December 10, 2009

Focus on Jesus

Matthew 8:23-27

But Jesus was sleeping.
Matthew 8:24


The world has been rocked by failed banks because of bad investments in real estate. Personal safes are being installed in homes at a record pace. People are losing their jobs, and new ones are few on the horizon. The government has bailed out companies that range from automakers to insurance giants.

Storms can either rob us of perspective or help us focus on the one thing we need. Caught in a storm, the disciples lost perspective and forgot to focus on Jesus. Don’t we all sometimes do that in dire straits?

When life is calm, we see all kinds of possibilities. A young family buys a new home because the job seems secure. A retired couple makes plans for travel and for enjoying their grandchildren. But then “suddenly …”The disciples were taking a trip with Jesus when “suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake.” The boat was pummeled by high winds and waves, and all the calm and control of the seasoned fishermen went overboard. How long did it take for them to notice Jesus? They focused on the storm, not the Master who had control of things even when he was sleeping in the boat.

When we take our eyes off Jesus, the storms of life will easily overtake us. Jesus calms the storms not just for our immediate benefit but to teach us to trust him in all things. Can you trust him in the storms of your life?

Father, when storms surround me—and often they do—help me to focus on Jesus, who has all power in his hands. Teach me to trust him in all situations. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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