"No Pain. No Gain!"
A common saying in life is, “No Pain. No Gain!” There is a lot of truth in this statement. Generally speaking, the harder that you work at something, the better you will get at whatever skill you are trying to develop. This concept applies in sports, academics and many other areas of life. If you want to achieve a goal, you need to buckle down and work hard to achieve it! If you want to get good grades, you may have to apply yourself to your studies. If you want to get better at your job, you may have to work at it! No pain, no gain!
But, there are some aspects of life where this saying may not apply as well. When a family member is going through a personal crisis. When you have a friend facing cancer. When you are in a broken relationship, “trying harder” may still not offer any relief.
In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 6, Jesus sends his disciples ahead on a boat while he goes off to pray. That night the disciples run into a storm. As they struggled alone through the storm, they probably may not have been very receptive to someone yelling, “No pain, no gain!” It wouldn’t have helped. But here is what did help. Jesus came to them in the middle of the storm, walking on the water! “Jesus said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Jesus got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded!” (Mark 6:50-51)
Jesus didn’t just say, “Try harder!” (no pain, no gain), He came to them in their storm and he encouraged them with his presence and with his power as he calmed the storm!
The Good News is that Jesus is with you in the storms of your life TODAY. Jesus has already calmed the greatest storm of your life, by taking the burden of your sin that leads to death. Jesus’ death on the cross and His victorious resurrection demonstrated His power over any storm that the Devil could bring! What storm are you facing today? How is Jesus using this experience to benefit you? God uses the experiences of hardships to strengthen our faith. You have a loving God who sent His Son Jesus to rescue you. Jesus has the power to calm that storm. Jesus comes to you in the midst of your storm with His love and power and says to you, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid!”
Trusting in Jesus,
Pastor Steve Maske