Facing the Unexpected 

Jesus had just healed many people and the disciples had witnessed these events. Afterwards, they got in a boat and SUDDENLY a storm came up and they woke Jesus up because they were frightened. But Jesus was right there with them!! After all the miracles they witnessed, they were worried about the storm! Jesus rebuked the storm. Again, SUDDENLY, while Jesus was in their presence or they were in His, everything calmed. 

 After Peter denied Jesus three times, before his crucifixion, SUDDENLY, he remembered the prophecy spoken over him and he was convicted. But Jesus had already forgiven him.

When the news of Jesus birth was being announced to the shepherds, an angel SUDDENLY appeared, but the angel reassured them that everything was okay.

After Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to two of the disciples on the road to Emmaeus. Even not knowing who he was, they begged him to stay with them and he accepted. When he broke the bread, SUDDENLY, they recognized him. Later, Jesus SUDDENLY appeared to the disciples and frightened them, he offered them the comfort of the Holy Spirit. 

In another story on the lake, the disciples SUDDENLY saw Jesus walking on the water, and they were frightened. He told them to have peace and remain calm.

When Saul (later Paul) was on the road to Damascus, he SUDDENLY saw a light so bright it knocked him to the ground and a voice spoke to him. That voice was Jesus, who asked him to quit persecuting him. Saul was blinded by the light, but was at peace and still walked the rest of the way with guidance. Jesus was with him in spirit! His sight was returned when he believed.

After Paul survived the shipwreck, he came to an island and built a fire. A poisonous snake bit him and the islanders expected him to SUDDENLY die. When he didn’t, they thought he was a god, but he actually had Jesus with him, protecting him. 
In each of these stories, people were frightened. Sometimes it was those who already believed and some were non-believers, but Jesus was ALWAYS PRESENT during the SUDDENLY times, which interpreted from the Greek, means the UNEXPECTED TIMES. What unexpected things have happened in your life lately that have thrown a wrench in your plans or may have frightened you? Has it been financial, your health, a legal dispute, or a family situation? Or perhaps it’s been all of them and more. Just because they’ve happened, doesn’t mean that Jesus is not right there beside us. When we forget to recognize Jesus and rely on him, we let our fears and emotions overtake us. 

Personally, we’ve had many trials in our lives this year in each of the areas I mentioned and multiple times in many scenarios. Thankfully, we’ve had the wisdom to hold onto ktnowing that none of this means God doesn’t love and care for us. It doesn’t mean he has forgotten us and because of all these calamities, we’ve grown. 

Hopefully we can say after having endured, what Paul told the Corinthians, May Jesus give us Paul’s outlook and viewpoint as we press forward. Holy Spirit, work this heart in us, during the unexpected and sudden trials. 

2 Corinthians 6:3-10 (excerpt) We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry… we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind… endured sleepless nights … We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten [with words]… Our hearts ache, but we always have joy… we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.