Summary: Excerpt from the book, Living Forgiven
Remember the time the Disciples were with Jesus on the lake and a storm came that was so strong that men who had spent most of their life as fishermen, were terrified. This was one serious storm!
“One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and started out. On the way across, Jesus lay down for a nap, and while he was sleeping the wind began to rise. A fierce storm developed that threatened to swamp them, and they were in real danger.
The disciples woke him up, shouting, "Master, Master, we’re going to drown!"
So Jesus rebuked the wind and the raging waves. The storm stopped and all was calm! Then he asked them, "Where is your faith?" (Luke 8:22-25 NLT)
Why did Jesus rebuke the Disciples for their lack of faith? Didn’t they turn to Jesus in the midst of the storm and ask for help? Wouldn’t you consider that coming to Jesus in faith?
I believe that Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith, not because they believed that Jesus could save them FROM their trial, but because they didn’t have enough faith to believe that Jesus could get them THROUGH their trial.
Learning to trust has it’s roots in obedience. If you are having a difficult time obeying God’s commands, you are actually having difficulty trusting Him.
*You prove that you trust Him by your obedience to Him and it grows as a result of trust.
Therefore, if you are lacking in trust, you will have a much harder time being obedient because you are not truly believing that what He asks of you is in your best interest. Because God has called you to forgive those who have wronged you or deeply hurt you, you know that you can obey this command because He is trustworthy.
Trust comes through obedience, and obedience brings trust. If I tell you to do something for the first time you may hesitate about doing it because you are afraid that it won’t work. But then, when you do it out of obedience and it does work, the next time I ask you to do something you haven’t done before, you will be much more likely to do it because I proved myself trustworthy. By being obedient to His commands you will grow in your trust of Him. When God says go to the person you have hurt and ask for forgiveness—or harder still, go to the person who has hurt you and seek reconciliation—you can do it because He has proven His ways are worthy of your trust.
I have always loved being around a lake, a river, or the ocean because it brings me much joy and has an invigorating effect on me. As a child, swimming became second nature to me.
One of the techniques used to teach children to swim emerged during my youth. The premise was that the best way to teach a child to swim was to start them as a toddler. The “experts” believed that a child should be thrown into the water, which would cause a natural response in them to hold their breath and start a basic "dog paddle" struggle to the surface. This was a scary way to teach a child to swim!
My sister was taught this way. The instructors actually requested that the parents not be present when they did this because of the fear it created! It was not easy for mothers to stay calm as they watched their babies being thrown into the water and fighting for their life back to the surface! Not everyone agreed with this method, but it is still used by some today.
Years later, a group of researchers discovered that it was much better, and less traumatic, to start with a little older child. Most pool accidents happen to children who aren’t dressed to go swimming. These researchers taught that the instructor should go into the water with a fully clothed child, and gently teach them to roll over on their back and stay still, simply floating on the surface after a short dog paddle to rise to the surface. Their premise was that it is far safer for the child to learn to relax in the water by floating on their back than it was to make them waste lots of energy by struggling to stay above the surface. This technique caught on, and is used quite frequently.
I learned of this new way of teaching kids to swim while I was going through the stress of losing the house and business. I remember that on the day I saw this taught, and watched its amazing results, I suddenly realized that this was what God was trying to teach me about trusting Him in all circumstances! I saw that I had been getting nowhere by "treading water," trying to keep from drowning in all my problems. Instead of struggling to keep myself above it all, God wanted me to roll over on my back, face away from my problems, stop struggling to stay on the surface, and learn to "float" in His presence—looking upward to Him for my help. He showed me that He would keep me "in perfect peace" as I “learned to trust Him.” (Isaiah 26:3)