When “Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side,” did He know there was a storm brewing? Yes. So why did He send them into the middle of it? To learn, to grow, and to stretch their faith. The Bible tells us, “Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him…they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost’ they said…But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid!’” (vv. 25-27 NIV). There are three important lessons here: (1) Serving the Lord doesn’t exempt you from life’s storms, but it protects you when you’re in them. Jesus promised, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). (2) What you perceive as another problem heading your way may be the Lord coming your way. The disciples thought Jesus was a ghost, when in reality He was their deliverer. (3) Jesus may not show up when you want Him to, but He will always show up on time. The disciples had been in the storm for hours before Jesus appeared. And when He appeared, He said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Notice that before Jesus dealt with what was troubling them on the outside, He calmed them down on the inside. That’s how He works. First He changes us—then He changes our circumstances. As a result, we grow in faith and end up better equipped to handle the next storm that blows into our lives.