Right in the Middle of the Storm -- By Rob Chaffart
Luke 1:31 "You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus."  NIV
Let's thing for a moment about when Jesus came to our planet.  Was it during a time of prosperity in Israel or at a time when the Israelites where enjoying their country?
Not at all.  He came at a time when foreign oppression (the Roman Empire) reigned in Israel, suffocating individuality and freedom.  Many tried to overthrow the Roman oppression, but with no success.  Jesus came in the middle of the storm of oppression in Israel! 
This is the Christmas message I want to share with you: Where is Jesus when we are in the middle of a storm?  He is right there at our side!
This message is best illustrated by Mat 14: 22-33.
While Jesus was praying (Matt 14:23 "And after He had dismissed the multitudes, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray.  When it was evening, He was still there alone."  AMP), Peter and the disciples were facing a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Waves as tall as 10 feet were very common on that lake, thanks to the Northern valley acting as a wind tunnel and compressing squalls on that lake. Matt 14:24 "But the boat was by this time out on the sea, many furlongs [a furlong is one-eighth of a mile] distant from the land, beaten and tossed by the waves, for the wind was against them."  AMP
Jesus must have seemed far from the disciples as they were fighting the elements.  All they could remember of Jesus is that He had let them go alone on this furious lake while He enjoyed a peaceful time of prayer. 
Matt 14:25 "And in the fourth watch [between 3:00--6:00 a.m.] of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea."  AMP  Wet by the water splashing on His face, Jesus said: Matt 14:27 "Take courage!  I AM!  Stop being afraid!"  AMP
If you translate this text literally from the Greek, it says "I Am".  Isn't that strange?  He doesn't say: "I am here" or "It is I", His words are "Take courage!  I AM!  Stop being afraid!"  These words were very familiar to the Israelites, for this is the name God gave when Moses asked Him for a name: Ex 3:14 "And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM" AMP.
Jesus is not an ordinary person, He is the "I AM".  He could declare boldly John 8:58: "I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I AM."  AMP
We never can be I ams.  We change all the time.  What interests us now, will be of no interest to us in the near future.  We are emotional beings who often despair when facing huge storms.  However Jesus is the "I AM".  He is unchangeable.  Storms do not scare Him.  Why not?  Because He is the "I AM". 
He often used the words "I AM" in His speech.  Read on:
John 6:48 "I am the Bread of Life." AMP
John 8:12 "I am the Light of the world."  AMP
John 10:9 "I am the Door." AMP
John 10:11 "I am the Good Shepherd."  AMP
John 10:36 "I am the Son of God." AMP
John 11:25 "I am the Resurrection and the Life."  AMP
John 14:6 "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life." AMP
John 15:1 "I AM the True Vine." AMP
Why?  Because -- Heb 13:8: "Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages)." AMP
If Jesus was caring during His ministry on this planet, He is still caring now.  If He was healing people 2000 years ago, He is still healing them now.  If He was there for His disciples when they were in the middle of a storm, He will still be there in the middle of your storm as well.  Why?  Because He is the "I AM".
We often refer ourselves to "I was" so and so, and we often wish "I will be" so and so.  Jesus, however, never was and never will be.  He is the "I AM" and this is why no storm can phase Him.
In the middle of the storm Jesus proclaims "I AM'.  No matter which storm you are (persecution, prison, ridicule, financial...) Jesus is still the "I AM".
The way Mat 14: 22-33 is written supports that idea as well. The story consists of two parts, each of  6 verses long.  The first verses (22-27) center on Jesus walking on the water.  The second part (verses 28-33) centers on Peter's walk on the waters.  Two parts, each consisting of 6 verses.  Each set of verses containing exactly 90 Greek words, and in the middle of those two parts is Jesus declaration: "I AM".
If you read the Bible you will discover that from Genesis to Revelation, God is in the middle of our storms. 
It is no wonder that Peter could walk on the lake as long as he kept his eyes on the "I AM'.  But as soon as he paid more attention to his circumstances -- as soon as he began to rely on himself as "he was" or "he will be" -- he started to sink.  Only with the "I AM' on our side can we face our storms boldly.
This is the Christmas message portrayed in the Gospels.  Jesus is right in the middle of our storms.  He cares for us so much that He came to this earth to lead the way to salvation.  He is the "I AM'.  With Him at our side we have nothing to fear.  Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus.

In His love,

Rob Chaffart

Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org