A storm began to rage as Jesus Christ’s disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee. It was an excursion the disciples routinely made numerous times before, especially since some of them were fishermen by trade. They knew exactly how to handle various weather conditions, yet, during this particular voyage, Scripture tells us that a dreadful “tempest” engulfed them with such ferocity, it caused them to panic. Even the seasoned fishermen aboard the ship, were no match for the tumultuous storm that overtook them (Matt. 8:23-24). The Webster’s dictionary defines “tempest” as: a violent windstorm accompanied by heavy rain and possibly hail.
The disciples encountered a storm so furious, that extreme terror and desperation dominated their minds and actions. They frantically feared for their lives, and did not hesitate to rouse the Lord Jesus Christ, who was sleeping aboard the ship and pled for His help. Amazingly, amidst the great turmoil and chaos, Jesus slept peacefully. When I read this passage, I couldn’t help thinking; why should Jesus fear, for He was indeed sovereign over the sea! Nevertheless, Jesus arose nonchalantly, admonished His disciples for their meager faith, and rebuked the savage winds (Matt. 8:25-26).
Instantly, the roaring sea calmed! The disciples marveled and exclaimed “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him” (Matt. 8:27)? But, that is exactly how God conducts His will! What is inconceivable or literally impossible for mankind to perform, is very much possible for God (Matt. 19:26, Mark 10:27, Luke 18:27)). The believer’s faith is constantly being challenged, especially, when God allows the “storms” of life to toss them to and fro. It is while in the midst of trials, that He wants His children to turn to Him for comfort, peace, and resolution. He can be trusted and will deliver His elect out of trouble. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles (Ps. 34:17).
In the 107th Psalm, the Psalmist writes: “Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, So that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven” (Ps. 107:28-30). In this Psalm, the writer employs the analogy of sailors in trouble at sea, to which God delivers them. He …calms the storm”…, He makes life bearable and tolerable for those who put their trust in Him. Even in the most terrifying situation, God will sustain you, if you call on Him! Ultimately, He imparts boldness in place of fear, hope instead of despair, and peace instead of anxiousness!
The apostle Paul clearly states that the “peace” God provides to the believer transcends all understanding (Phil 4:7). This, of course, can comfort those amid tribulations in ways that are unexplainable. But, it is only through faith that this concept can be conceived and is permissible. It’s a belief or action ludicrous to those who do not know God, because they are incapable of comprehending it (1 Cor. 2:14). Faith is at the crux of Christianity! Fundamentally, it is how Christians walk (Rom. 1:17, 2 Cor. 5:6, Gal. 2:20, 3:11, Heb. 11:1).
If only Jesus Christ’s disciples exercised faith when the storm raged that day, they would have overcome its harshness without panicking. At times, Jesus Christ’s very own disciple’s, struggled with their faith, and they walked with Him for three years! Knowing this, gives me hope, especially, when I struggle with my own faith. And many times, I do struggle! But, praise be to God, that I do have a gracious, merciful, forgiving, patient, longsuffering, and loving God, who justified me, regardless of my transgressions and weaknesses! Amen!