Mark 4:35-41 “He said to His disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'”
The disciples were unable to navigate in the storm. Waves poured into the boat. Water came in faster than they could bail it out. They were helpless to stop the increasing water. Before long the boat would sink. To sink in this storm, was to drown.
Back at the stern, Jesus lay sound asleep on a comfortable cushion. How could He remain so uninvolved? Was He unaware of the crisis? Maybe He just did not care.
Which of these would have been the greater fear for His disciples: “We’re going to drown!” or “Jesus doesn’t care about us!”? Neither were true.
Moments later came a radical change. They heard Him speak out a command to the storm, “Peace! Be still!” The next thing they knew, the wind ceased and a great calm settled upon the surface of the water.
This awesomely powerful Man onboard turned His face to them, “How can it be that you have no faith in Me? Are you still unable to firmly trust?”
He wanted them to be unafraid and trust Him even in life-threatening situations. The disciples found this difficult. For them, the Gospel Story was still unfolding day by day. They didn’t have the whole picture. They were right in the midst of Jesus making history.
So far, they had only witnessed a small part of what Jesus would eventually do. They did not know where things were going or how it would all work out.
Yet Jesus expected their complete trust. What does He expect of us? We do have the whole story, from beginning to end, told and retold from four different perspectives; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We know these historical accounts of what Jesus said and what He did. We also know our personal stories, our family’s stories and our friends’ stories of Jesus faithfully bringing peace in the midst of trouble.
To add to it all, we have His Holy Spirit living within us confirming to us that He is trustworthy. He’s been trustworthy in the past. He is trustworthy now. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
When we dedicate ourselves to living for Jesus in the midst of a community which knows nothing about Him, we encounter times of trouble. Troubles take many forms. Some hit like loud, terrible storms – you, your team and disciples are threatened by violent persecution. Others creep in quietly – negative thoughts that keep coming to your mind, “These people will never come to Jesus. I am wasting of my life. I should quit and go home.” Will these troubles sink us? Not with Jesus in the boat.
As difficult and discouraging as things may become, never doubt – Jesus does care. Do not be afraid. In faith, lift your eyes to see His face and open your ears to hear for His words, “Peace! Be still!”
Questions to consider: What circumstances push you to fearful thoughts? When these kinds of circumstances come again, what do you already know from God’s Word and from your own experience that will guide you.
Back at the stern, Jesus lay sound asleep on a comfortable cushion. How could He strengthen your faith and help you find His peace?
A Church Planter’s Prayer: Thank You Lord for clearly demonstrating Your infinite power! Nothing can ever happen that is beyond Your control. You care about me and my family. We will not sink. You care about the people I am seeking to reach. Even when they seem beyond my reach, they are not beyond Yours. Amen.
(from K. Sutter, Faith to Move Mountains)