A Storm and a Story of a Saying Faith

Title: A Storm and a Story of a Saying Faith

Bible Book: Psalms 107 : 23-32

Author: David E. Owen

Subject: Faith



It has been on my heart in these services to preach about some of the storms that we find in God’s Word. And as we study some of these various situations in the scripture that involve storms, we’re calling our series “Storm Stories.” Specifically, we’re magnifying the concept of faith as it relates to the storms that we go through. So basically, we’re dealing with “How Faith Works in Foul Weather,” or if you prefer … “Trusting Christ in Tempestuous Conditions.”

On Sunday morning, we talked about “A Storm And A Story Of A Saving Faith” from the great flood of Noah’s day. As we studied the account of Noah we were reminded that even in the midst of a storm that was a direct result of sin, even as the clouds of condemnation rolled in on his world, Noah was very literally saved “by grace through faith.”

On Sunday night, we looked at Mark chapter 4, and we dealt with “A Storm And A Story Of A Scarce Faith.” After Jesus had subdued a storm that had brought a great deal of dread and doubt into the hearts of his disciples, in verse 40 of Mark 4, He said to them, “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” Their faith was nearly non-existent as a result of the storm that they were going through. But we were reminded that even in the midst of the storm, we need not lose faith, because the Lord Jesus is Master of wind and waves. A strong faith in His ability is better than a scarce faith in our adversity.

On Monday night our study was in Mark 6:35-41, and we dealt with “A Storm And A Story Of A Struggling Faith.” It became evident that Jesus’ disciples were struggling in their experience of faith because of yet another storm that had caught them in its grasp. But we learned that because of Jesus’ awareness in our storms and because of Jesus’ authority in our storms and because of Jesus’ assistance in our storms, we can have a steady faith as opposed to a struggling faith.

Last night we gleaned from Paul’s storm and faith experience in Acts chapter 27. In this chapter, Paul, who had been a prisoner for two years already, found himself in the custody of a centurion named Julius, and along with Paul’s companions Dr. Luke and Aristarchus, they are on board a ship headed towards Italy. But along the way (wouldn’t you know it?) they encounter some stormy weather. As we saw last night, it seemed at times that they would not survive and that this storm would never end and that Paul would never reach his destination. But through it all, Paul seems to have exhibited a faith that sustained him through the ordeal of being a prisoner and through the ordeal of going through several weeks of stormy weather. In fact, in the midst of their darkest hour, Paul rose up and said clearly and confidently in verse 25, “I believe God.” Our subject last night then was “A Storm And A Story Of A Sustaining Faith.”

Tonight, as your Bibles are open to Psalm 107, let me just mention that Psalm 107 begins the fifth and final division in what J. Sidlow Baxter called the “poetic Pentateuch,” or the five divisions and books of the Psalms. This particular Psalm portrays humanity against various backdrops of hardship, which, according to Charles Spurgeon, “were intended to describe spiritual conditions.” Like a single object that has been photographed from several different angles, the psalmist shows the story of the redeemed through four illustrative word pictures.

In verses 4 thru 9, we find The Sojourners

In verses 10 thru 16, we find The Slaves

In verses 17 thru 22, we find The Sick Ones

Then, in verses 23 thru 32, we find The Sailors

Suffering and adversity is presented in a fourfold emphasis here. And as I thought about these four cycles of adversity, I thought about the storm season of 2004 and the four big storms that hit Florida.

When weather historians, and the media, and even regular folks look back on the 2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season, one thing will clearly appear in their minds: The Gang of Four; the four major hurricanes that ravaged a good bit of the Florida Peninsula. And, this wasn’t just over the course of the entire season, but during a period of about 45 days. From the middle of August until the end of September 2004, these four storms: Charley, Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan hammered Florida.

The death toll and damage caused by these storms was quite extraordinary. The numbers are staggering: $42 billion in damages, more than 25,000 homes destroyed and another 40,000 seriously damaged, nearly 1.2 million applications for disaster assistance and almost $3 billion in approved state and federal aid. The killer storms took the lives of more than 100 people in Florida alone. Hurricane Jeanne was already responsible for some 3,000 deaths in Haiti because of the mudslides and flooding that occurred as a result of the storm. The last time one state took such a beating was in 1886, when Texas was hit by four hurricanes.

I’ve always heard that adversity comes in “threes,” but maybe it comes in “fours.” In any event, the Psalmist used four word pictures to present Distress and Desperation and Deliverance. And there are certain elements in this chapter that are repeated through all four of these word pictures.

1. We repeatedly notice The Consistency Of Woe in the Psalm

In verses 4 and 5, These Sojourners Are In The Desert

In verses 10 thru 12, These Slaves Are In Darkness

In verses 17 and 18, These Sick Ones Are Dying

In verses 23 thru 27, These Sailors Are In The Deep

2. We repeatedly notice The Cry Of Wailing in the Psalm Psalm 107:6,13,19,28

3. We repeatedly notice The Compassion Of God As He Makes A Way in the Psalm

He Brings Them Out Of The Distresses Of The Desert vs. 6-7

He Brings Them Out Of The Distresses Of The Darkness vs. 13-14

He Brings Them Out Of The Distresses Of Destruction vs. 19-20

He Brings Them Out Of The Distresses Of The Deep vs. 28-30

I’m interested in the fact tonight that in verse 3, the Psalmist tells the redeemed, those of us who have been liberated and delivered and helped by God to “say so.” He wants us to brag on what God has done for us. In fact, another repeated element in this Psalm is The Call to Worship. At the conclusion of each depiction of deliverance in this psalm, we find these words: Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

(Psalm 107:8,15,21,31).

