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October 9 Today’s Reading: Mark 6
“It is I; be not afraid.
The Lord’s disciples were in the midst of a terrible storm, in the middle of a dark, dark night. They were toiling hard with trouble; but everything appeared to be contrary to them. In those circumstances, our all-glorious, ever-gracious Savior came to His troubled friends, walking upon the sea that caused them so much trouble. As He approached their little, storm tossed boat, He said, “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” Then, “He went up unto them into the ship, and the wind ceased” (Mark 6:45-51).
This is written in the Book of God for you and me, “that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). When the Lord Jesus graciously steps into our storm-tossed lives, He causes the winds that appear to be so contrary to us today to be calm.
Sent into the Storm
Remember, it was the Lord Jesus who sent His friends into the storm, who sent them away from Himself (Mark 6:45-46). He seems to have done so specifically that He might come to them when they desperately needed Him, speak these words to them, and make Himself known to them in a way that was not otherwise possible. Surely, that is the case with us in all the storms into which He sends us. Listen, then, to the voice of our tender, omnipotent Savior in the midst of every storm. ― “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.”
“It is I”
“It is I” who raised the tempest in your soul, and will control it. ― “It is I” who sent your affliction, and will be with you in it. ― “It is I” who kindled the furnace, and will watch the flames, and bring you through it. ― “It is I” who formed your burden, who carved your cross, and who will strengthen you to bear it. ― “It is I” who mixed your cup of grief, and will enable you to drink it with meek submission to your Father's will. ― “It is I” who took from you your strength and health, your peace and tranquility. ― “It is I” who made the light darkness about you and raised the contrary winds. ― “It is I” who have done all these things, not against you, but for you, not to hurt you, but to do you good.
I make the clouds my chariot, and clothe myself with the tempest as with a garment. The night hour is My time of coming to you. The dark, surging waves and billows are the pavement upon which I walk. Take courage! ― “It is I”. Don’t be afraid. ― “It is I,” your Friend, your Brother, your God, your Savior! I am causing all the circumstances of your life to work together for your good. ― “It is I” who brought the storm that assails you. Your affliction did not spring out of the ground, but came down from above — a heaven sent blessing disguised as an angel of light clad in a robe of darkness.
Every trial, every affliction, every storm is Divinely ordered by our heavenly Father for our everlasting good. We need often to be reminded that, as Cowper put it…
“God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.
He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.”
Deep, in unfathomable mines of never failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs, and works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take, the clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and will break in blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace.
Behind the frowning providence He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour.
The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower!”
He who loves us with an everlasting love sends every storm in love for our souls, not in anger. Be assured, it is “that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” ― “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” (John 11:4, 40) The trial will not be forever. It will not always cast you down. ― “It is I” who ordered, arranged, and controls it. In every stormy wind, in every dark night, in every lonely hour, in every rising fear, may God the Holy Spirit give us grace to hear our Savior’s voice, saying to us, “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.”