Daily Readings: Genesis 23-24, Psalm 10, Matthew 8
“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” –Matthew 8:23-26
When we read stories in the bible it can be easy to be amazed at the lack of faith we see throughout these stories. Just before this passage we read all throughout Matthew 8 about all of the miracles Jesus was performing. He was curing leprosy, healing the sick, and casting out demons. His disciples had just witnessed miracle after miracle after miracle.
Then the storm came.
At the first sign of adversity they immediately lost faith. I can almost picture the partial smile, partial shaking of the head that Jesus must have had as he said, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” If I was Jesus I would want to say, “Are you serious right now? Have you completely forgotten the last few days? And a simple storm causes your faith to be shaken?”
We see this throughout the Bible. Miracles occur! Faith is off the charts! Adversity hits. Faith immediately falters. It can be easy to shake our own heads and say, “How could they forget so quickly?”
And yet, I find myself frequently being the disciple in the boat. There have been so many times in my life where God showed up in a big way that left me in awe of what an incredible God we serve and then some type of frustration or adversity arises and I find my faith being shaken. Not my big picture faith in God, Jesus, and the gospel; but my daily faith. I am talking about the type of faith that causes us to walk through life trusting that God has our back. Knowing that we can just focus on doing our best, and that God can take care of the rest. When I am at my best in life, this is the posture of my heart. It is a posture of faith, thankfulness, and peace.
This is a challenging posture to maintain at times in our fast paced world but I cannot think of a better way to live out of our true identity in Christ while out there in the marketplace as a Christian. I can’t imagine a better way to cause heads to turn and ask, “How is that he/she always seem to be at peace in the storm? How do they always seem to have it together even in the middle of real challenges? Whatever they have, I want some of it!”
Responding well to challenges in life is a powerful form of ministering to those in our immediate sphere of influence. It is an amazing way to advance the gospel.
So, next time, when the wind is whipping, the lightning crashing, and the waves cresting over the side of the boat in your life; remember that Jesus is in the boat with you. Remember all of the amazing blessings he has already put in your life. Bring yourself back to that place of faith.
When those challenges come I know that Jesus is always looking down on me with a smile. My desire is that the smile on his face says, “Aaron, thank you for your unwavering faith.” as opposed to, “Oh Aaron. You of little faith, why are you afraid?”
Thought to ponder
What are some of the most recent blessings that God has showered down on my life? When was the last time I allowed the wind and the waves to shake my faith?