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Jesus stills the storm

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Chimezuo O. N. Nwankpa<br />

• Begone, unbelief, My Saviour is near
And for my relief will surely appear
By prayer let me wrestle, and He will perform
With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm.

• Why should I complain of want or distress
Temptation or pain, He told me no less
The heirs of salvation, I know from his word
Through much tribulation must follow their Lord.

• Since all that I meet shall work for my good
The bitter is sweet, the medicine food
Though painful at present, ‘twill cease before long
And then, O how pleasant the conqueror’s song. MHB 511

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THIS hymn was raised by John Newton, 1725-1807. MHB 511. Right from the beginning of Church’s history, all soldiers of faith in Christ Jesus have one experience or another and they all have their own side of the story to tell. But they did not allow their experience(s) to falter them; instead, they turned their stumbling block into a stepping-stone.

Our Saviour Jesus Christ was not spared either. He had same experience while on the cross amidst the two condemned criminals, hence He shouted Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabacthani (My God, my God why hast Thou forsaken me) Mark 15:34 KJV.

He knows what it means for one to be at such a stage in His life, where it looks as if everyone has forsaken you, especially when you needed them most.

The story of the writer of Methodist Hymn Book (MHB) No. 511 may not be a different one. The last line of stanza one of that hymn records goes thus: “With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm.”

In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus foresaw the need for crossing over to the other side of life (turning of a new page), but it is not always easy at this point.

Vs. 35b stated, “Let us cross over unto the other side”. This presents itself as a microcosm of this present life; the storms come (be it political, religious or ethnic) and it is only with Christ that we can make it to the other side of the shore.

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In verse 37, “And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full”. This shows that the storms of life are a respecter of no persons.

Let’s remember that Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world was in that ship, but the storm still hit the ship to the extent that it was now full of water. The storms of life must surely come.

When it does, whom do you run to? Jesus’ disciples tried all they could, humanly possible, but they couldn’t stop the storm (they all were professionals in their different fields, especially those from fishing profession, like Peter, Andrew, James and John. Their technical know-how failed them.

Verse 38b, “and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? They ran to Jesus.

Dear people of God, we are in the same boat with Jesus Christ, and we cannot perish because He, Jesus Christ cannot perish. But we must expect storms of opposition, for they are sure to come (Psalms 93).

Brethren, if there is a time we must call unto Jesus, it is now. We need Him now than ever in every aspect of our lives, family and in our nation. Total obedience to God settles it.

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It is only when we get fully involved in the business of the Father that He will be in full control and release the absolute peace we need.

Jesus Christ, not looking at the gravity of the storm, uttered a word that brought the real change they needed.

In the gospel as documented by Saint Mark 4:39 “And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still (the Greek intimates, ‘Silence! Hush!). And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” instantly.

His disciples’ doubt was cleared the more, hence they said, what manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him? The disciples were right! The wind and the sea did obey Him, and so does everything else.

So why should we fear? The Church of God in Nigeria is faced with diverse challenges in this our contemporary era, but it’s only in Christ Jesus that we will find an everlasting peace.

His Grace The Most Revd. Chimezuo O. N. Nwankpa, Archbishop of Uyo Archdiocese, Methodist Church Nigeria.

The Nations of the world, political and ethnic groups are not left out in these challenges of life.

In fact, human race is at a ‘confused junction,’ or cross road now, but it is only in Christ Jesus we will find everlasting peace that we need.

Nepotism, witch-hunting, pull-him-down syndrome, hates speech, political and religious biases cannot solve it; only Jesus Christ can.

Let us involve Him (Christ) fully, especially at this time in our Nation.

Everything that has name obeys the name of Jesus Christ. With Jesus Christ in the vessel, we will smile at the storm.

His Grace The Most Revd. Chimezuo O. N. Nwankpa, Archbishop of Uyo Archdiocese, Methodist Church Nigeria.


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