Summary: Trust is an essential element in any relationship, including our relationship with God. Here Jesus teaches his followers to trust God more.
Following Jesus through the Storm
Jesus said that the single greatest command is to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind—to have a genuine loving relationship with him. Most people, I think, would agree that trust is one of the central pillars supporting any loving relationship. With so much at stake—be it emotions, finances, children, future goals, or even eternity—there needs to be implicit trust for love to fully develop.
“Relationships dominated by fear and insecurity,” writes James Dobson, “will never reach their potential, but [relationships] founded on trust and safety will flourish.” Trust is “the bedrock of a secure and growing relationship,” including your relationship with God.
Claudia was a newlywed in her twenties when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease and given only a fifty percent chance of survival. Quickly, she was operated on and began cobalt treatments that transformed her almost overnight from a young, beautiful woman to a physical wreck.
Her husband was a chaplain’s assistant in a hospital and had seen many sick and dying patients. He said, “In the movies, couples who have fought for years, in the face of danger suddenly forget their differences and come together. But it doesn’t necessarily work that way in real life.”
“When a couple encounters a crisis,” he said, “it magnifies what’s already present in their relationship. Since Claudia and I trust God and love each other deeply, the crisis drove us closer… The crisis of her illness merely…intensified the feelings already present.”
Claudia and her husband had no idea they would ever face such a catastrophe, but because they were trusted in Jesus, they found that they had already developed the strength to weather the storm.
Some of us will never experience the enormity of the crisis that Claudia and her husband faced. But still, there will be some storms—some heartaches, some decisions, some gut-wrenching moments that have the potential for bringing us into a life-changing crisis. And when the storms of life start billowing up, our resolve is tested. We learn what kind of people we really are. What will we do then? When bill collectors are knocking at the door... when family members are in the hospital... when the doctor gives us the worst possible news... Will we be prepared to face it? Will we have the inner resources that we need? And if not, then how can we prepare ourselves for that day?
It’s easy to become anxious, angry, panicked, or just frightened. But Jesus offers this word of peace, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1 NIV). Even in the midst life’s thunderstorms and hurricanes—even when the circumstances around us seem at their darkest—Jesus teaches us that we can trust in God!
In Mark 4, Jesus is about to teach his followers an important lesson in trusting God. How we face the storm is up to us, but I believe that the experience of twelve fishermen who set out to follow Jesus offers some encouragement. Here is what the Bible says: