“Your heart is not the compass Jesus saileth by”


By Decherd Stevens

Reprinted from: The Banner of Truth Magazine

November 2019 issue


“In all our fluctuations of feeling, we do well to remember that Jesus admits no change in His affections … your heart is not the compass Jesus saileth by.”

~ Samuel Rutherford


Scripture reading: Matthew 8:23-27


Several of the disciples of Jesus were fishermen. No doubt they had spent many a day and night on the Sea of Galilee and, therefore, when Christ bid them to cross over to the other side, it was hardly a matter of concern. Perhaps they had made a similar trip numerous times before. Even when the storm first broke upon them, there was probably very little anxiety, if any at all. They had seen storms before and were quite experienced at sailing in rough waters. Ah, but they had never seen a storm like this one — so sudden, so violent, so beyond their abilities to handle, and so specifically ordained by God to teach them how utterly dependent they were upon the Lord, even for their next breath.

Now, perhaps we have never been caught out in a small boat when a dangerous storm suddenly struck without warning, such that we feared we would soon die. But the words of Samuel Rutherford remind us that sometimes there are storms of another kind that can bring about a sudden and violent change in our own experience. How easily the waters of our lives can be stirred up into a tumult, resulting in feelings of anxiety, or fear, or sorrow, or pain. At such times we, like the disciples, may cry out, “Lord, we cannot take any more. Save us! We are perishing.” Dear reader, if you have recently experienced the waves and the wind of affliction, if you are in the storm now, know that there is real and lasting comfort to be found in the truths set before us this day. Yes, our feelings fluctuate with the wind, but remember Jesus admits no change in his affections. He, according to the inspired writer, “is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is the Lord. He changes not! He knows best how to accomplish his purposes in our lives. And the compass with which he charts his course is not our ever-changing emotions, but his sovereign, unchangeable will.

Let us learn then the valuable lesson, that the storms of life that so easily disturb and trouble our hearts are all guided by the hand of one who is too wise to make a mistake, and too loving to allow anything that would work contrary to his eternal purpose of making us more like Jesus. We are so prone to wander into the wilderness of self-sufficiency that he must often remind us that we can do nothing without him. When the waves rise and the winds blow, do not be anxious and do not be fearful, but cast yourselves upon the arm of the all-powerful King Jesus and savour the wisdom that forces you to draw close to his side. There is much peace to be found in depending wholly upon him for all that you need, both now and for eternity.