(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)

Matthew 5:5 – MEEK, NOT WEAK


Turn please to Psalm 37. I would also suggest you take out a pen. 

To many people a meek person has no “backbone”. To them a meek person let’s everybody run roughshod over them and stands up for nothing.

That, my friends, IS NOT what Jesus was referring to when he said, Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 

Jesus was meek, but certainly no pushover. Matthew 11:28-30, 21:5 

The word meek means to be “gentle”.   

According to John MacArthur, “Meekness is a gentleness and a mildness, and a subdued character, but it is no weakness. It is power under control.” John MacArthur, Kingdom Living Here and Now ( Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1980), p. 78 

In Jesus’ day the word “meek” was used to describe, a gentle breeze, a pleasant medicine or a colt that had been broken.

Warren Wiersbe, Live Like a King (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1976), p. 64-65 

A meek person can be very powerful, but very much in control. 

A meek person is capable of anger.

Jesus got angry at the right things at the right times.

Jesus got angry with hypocrisy.

Jesus got angry with dishonest people who bought and sold in the temple. Matthew 21:13 

But when Jesus was betrayed in the garden, He did not get angry.

When Jesus was falsely accused at His trials, He did not get angry.

When Jesus was nailed to the cross, He did not get angry.   

Instead Jesus prayed for those who persecuted Him. Luke 23:34, Isaiah 53:7 

As you know, Jesus had the power to fight against his enemies.

He could have come down of the cross.

He could have resisted the mistreatment he had received.

He had the power, as God, but didn’t use it.

That’s power under control     

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 

So how do we go about developing meekness in our lives?

First, we must realize that meekness is part of the Fruit of the Spirit.  As we allow God’s Holy Spirit to control us, we are allowing God to perfect the fruit of meekness. Galatians 5:22-23

It would also be nice if there was a passage of Scripture that would give us an idea of how to develop meekness in our lives.

Good news! There is! 

When the Lord Jesus talks about meekness, He is alluding to

Psalm 37:11 – But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 

Most of the Beatitudes were original.

However this beatitude was adapted from the verse that we just read. In the verses before Psalm 37:11, God shows us the qualities of a meek or gentle man or woman. 

The verbs, the action words, are the key to developing a meek spirit.  I suggest that you underline some of these as we speak.

I’ll suggest which ones to underline.     

FRET NOT – Vss. 1-2

Those words mean “don’t get heated up”.  Don’t get hot. Or as we may say, “be cool”. James Montgomery Boice, Psalms, An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1994), p. 41 

Getting agitated is what keeps us from being meek or gentle.

And evil people can get us agitated, especially when they do things against us or those we love. 

According to vs. 2, wicked people will quickly meet their end.

But it’s not only wicked people who get us worked up and out of sorts. 

People who are not evil get us worked up and out of sorts, when we shouldn’t allow them to do so.  Proverbs 3:30, 20:3 

Other things that cause us to get agitated, or hot, both on the inside and the outside are fear and worry. Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 6:25 


We fret because we do not trust the right person.

The one we should trust is the Lord! 

It begins with salvation.  Eternal life is a result of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. Romans 10:13

And if we can trust the Lord Jesus with our very lives, can’t we also trust him with the things that cause us to fret? 

Not only are we to trust, according to verse 3, but we are to do good   

Because I trust Him to take care of me, I can do what is good, and therefore do what is right. 

One good thing that I should do is not fret.

I don’t have to fret because I can trust that the Lord is taking care of things. 

Sometimes we fail to do what is good because we are afraid of criticism.  We are afraid of getting lambasted for doing what is right. 

When we trust the Lord for the strength and the help, we can do what’s right no matter what the consequences. 1 Peter 3:13-14 


Do you know something about many of the hunters I’ve met?

They delight in hunting. 

They think about hunting.

They talk about hunting.

They study hunting.

They spend money on hunting.

They take time to hunt and to participate in hunting related activities. 

