Are you in the midst of a terrible storm in your life? Not sure if you are going to make it through in one piece? Are you crying out to God, “Hello, do You not care that I’m being torn to shreds by this storm?”
That is exactly how the disciples felt as they fought a raging storm on the Sea of Galilee! We can learn a lot about faith in the midst of difficult circumstances by examining their experience (Mark 4:35-41). To survive and thrive through the storms of life, we must maintain 3 key things: our spiritual awareness, spiritual focus and spiritual knowledge.
Storms Can Pack a Terrifying Punch
Take a moment to visualize their plight. There they were — helplessly confined in a tiny, rudimentary fishing boat, shrouded within the darkness of the night, engulfed by the fury of a vicious storm, ceaselessly battered on all sides by howling winds and powerful waves as their boat filled with sea water — fearing whether the next wave to crash over them would be their last!
You can almost hear the ominous creaking of the wooden timbers as the boat strained against the power of the storm — almost feel the sting of the spray against their cheeks — the desperation in their hearts as they fought to maintain control of their vessel — the ache in the pit of their stomachs as they privately reflected on found memories of loved-ones, friends and the good times they had shared — wondering would they ever see them again or simply be lost at sea…quickly forgotten by a world that would inevitably move on without them —
The Disciples’ Response to the Storm
And, in their moment of despair, what did they do? They did exactly what many of us do in the midst of our storms — they cried out to Jesus to do something! In other words, stop this storm before it kills us all!
Jesus’ Response to the Disciples
So, Jesus did just that ‘” He calmed the storm.
But, watch carefully what He asked them: “How is it that you have no faith?”
How is it? You have lived and fellowshipped with Me, shared countless meals and moments with Me, walked miles and miles with me down hot, dusty roads and witnessed firsthand the miracles I do in My Father’s name. And yet, here I was with you in this storm and you were scared? How is it that you don’t know me?
The answer to Christ’s question was revealed in the only response these terrified and shaken men could muster, “Who can this be?”
Reason for Lack of Faith
In the case of these disciples, they lacked faith because they did not know the fullness of Who Christ was. Understand, our faith does not affect His ability one iota; however, it does affect our peace of mind in the storm!
Jesus would frequently ask a seemingly simple question, while actually addressing a problem on a much deeper level. In this case, Jesus was really asking his disciples, “How is it that you don’t know Me? For if you really knew Me, you would have had faith in Me and would not have been scared.”
These disciples lacked the 3 keys to surviving and thriving through their storm: spiritual awareness, spiritual focus and spiritual knowledge.
1. Faith Requires Spiritual Awareness
When we find ourselves in the midst of a terrible storm, remember that the same Jesus Who was with those frightened disciples is also right here with us!
Yes, He can quiet our storms just as easily as He did for those battered disciples; however, He would much rather quiet our inner fears and anxiety. He would rather have us recognize the fullness of who He is. He desires for us to have a faith in Him that understands and believes that He can and will deliver us through the storm.
It has been said that there are three certainties in life: we are either in a storm, just leaving a storm, or about to sail into one. I don’t know if the outlook is quite that dreadful; but rest assured, we will, at some point, find ourselves in stormy waters. When we do, remember that, as believers, we are in Christ and He is in us. We are never alone in the storm. Always maintain your spiritual awareness.
2. Faith Requires Spiritual Focus
Focus on the fullness of Christ. He is omniscient (all knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful). And lastly, He is omnipresent ‘” He is right there with little old you and me! He is seated right beside us in our tossed-about and battered “boat” as we face the fury of our storm! Instead of focusing on the physical, emotional or financial problem, focus on the spiritual solution ‘” Jesus.
3. Faith Requires Spiritual Knowledge
Remember, practical faith is a reflection of our knowledge of Who Jesus is. Faith in Christ comes from knowing Christ. Knowing Christ comes from both knowledge of His Word and the experience gained from our personal relationship with Him.
This spiritual awareness, focus and knowledge will produce a mighty faith that believes and understands that, even if Christ does not chose to quiet our storm, He will provide us with the peace and comfort our hearts so desperately seek and He will safely deliver us through it! Remember, spiritual growth is seldom found under clear skies; rather, it is forged in the fury of life’s storms.
All Scripture (unless otherwise noted) taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.