A CHALLENGE: Where is your/our faith?
Passage: "Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got
into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, "Let us cross over to the
other side of the lake." And they launched out.
23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, "Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!" (NKJV)
Picture what happened:
Jesus being a man needed sleep, rest, and various things, as you and I do. He and His disciples traveling from one side of the lake to the other, He "fell asleep."
As these disciple "launched" and traveling across the lake, there came upon them a windstorm. Things began to happen, as in storms in our day, out of the ordinary. These disciple began to lose their control, sensing the danger they became FEARFUL. Their lives were in jeopardy. They were in fear of perishing, as the natural man would manifest itself in any of us in similar circumstance!
In this excited state they came to Jesus and awoke Him and presented their concept of reality, "Master, Master we perish," or we are perishing! There is a need to "fear' to a degree, God having given us the ability to discern certain dangers, we need to be aware of dangers!
Picture the Power involved, exhibited!
Jesus' REACTION is amazing: First He rebuked the wind, demonstrating His miraculous powers. This is just one of the many demonstrations of His power to validate His claim and right to give commands and direct man in his relationship to the Creator, His Father, the Governor of the universe.
Anyone who will look at the various miracles He performed cannot deny His claims. He demonstrated His power over nature here in this case, and in other cases He demonstrated power over sickness of various kinds (), others elements in nature --as He turned the water into wine (Jn. 2:1-11).
Picture the CHALLENGE --
Secondly, He CHALLENGED the disciple: Where is your faith? This was to them a critical challenge, and one that has validity in our lives: Where is OUR FAITH? Let us reason, think about some times and circumstances in which we need to be challenged, As were these disciples.
Absence of faith that we can survive the storms of life?
Object of our faith – in SELF to do what God requires of us, to understand, obey, and thus serve Him faithfully? There is a danger of thinking too highly of self (Rom. 12:3) to have confidence in self to the point that such is destructive (Phil. 3:4-ff). Yet, there is a NEED to have a certain amount of faith in SELF, that one can do what God wants done, He will be pleased with us! How many people have traveled through life failing to rise to this point. Beloved the Bible was written to be understood, and we can, by using what ability God gave us (Eph. 3:3-5).
Faith in OTHERS, to keep the ship afloat, to reach the other side safely. Surely, we are warned against thinking of others more high (beyond) what is appropriate ( 1. Cor. 4:6).
Yet, there is a need to have faith (confidence) in others to the point that we'll not be SOUR on the world, distrusting everyone. Paul had faith in the brethren to do what was right, and he expressed it a number of times (Gal. 5:10; 2 Cor. 8:22; Rom. 15:14). We should do likewise, I believe!
Faith in GOD to keep His promises, etc. This, of course is the most important of all. Without it we cannot possibly be pleasing (Heb. 11:6). We must believe two things: 1) That He is; 2), that He is the rewarder of them who diligently seek Him.
One must have faith that He'll do what He promises, to save those who render their lives to Christ.
One must have faith that He'll see us through the storms (difficulties) of life, when we place our trust in Him. All will come out ok, when we love Him, having committed our life to Him, been justified, sanctified and are known (approved) by Him ( Rom. 8:28-30).
Yes, beloved, let us hear the challenge of Christ, when things are not going the way we'd like or expect: Where is your/our faith?
Let's have faith that we can know what God would have us know, by reading and studying His message to us, the New Testament (Jas. 1:25).
Let us have enough faith in others, to appeal to them to accept the word of God and make application in their lives (Lk. 8:15).
Let us have enough faith in God the father (Heb. 11:6) and His Son Jesus Christ (Jn. 8:21-24; Lk. 6:46) to DO what They tell us and expect (Hope: Desire and expectation) good things to result (Rom. 8:28).
By William C. Sexton
From Expository Files 5.8; August 1998