He goes a step further in verse 32 and says…

(Psalms 107:32) Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

With this in mind, I want to speak for just a few minutes on “A Storm And A Story Of A Saying Faith.”

Our storm story is actually found in verses 23 thru 32 of this chapter, and in it…

I. We Notice Our Travels vs. 23-24

A. There Is The Mention Of Our Sailing

(Psalms 107:23) They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;

Life is a voyage. (D. J. Burrell from The Biblical Illustrator)

1. Our Voyage Through Everyday Life

Like the sea itself, life has an ebb and flow. There is a constancy of movement and change. There is the coming in and going out of the waves. There is a mystery in the sea and in life; an element of the unknown.

2. Our Voyage Through Employed Life

business – Hebrew 4399. mela'kah, deputyship, i.e. ministry; employment or work; also property (as the result of labor):-- occupation, (manner of) work.

B. There Is The Mention Of Our Seeing

(Psalms 107:24) These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.

1. We See His Works - His Activity

works – Hebrew 4639. ma'aseh, an action (good or bad); generally it means a transaction; abstractly it suggests activity; by implication it indicates a product (specifically a poem) – business, deed, labour, thing made, occupation, operation.

2. We See His Wonders - His Accomplishments

wonders – Hebrew 6381. pala', paw-law'; to separate, i.e. distinguish; by implication it means to be great, difficult, wonderful – hard things, hidden things, things too high, (be, do, do a, shew) marvelous (things, work), miracles, perform, separate, make singular, (be, great, make) wonderful, wondrous (things, works).

deep – deep place (of water or mud) – bottom, deep, depth.

II. We Notice Our Troubles vs. 25-27

trouble (vs. 26) – Hebrew 7451. ra', bad or (as noun) evil (naturally or morally) – adversity, affliction, bad, calamity.

A. There Is The Vexing Power Of Trouble

(Psalms 107:25-26) For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. {26} They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.

1. We See The Commander Of The Storm

(Psalms 107:25) For he commandeth, (to say) and raiseth (to stand) the stormy (literally means the hurricane) wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.

The same One who can say to the wind and waves, “Peace, be still,” can also say to the hurricane, “Rise up and march.”

(Nahum 1:3) The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

2. We See The Course Of The Storm

(Psalms 107:26) They mount up (ascend) to the heaven, they go down (descend) again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.

From the ascending to the abyss (the depths)

melted – Hebrew 4127. muwg, to melt, i.e. literally (to soften, flow down, disappear), or figuratively (to fear, faint) – to consume, dissolve, (be) faint (-hearted), melt (away), make soft.

B. There Is The Vivid Picture Of Trouble

1. We Have The Picture Of A Drunken Man

(Psalms 107:27) They reel to and fro (to move in a circle), and stagger (to waver) like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.

reel – Hebrew 2287. chagag, means to move in a circle.

2. We Have The Picture Of A Desperate Man

(Psalms 107:27) They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.

“at their wit’s end” – all their wisdom swallowed itself up (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary)

To come to the end of your wisdom and understanding

III. We Notice Our Transition vs. 28-32

A. There Is A Cry For Help vs. 28

(Psalms 107:28-29) Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble (tight place), and he bringeth them out of their distresses. {29} He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still (hushed).

1. The Distress Is Apparent

(Psalms 107:28) Then they cry (to shriek) unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

2. The Departure Is Appreciated

(Psalms 107:28) Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

B. There Is A Calm From Heaven vs. 29

(Psalms 107:30) Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

1. The Text Mentions The Passing Storm they be quiet (to subside)

2. The Text Mentions The Peaceful Shore bringeth them unto their desired haven (harbor)


William Cowper was a poet and hymn writer who lived from 1731-1800 in England. Cowper suffered fits of melancholy and frequent attacks of spiritual despair and depression that led to at least two suicide attempts. On one occasion during a time of deep despair and a dark night of the soul, on a foggy London night, he called for a horse drawn cab to carry him to the Thames River, and his intention was to jump into to river and end his life.

The story goes that along the way, the fog became so thick that it prevented the driver from finding the river. After driving around for a good while in that thick fog, the driver determined that they were lost so he eventually just stopped and let Cowper out. To Cowper’s surprise, he found himself on his own doorstep. God seemed to send the fog in mercy to keep him from killing himself. Reportedly, he went inside, sat down and penned these words to what some believe was the last hymn that he wrote…

God moves in a mysterious way

His wonders to perform;

He plants His footsteps in the sea

And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never failing skill

He treasures up His bright designs

And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;

The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy and shall break

In blessings on your head.

This was William Cowper’s storm story. This week, we have looked at Noah’s storm story, Paul’s storm story, the Psalmist’s storm story, and two storm stories from the experience of the disciples. I suspect tonight that every person in the building has their own storm story, and I wonder if tonight a few folks would come as an expression of “saying faith” and share your storm story of how God has helped or is helping you through one of life’s storms?

Posted in


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top