When he had finished preaching to a group of people Jesus said to the disciples that they should get into boats and cross to the other side of the sea. While doing so they were caught up in a great storm of wind and the waves beat against the boat so that it was taking on water. The disciples were afraid of perishing, but Jesus was asleep on the cushion in the back of the boat. So the disciples woke him and said, “Do you not care if we perish?” But he rebuked the wind and Jesus calmed the storm saying, “Peace! Be still!” And he said to the disciples, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?”
This is an interesting story and a great lesson for all of us when we are caught up in the storms and tempests of this life. The disciples must have forgotten for a moment who they were with. Jesus is the Son of God and has authority over all things. They had been chosen by him to do a work and a ministry. When you put two and two together it was clear they were not going to perish, but there was a lesson here both for them and us.
Jesus said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (Verse 40) This is a valid question given the knowledge had of who they were with and their experiences of the power of God. Elsewhere Jesus said you don’t need much faith to do wondrous things for if you have faith the size of a grain of mustard seed you can move mountains. (Matthew 17:20) Had they lost their faith because of this storm? I doubt it, but they certainly had forgotten it as they were being swamped by the waves and battered by the wind.
We are often in this same situation figuratively speaking. When we go through troubles and difficulties in our life how many times do we suffer fear and concern over the outcomes of a matter? How often do we lose sight of Jesus because we are too focussed on the storm around us? But when we put the situation into the Lord’s hands, then he says as he did in this message, “Peace! Be still!” and the storms abate.
There is a matter of trust in this story too. Did the disciples trust the Lord when they were in anguish or were they more concerned about their own skins? We may well have faith in Jesus and the power of God, but if we are lacking in trust we do not act on our faith. Too many times we could imagine things like I have to fix this issue, or maybe God wants me to do this, or not even the Lord could forgive me of my past and that’s why I’m suffering this way. It is because we do not trust ourselves to a loving and faithful God that we can fall into these traps. God is good and Jesus will help us if we trust in him and are obedient to his word. We must always remeber his promise, “I will never fail you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) and also, “I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) When we remember and act on these promises of the Lord we receive whatever we ask him through faith and he will deliver us from all our trials, tribulations and sin in our lives.