentle summer rain shower. Comments go so far as to say that even an "angry storm" is not a true representation. The Greek translation comes to "Megas Seismos", which can be translated literally to "Megas – extraordinarily large, tall, tall, loud, powerful, strong" and "Seismos – earthquake".

It was not a good time to be in a boat. Understandably, the disciples were concerned. And yet Jesus asked why they were afraid! He blamed the storm, calmed the lake, and reminded the disciples of their lack of faith.

Most people stop reading here and call it a day. But keep reading a verse and you will see that Jesus and the disciples were approaching the land of Gadarenes (verse 28) where two demon-possessed men met them when they moored the boat. Men so violent that no one could go past them. Men who are possessed not only by one or two demons, but by an entire legion.

It cannot be overlooked that this incredibly violent storm that came "out of nowhere" on this lake was linked to the spiritual conditions that they wanted to discover on Gadarenes.

Now we see how these two stories and section changes combine and offer additional uses in terms of spiritual warfare and spiritual strength. Jesus called the disciples "you little faith". He knew what they came across. He knew why the storm had come. And he also knew there was no need to worry.

Just as he calmed the storm on the lake, he calmed the storm in these men. He didn't even have to drive out the demons – his presence moved them to where the demons asked permission to enter a nearby herd of pigs instead. They knew that they had no rights in the presence of the Son of God. Jesus granted their request and they left the men. You were free. Healed, finally with a clear mind and a breathing testimony to the glory of God.

Sometimes, like the disciples, we need what we learned during the violent storm for what comes on the other side. There are lessons to learn, to expand faith, and to witness miracles. We need confidence in the storm, but we also need it afterwards. There is always the greatest potential for revival, victory and healing here.

As scary as they are, the storms have a purpose. So don't be afraid. The one who controls the wind and the waves and has the power to cast out entire legions of demons is the one who died for you, knows the hair on your head and thinks you are far more valuable than sparrows. Trust! This storm will pass – and there is a lot to take to the other side.

Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of more than fifteen inspiring romance novels and novels. She lives in northern Louisiana with her husband, two completely opposite young daughters, a huge collection of novels and an impressive stock of pickle chips. Betsy has a B.A. in communication and a deeply rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. If she doesn't sweat at Camp Gladiator or tries to prove that unicorns are real, Betsy is usually found somewhere near a white chocolate mocha. Look for her latest novel with Revell titled The Key To Love that will be released in October 2020. Visit her at http://www.betsystamant.com.


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