Do you trust God? Our currency has written on it, “In God We Trust.” But do we trust Him? It’s easy to say we do, but it’s another to live it and believe it. It’s easy to raise our hand in Bible class and say, “We should always trust God.”
But it’s different when you experience a death in the family. It’s tough when there’s something wrong with your child. It’s challenging when problems arise in the church. It’s hard when you have to make a choice between your friends and your God. It’s difficult when you’re the only one in class who believes in the creation story. You wouldn’t think that God’s people would need to be reminded to trust in God, but we do. God’s people have always needed reminders.
This was true even for the apostles.
The apostles saw the miracles of Jesus. There was no reason for them not to have faith. Yet they needed to be reminded to trust God!
In the gospels, we read about the apostles going through a couple of storms. They would have to trust in God. We can learn some lessons from these stories as we think about different storms we will face in life.
Storm #1: Mark 4:35-40
After a long day of teaching on the sea, Jesus told the apostles to cross to the other side. Earlier that day Jesus had taught parables to the crowds, Mark 4:1. Soon after they began to cross over to the other side, they ran into some problems. There arose a fierce (great) wind. Water began to pour into their boat. You would have thought that they would have been accustomed to this being that many were fishermen. This was no regular storm. Fear quickly set in the hearts of the apostles. They cried out to Jesus for help, and He responded, Mark 4:38. Yet is was Jesus who then questioned them about their faith. This entire series of events is amazing to consider.
Storm #2: Matthew 14:22-33.
After feeding 5,000 people with a boys sack lunch, Jesus told His apostles to get into the boat. While the apostles were in the boat crossing the sea, Jesus spent time in prayer, Matthew 8:23. By the time He would begin to cross the sea, His apostles were far ahead of Him. Instead of Jesus taking a boat to catch up to His apostles, He decided to go on a walk. It’s here that we find Peter asking Jesus to walk on the water,Matthew 14:28-29. That took some FAITH. But as he saw the winds, Peter became fearful, Matthew 14:30. What can we learn from these stories?
1. Live with faith. Storms will come. Life can change from calm to stormy quickly. Trials don’t make us unique. How we respond to them is what will make us unique. Jesus demands that walk by faith.
2. Storms will reveal our faith. It’s been said, “Trials don’t make or break you. Instead, they reveal you.” Trials will reveal what kind of faith we have (shallow or strong). The disciples faith was shaken but then strengthened as a result of the storms, Mark 4:41; Matthew 14:33. Storms can actually be good for us as they will help us to draw closer to God.
3. Know that Jesus cares. He cared for His apostles and He cares for us.
4. Trust the facts and not your feelings. No matter what we face, we must remember that God is in control. The disciples FELT like they were going to drown. But they fact is they had Jesus on board. During storms, focus on Jesus and what you know, compared to what you are feeling. That’s how we will be able to survive storms.