January 31, 2020
“I dread this year,” someone posted. “I don’t think I’ll stomach the political scene with all the accusations and insults.”
Not sure if you agree. But one thing for sure is that as we sail off into the sea of another year, no one can predict what awaits us. Will it be calm seas, rough waters, or sudden storms? By some standards, we’re already sailing in a rocky boat while huge waves toss our emotions and shake our sense of security.
The disciples also sensed that rough movement. Like us, unpleasant helplessness visits when facing uncertainty.
“Then he [Jesus] got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came on the lake, so that the waves ‘wept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, and “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).
What’s wrong with those disciples?
They were physically close to Jesus. They could touch Him, see Him, and speak to Him. They knew His power and they witnessed His miracles. Wasn’t that enough? Not for them. They allowed their human emotions to rule.
And with fear at the top, they nudged Jesus awake. But here’s the surprise: Jesus didn’t express understanding, He offered no thoughts of comfort, nor did reassuring words slipped from His lips.
Instead, He challenged them, You of little faith, why are you so afraid? Direct, wasn’t He? How about you? If He were to ask you the same in the midst of your heartache, your storm and fear, how would you answer Him?
Here’s a challenge.
Will you pause a minute and do a self-check of the level of faith your heart registers?
Does it show in the red that faith is in the negative? Or does it show intermittent faith, one moment, praising God for the answer and the next, with muscles tense, asking God Why? or When? Or maybe, like many, you suffer from the misplaced-faith syndrome: faith to calm your storm—in your bank account, in doctors, in the economy, in your family, in your pastor or in your friends.
No matter how our faith registers on the charts, Jesus asks us the same question, Where is your faith and why are you afraid?
Here are five ways to anchor your faith no matter the storm:
- My faith is big because I know God is bigger than my problems.
- My faith says that when I see the impossible, He’s already working on the possible.
- When I doubt, He understands and still plans to bring the answer.
- When I’m afraid, I have faith in His protection.
- When the answer doesn’t come, in faith, I will praise Him anyway.
Secure in Jesus’ power to bring stability, and knowing He’s our anchor, faith-filled emotions refresh our focus.
Then we can look beyond the storm, and we choose the same trust, the same commitment to lean On Him and the same faith in what we yet don’t see.
We can’t see tomorrow…
…or know just how rough the waters will get. That’s why when we open the container of uncertainty, we drink the water of worry that pours from all sides. Its pollutants destroy our peace and passion for life.
“But the fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd” (Hebrews 11:1-2 The Message).
When the boat of life is swaying, the choice we make also distinguishes us—do we cater to our emotions or bring honor to God. Because “…It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him. By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world” (Hebrews 11:5-8 The Message).
When nausea stirs in our belly because of the violent movement of our boat, we can take our thoughts captive, gaze at the color of hope in the horizon, and inhale a deep breath of faith. The scenery of our circumstances begins to change. Peace visits once again. And trust in God has a more defined meaning. The trust, certain and sure, that Jesus is indeed sailing with us inside our shaky boat.
Father, when fear erases my faith, show me to trust in You more, to rely on Your promise and to count on Your protection. In Jesus’ name.
How much faith are you holding on to as you face your storm today?
Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.
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