Summary: Jesus expects faith from us, the unwavering faith in God that can help us overcome the storms of life.
We all face storms in life. No one sail through life without any difficulties.
• What is important is not how bad the storm is but how you are going to respond in it.
• You can either respond with fear, just like the disciples. Or with faith, like Jesus.
• You can either respond with your own efforts, just like the disciples did. Or with faith in the power of God to calm the storm, the way Jesus did.
In the passage we read today, after a long day of teaching, Jesus gave His disciples a command to go to the opposite shore.
• It was also a word of promise – they will surely end up on the other side.
• As the ship left Capernaum, Jesus who was weary, went to sleep. While Jesus was asleep a storm came up.
• This was no ordinary storm. In the boat, among the disciples were at least four seasoned fishermen. They had seen storms before. They had survived storms before. They knew what to do in a storm. But this was different.
They were afraid. Their knowledge, skills and experience were no longer able to help.
• That’s how we usually respond to problems – we try to solve it our own way. We say we know what to do, we feel we have the experience.
• Only when we come to the end of our rope – when we realise that both our knowledge and experience cannot help, then we cry out to Jesus. Then you see people praying.
Jesus just kept on sleeping through their struggle. The disciples woke him up in fear.
• He got up and rebuked the wind and waves. Everything died down immediately and was completely calm.
• Men struggles but the Lord just spoke the will of God. “Quiet! Be still!”
• There is authority and power in Jesus’ words.
Then Jesus turned to His disciples and said, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (v.40)
• Jesus just unlocked the key to overcoming the storms in your life.
• It has nothing to do with the storm; it has to do with what is in your heart.
• Jesus expected something. He expected faith from His disciples.
This was not the first time the disciples saw Jesus’ performing a miracle.
• Didn’t they remember that Jesus cast out the demon from a possessed man?
• Didn’t they see how Jesus healed a leper and made him clean? And the paralysed man who was lowered down from the roof on a mat, stood and walked?
Jesus expected them to trust their heavenly Father, the way He trusted Him.
• He had His absolute trust in God. He kept on sleeping through the storm confident that His Father was watching over Him and is completely in control.
• That is why He so at peace. He knows He is not alone, and has never been alone.
The disciples do not have such a faith, and that’s why they were filled with fear.
• Faith in God would have overcome their fear, because faith and fear cannot dwell in our heart, at the same time. Do you notice that?
• Listen again to what Jesus says, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (v.40)
• In order words, you are afraid because you have no faith in God. If you have faith, you need not be afraid.
• Faith pushes push fear out of your heart.
So the real problem with the disciples was not the storm, but their unbelief.
• Unbelief will bring fear, because you are on your own. You can only depend on your limited knowledge and experience.
• If you have faith in God, you need not fear. Not because you are strong, but the God who is with you is strong.
• We do not have to worry about what we cannot control, because the storm we are facing is in the hands of one who is in full control.
The real issue with the problems we face in life is often not the problems themselves. It is our unbelief.
• We just could not believe that God is good enough, or merciful enough, or gracious enough, or loving enough, to be bothered with our problem.
• We find it hard to really trust that what He said He will do, or that what He has promised will hold true.
A man falls off a cliff but miraculously catches a branch on the way down. He begins yelling, "Is anyone up there?"
An answer comes back. "Yes."
"Who are you?"
"I am God, and I am going to save you."
"Wonderful. What should I do?"
"Let go of the branch."
After a long pause, the man yells, "Is anyone else up there?"