Storms You Can't Handle

(Adapted from a funeral message 5th February 2021)

Luke 8:22-25 “Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he {Jesus} went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! For he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.”

Four of Jesus’ disciples (Peter, Andrew, James and John) were seasoned fishermen on the Lake of Galilee. They had fished this lake all their lives and so had their fathers before them. This had been their life and their source of living before Jesus called them! They were familiar with the sudden squalls that would descend on the lake from the surrounding mountains and trusted their boat, their own skills, and the skills of their shipmates to get them safely home each morning!
This time was different, the storm came violently, filled the boat with water, and despite all their best efforts they knew they were in jeopardy and in danger of dying! They turned to their only hope, Jesus, and discovered that He had the answer!

In that way life is a lot like fishing. As we journey through life, we face good times and bad times, challenges, hurts, grief, bad choices, loss, disappointment, and heartache. We battle our way through, turn a corner, find the light at the end of the tunnel, the clouds clear and the sun shines again, or the turbulent times finally change to calmer seas.

BUT… then there are the times we encounter a storm like these disciples did… a storm like no other! A storm that we can’t handle!!!

That was Jane!!! She endured and conquered many things in her 47 years and always came out the other side!

But then came the cancer storm!!!

I first met Jane at the Manukau Super Clinic in Auckland when she was having treatment. She attended our church in Manurewa a few times before returning home. She went back to working on one of Sealord’s fishing boats! We communicated regularly by phone, text and messenger over the months and years to follow! She had many questions about God, church, heaven, and the Bible. She started looking for a church and we had some interesting conversations about some of the ones that she attended!

On the 29th of June 2020 Jane called me from Christchurch where she had gone for further treatment and told me that the doctor had said it was terminal!!! There was no more that they could do! At the most she might have six months to live!

This time the storm was different!!! She had no answer!!! I asked if a pastor friend of mine in Christchurch could come and see her. She agreed. On the 30th of June Pastor Sam shared with Jane the good news of eternal life through Jesus Christ. That day Jane believed in her heart and prayed and asked Jesus to be her Saviour!!!

In one of my many conversations with Jane she asked me to speak at her funeral. Particularly, she said, my “motley crew” need to hear the good news about Jesus Christ! She reminded me again a few weeks before her death that her “motley crew” needed to hear the good news!

Jane knew that her sins were forgiven, that she had eternal life, and that she was going to heaven when she died! She is right now in heaven and wants you, her family, friends, and yes, her “motley crew” to hear this good news!!!

At times like this we give much thought to life after death.
Who goes to heaven?
Am I going to heaven?
Can anyone be sure?


The Bible tells us we can KNOW:

1 John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

There are a few things that we need to know:

    John 3:16
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
    Romans 3:23
    “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
    Romans 6:23
    “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
    Romans 5:8
    “But God commendeth {proves} his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
    Romans 10:9-10, 13
    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”


Whatever the storm you are going through right now, Jesus cares and He can give you rest!!!

1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him: for he careth for you.”

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… ye shall find rest unto your souls.”