We Christians are told to delight in the Lord.

We should delight in the Lord because He is creator.

We should delight in the Lord because He is our God.

We should delight in the Lord because He is our Savior.

We should delight in the Lord because we are His children.

We should delight in the Lord because we are citizens of Heaven. 

We Christians should learn something from hunters.

They think about hunting, we should think about the Lord.

They talk about hunting, we should talk about the Lord and to the Lord.

They study hunting, we should study God’s Word.

They spend money on hunting. We should spend money on the Lord’s work. 

They take time to hunt and to participate in hunting related activities.  We should take time with the Lord and in activities, such as church and Bible studies, that are related to the Lord. 

According to this verse, when we delight in the Lord, we will receive the desires of our heart.  When we have the desires of our heart, we will have every reason to be meek.  We won’t have anything to get hot about.  

Now for some truth in advertising.  If you delight yourself in the Lord, the desires of your heart will change.  The things that you want will please God.  And because the things that you want will please God, He will give them to you. 

COMMIT – Vs. 5

Instead of fretting we should be praying.

Instead of getting bent out of shape, we should be discussing the problem with God.

We tend to get upset and then pray.

Instead we should pray, and we will more unlikely to get upset. 1 Peter 5:7   


Rest here does not mean to stop working. It is to “be still”.

To me it means to simply relax in the understanding that God is in control and taking care of the problem.

I am not agitated.

I am not upset.

I am not hot.

I am not ready to bite someone’s head off.

I am simply at mental ease, gentle, waiting on God to work in His good time. 

And there are two last words to underline.


Anger is to be avoided.

Any wrath is to be forsaken.

You know what happens when an open bottle tips over.

When an open bottle tips over, out comes the contents.

When you are tipped over by circumstances or problems, what’s inside you will come out as well.

What will come out?

A hotheaded response?



Or gentleness or meekness?

Meekness is NOT weakness. It is power under control. 

(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)



We all face trials and troubles often.  It is what Cole Porter called “Stormy Weather” in a song that he wrote.  

There were a couple of times when the disciples faced storms on the Sea of Galilee.  

As we look at this story about literal storm, we also learn lessons about the figurative storms that cause trials and troubles in our lives.  Let’s see what lessons we can learn this morning about stormy weather. 


Vs. 23 – Think of the boat as our lives.

Although God is present everywhere, there is a special sense in which God is present in our lives.  When He indwells us, He has taken up special residence inside of us. John 14:16-17 

God the Holy Spirit dwells inside of the Christian.

He is there to guide us, protect us, keep us, teach us, and comfort us.

And God has promised the Christian that this presence is unending! Hebrews 13:5-6 

You have heard people say, and might have said yourself, “I wouldn’t want to face this problem without the Lord!”

How true!  If God is willing to take up residence in our lives through his Holy Spirit it would be dumb not to avail ourselves of His presence. 

When you trust Christ as your payment for sins, you are what the Bible calls, born again, by the Spirit of God.  And God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life. Romans 8:9    

If you have truly trusted Christ as your Savior, you have God’s presence in your life no matter what the storm may be.  Make sure that you have Christ in the boat that is your life!    


Vs. 23 – The Lord Jesus entered the boat.  The disciples followed Him into the boat. It was the Lord Jesus who decided where they were going. Luke 8:22 

The disciples ended up in a storm on the Sea of Galilee because they were following Jesus in obedience.

Of course, being obedient to God as a Christian and following Jesus’ leadership in our lives is the right thing to do. Luke 9:23-24 

Following Jesus after trusting Him for forgiveness does not mean that it will be an easy life.  In fact, we will have storms. 2 Timothy 3:12, James 1:2-4 

The storms that Jesus leads through will make us strong and mature.  And I’d rather follow Jesus in the middle of a storm than to not follow Jesus.  Being in the center of the Lord’s will is always the safest place to be. 

But you’ll also face storms if you’re not obedient to God. 

