In times of disappointment, heartache, sickness, or discontent, when the storms of life are raging all around, we sometimes feel that God is very far away. How could he have let this happen? Why isn’t he doing something, right now, to stop it or fix it? He could have prevented this storm and he didn’t. And so, we angrily cry out, “Lord, don’t you care?”
If we are not currently experiencing a time of difficulty, or a time of doubt and uncertainty, we should get ready, because, as Jesus assures us in John 16:33 (NLT), we will: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world!”
Jesus in the Midst of the Storm
In Luke 8:22–25 and Mark 4:35–40, we find the disciples with Jesus in a boat, making their way to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. They might have expected this would be one of the most amazing trips they’d ever take. And it was — just not in the way they had expected.
As they crossed the sea, a raging storm came upon them out of nowhere. This storm brought these expert fishermen to the very end of themselves. They thought they were going to die.
How often have we been in situations like that, when there seems to be no way out, and there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves? That same desperation is what the disciples must have felt that night. The storm was too big. We can look at their situation and think, Didn’t they realize they had Jesus in the boat with them?
The disciples struggle to keep their boat from capsizing. Finally, as a last ditch effort, they turn to Jesus in anger, crying out, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are going to drown?” As they look to him, they find him sleeping on a cushion, in the back of the boat.
As the story continues, Jesus awakes and says to the storm, “Peace! Be still!” Instantly, the waters calmed. The wind died down. A word from Jesus was all it took. The disciples’ desperation ceased and they were left in awe and amazement.
How often have we been like the disciples? We wonder why he is silent, why it seems like he doesn’t care.
But we shouldn’t get down on ourselves too much for our lack of faith. The disciples had witnessed the greatest miracles of Jesus, yet they were consumed with fear. Jesus was physically with them, and they waited until the last minute to ask him for help. Again, we wonder, Why didn’t they ask him for help right away? We should ask ourselves the same question. Why do we go through all the worry and struggle when we can just ask Jesus to calm the storm?
If we believe God’s Word, if we trust what he says completely, then we must know that God is with us, too. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not fear for I am with you.”Matthew 28:20 says, “I am with you always.” Do we believe he is with us? When we’re consumed with fear and doubt and the wind and waves are taking us under, we can be assured that he is.
We know that we need to trust Jesus, but practically, how do we do it in the midst of the storm? Trusting in God means seeking him, entering into his rest, and trusting in his Word.
Our faith requires action
Faith seeks God in all things, at all times. Jesus invites all of us who are overwhelmed to come to him. If we’re experiencing fear and doubt, it’s because we haven’t allowed Jesus to take over. We can’t trust him in some things and not in others.
If we need a miracle, then we have to realize that God is the only one who can perform one. We must go to him in prayer, casting all our cares on him. Then we need to trust that he will handle it, in his way, in his timing.
Faith enters into God’s rest. In a violent, life-threatening storm, Jesus was peacefully asleep. In the storms of life, we can rest with God, too. We have to stop trying to do what only God can do. Often, that means we need to stand still and watch God work (2 Chronicles 20:15–17). Most of the time, he simply wants us to believe (2 Chronicles 16:9). Entering into God’s rest means continuing to trust him, even if our situation doesn’t change. We might not be able to see how the trials of our lives can possibly be used for our good, but God is sovereign. We aren’t. His ways are higher and his ways are far better (Isaiah 55:8–9).
Faith trusts God and His Word. We either trust God or we don’t. We either trust his Word or we don’t. Faith is a choice, not a feeling. We choose to declare our trust in God regardless of the way things appear. Never forget that God sees our lives from beginning to end. He is all-knowing, all-caring, and all-loving. There is nothing in our lives that goes beyond his control. When we trust him to bring about victory, we won’t be disappointed (1 Chronicles 5:20; Psalm 22:5).
When faith and fear collide, look to Jesus. He hasn’t jumped out of the boat of our lives. Seek God, enter into his rest, trust his Word. When the storms of life hit, we won’t have to dust off our Bibles or go searching for a lost prayer. Because we’ll know where our faith is.