Mark 4:35-40 NKJV On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
Jesus’ disciples had no idea that a great windstorm was going to arise as they were “crossing over” to the other side of the lake. All they knew was that Jesus said “let us cross over”. They were seasoned fisherman, accustomed to all sorts of weather while out at sea. What was different about this occasion?
Mark’s version of this story says that while they were crossing over to the other side “a great windstorm arose”. Now Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible gives this definition of “windstorm”: “a great storm of wind” – “loelaps” which signifies a particular kind of wind, which is suddenly whirled about upwards and downwards; or rather, a conflict of many winds: it seems to be a whirlwind, or hurricane.” With no warning, all of a sudden, this “great storm of wind”, a “whirlwind or hurricane” was upon them. They hadn’t expected it; they didn’t see it coming and had no indication that a storm of this magnitude would come upon them. And they were very fearful that they would perish in the storm.
As panic set in the disciples knew they had to get Jesus awakened so their first course of action was to run to Him. Prayer should be the first thing that we do when confronted with a storm in life. Jesus was quick to respond to their request and Mark’s version of this story says He arose and rebuked the wind and said “Peace, be still!”to the sea and it ceased and there was a “great calm”. Jesus spoke and the wind and waves obeyed! But notice what He says to His disciples after that.
Mark 4:40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
Why would He ask them those questions? I think He was trying to get them to locate where they were in their faith walk and to get them to see that they could take action and see their storms cease just as He did. When the storms of life are raging it’s easy to panic and forget that the greater One lives on the inside of us. In their case He was in the boat with them! But today we live in the reality of the victory that Jesus secured for us on the cross. He lives inside every born again believer by the power of His Spirit. We must stop and take stock of where we are and who we belong to. The fear that is on the outside will try to over-ride the faith that we have on the inside. It’s at that point that we have to re-focus and anchor ourselves in God’s word to overcome the fear and stabilize our faith to keep from sinking under the cares and fears of this world. But Jesus Himself said in John 16:33 that we don’t have to succumb to the pressure that’s in the world because He has already overcome it for us. He said that because of the work that He did on our behalf that we could have PEACE even in tribulation.
Where are you in your faith walk today? Are you struggling to overcome the fear and emotions of life’s problems? Are you afraid of what will happen next? Watchman Nee says that the Christian experience from start to finish is a journey of faith. 1 John 5:4 says that it is our faith that overcomes the world! Our faith! Not the faith of the person next to you or me, but your faith and my faith! Our faith works as we place our trust in God and speak to the storms in our lives to be still! It’s not a formula for success, but a heart-felt journey from the time we place our faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord to the everyday lives that we live, walking by faith, to the point of our crossing over into eternity.
Romans 1:16, 17 NKJV For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Today I have a stronger level of faith than I did yesterday because I am trusting in God and building my faith through His word! The gospel of Christ, the Good News of what He purchased for us on Calvary, is powerful and when I believe it and act on it in faith it works in my life to give me the ability that I need to overcome all the evil that’s in the world and the devil who comes to steal, kill and destroy my life. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:17 that it is the “sword of the Spirit”. That means that when I speak the word of God that the Holy Spirit reveals to me that will work in my situation that it becomes like a sword to defeat the enemy that is hindering me from walking by faith and living according to the plan that God has for me. But I have to be the one to focus my attention on Jesus, His word and resist the fear that comes with tribulation in order to live by faith. No one can do that for me and no one can do it for you either. It is a growing process that I work on daily. How about you? Are you growing in your faith every day?
You can change your life, the course of it, and the outcome by growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and acting according to His word. It’s what we believe in our hearts and living out of that belief that changes our lives. God is always at work within us to mold us and make us into the image of His dear Son. (Rom. 8:29) But we have to cooperate with Him in order to change. Living and walking by faith, speaking positive, faith-filled words and obeying what He asks us to do is our part of this equation. If we do our part, we can be sure He will do His.
Father, I thank You for creating me to walk in faith with You. I thank You for giving me a measure of faith and that I can build and strengthen it through your Word and exercise it through my actions. Father, I pray for those today who are weak and struggling to overcome the obstacles that are in their way in their faith walk. I pray that You will reveal to them the great power that You have placed within them to help them; the power of Your Spirit. I pray that they may be encouraged today in knowing that You are with them and will guide them in how to overcome the trials and tribulations of life. May they experience a new reality of Your power to overcome the storms of life today. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.