Would you rather face storms being in the center of God’s will, or out of God’s will? Which makes the most sense?   


Vs. 24 – I don’t have to tell you how dangerous storms can be.  Just consider last year’s tsunami and hurricanes Ivan and Rita.

This storm was a very violent storm, and even seasoned fishermen like Peter, Andrew, James, and John were having trouble with it. 

The storms of life which we face are also dangerous.

Sometimes we will be in physical danger because of persecution, accidents or illness.

Other times we are in emotional danger with our “storms” threatening to overwhelm us with fear and/or depression.

Other times we are in Spiritual danger, with Satan’s attacks challenging us to give up or to sin. 

And this verse alludes to another danger.  We might be concerned because in the midst of the storm God appears to be asleep.  He does not seem to be responding to our problems during the storm.  He seems to be silent. 

Our Lord Jesus was able to sleep because He had a human body that got tired.  He was also able to sleep because, being sinless, He had a clean conscience.  He was also able to sleep, because He quietly allowed Himself to rest in the hands of His loving Heavenly Father.

If you are doing what is right before the Lord, confessing your sins as a Christian, and striving to live for Him, don’t panic when God appears to be asleep. He’ll show Himself to be very much alive at just the right time. 


Vs. 25 – When storms come we tend to fear. And sometimes when storms come we will go into a panic.  The situation seems to be absolutely hopeless! 

Humans tend to be fearful.  If we didn’t tend to be fearful, God would not have put so many verses in the Bible telling us not to be afraid. I’ll just give you two samples, but there are many more “do not fear” verses in the Bible. Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 41:10 

We tend to fear and worry about what might happen but hasn’t happened.

We tend to fear and worry about the future.

We tend to fear and worry about the opinions of others.

We tend to fear and worry about our children, our parents, our spouses. 

Then comes the times our problems are so real to us that they tend to overwhelm us.  We hit the panic mode. 

Yes, many fears are justified.  But there is a proper way to handle fear.

These seasoned fishermen were literally in over their heads and they knew it, coming to Jesus in panic. 


Vs. 25 – The disciples awoke the Lord Jesus.

Their anxious prayer was an indication that they had come to the end of themselves, and that they had at least a little faith that Jesus could help. 

I personally think that they waited too long to ask Jesus for help.  The moment things got a little stormy, I think they should have come to Him. 

We are like that.  If things seem to be just a little stormy or troublesome, we’ll just worry over it and try to solve it ourselves, instead of bringing it to God right away.

But when problems get full blown, we come in a panic with a little, but not much faith that God can help. Philippians 4:6, James 1:5-8 

Vs. 26 – Note that Jesus did not rebuke the disciples for waking Him up.  Like I said, I feel that He would have welcomed being woken up sooner.    

Notice our Lord’s calm rebuke in the midst of the storm.

He was not in a panic. He’s totally under control.  He can even take the time to rebuke the disciples before He did anything.  He is master of the situation. 

Let’s remember when we give our stormy problems to God He is not in a panic.  He can solve the problem leisurely if He chooses to.  There is no reason to get in a dither or bent out of shape. 


Vs. 26 – Jesus said the word and there was perfect calm. It was like there had been no storm. There was no rocking of the waves that normally follow a storm. There was perfect peace. 

When Jesus speaks the Word there is perfect peace.

Sometimes the problem totally disappears, but more often than not the place where the greatest miracle has occurred is inside of us. 

We are at peace.

God has calmed the ragging in our souls. 

Vs. 27 – The disciples were absolutely amazed!  The Lord Jesus had done what they had never seen before.  A human being told the storm to cease and it did.  The winds obeyed Him! The waves obey Him. 

They had a new appreciation for the power of Jesus!

They had a new appreciation for the glory of Jesus!

And when Jesus calms our storms, we too, should have a new appreciation for the power and glory of the Lord Jesus.

We should be amazed!

We should be filled with praise and worship.

We should be ready to trust Him when an even bigger storm comes.