Wayne S. Walker

“What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
(Matt. 8.27)

    INTRO.:  A song that is based on the story of where Jesus stilled
the wind and the sea is “Master, The Tempest Is Raging” (or “Peace, Be
Still,” #689 in “Hymns for Worship Revised”).  The text was written by
Miss Mary Ann Baker (1831-1881).  As a young woman she was taught to
believe in Christ and give Him a consecrated life, but after her father,
mother, and beloved brother all died from the same disease, she became
rebellious and decided that God did not care for her or her family.
However, as time passed, the tempest in what she called her unsanctified
heart began to be stilled, and she gradually came to realize that God is
always a loving Father, whether we are well or sick, rich or poor;
whether we succeed or fail, live or die.  A deeper and richer trust took
possession of her and transformed her from a rebellious woman to a loving
and obedient one.

      Soon after, she became active again in religious activities and in
1874 was asked to produce several songs to accompany Sunday school
lessons.  One of the subjects that was assigned to her was “Christ
Stilling the Tempest.”  At first hesitating to attempt an expression of
that scene’s majesty in an original poem, she found that her own
experiences of tragedy had taught her that Christ can still the troubled
heart like the troubled sea, so she concluded that the miracle of Jesus
had changed the frightened disciples as much as the elements of nature.
The tune was provided by Horatio Richmond Palmer (1834-1907).  The
well-known singing teacher, hymnwriter, and church musician who is most
famous for “Yield Not To Temptation,” published Miss Baker’s words with
his music in the 1874 “Songs of Love for the Bible School” in 1874.

     This hymn applies the account of Christ’s stilling the tempest to
our lives.

I. Stanza #1 points out that our lives are often like the tempest on the
 A. Sometimes we find that our lives are filled with raging like the
storms of Galilee: Mk. 4.35-37
 B. We may even be led to wonder if the Lord cares for us, but the Bible
certainly teaches that He does: 1 Pet. 5.7
 C. Yet, even though we know that the Lord cares, it may seem that each
moment so madly is threatening to send us to our grave; this is the kind
of situation that David called walking “through the valley of the shadow
of death”: Ps. 23.4.  Of course, even then David said, “I will fear no
evil, for Thou art with me.”

II. Stanza # points out that the reaction to these tempests is often fear
 A. In times of trial, we often feel overwhelmed with a sense of doom, as
did the disciples in the boat: Mk. 4.38
 B. Sometimes, like the waves which beat against their boat, torrents of
sin and of anguish sweep over our sinking souls: Ps. 69.1-4
 C. & it’s then that we cry out that we perish and ask the Master to
hasten that He might take control: Rom. 7.23-24.  And the answer given in
Rom. 7.25 is that Jesus Christ will save us

III. Stanza  #3 points out that our plea for salvation from Christ will
be heard
 A. Christ has promised that He is able to bring peace to troubled hearts
just as He calmed the storm on the sea: Mk. 4.39-41
 B. When Christ does come into our hearts and bring us this peace, our
prayer should be that He would linger with us and leave us again no more:
Eph. 3.17
 C. And with His help, we can have the blessed hope of joyfully making
the blest harbor and resting on the blissful shore, as described by John:
Rev. 22.1-5

CONCL.:  The chorus replays the scene of the tempest, along with Christ’s
comforting words, “Peace, Be Still.”  So, whenever we experience trials
and tribulations in life, we can call upon the Lord, saying, “Master, The
Tempest Is Raging.”

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