By Leon Grace
Matthew 8:23-27 (ESV) And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”And he said to them, ‘“Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”
We too, will encounter life’s storms as the disciples did. As Christ followers we know our Lord will never leave us or fake us (Hebrews 13:5 NIV), but like the disciples we become afraid and lose faith when we don’t feel his presence. Even though the disciples knew Jesus was with them on their boat, they grew fearful and lost faith he would save them.
Through our great storms our lives will be swamped with waves; waves of anxiety, depression, lost, heartbreak, financial hardship and much more. We will sink into misery and it will appear all is lost. And during our capsize, although our Lord may appear to be absent or unaware, he is there, waiting and available.” The truth is we will not always feel God’s presence, even in our toughest battles.
But there is good news.
God is much more then a feeling, he is the truth. To have faith requires more then feeling God’s presence. On the contrary, faith is practiced more when we do not feel God’s presence or see his hand in our lives. For scripture says, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11 NLT).
God questioned the disciples faith because they (and us), must learn to have faith in God despite the appearances of our circumstances. We do this by keeping our eyes fixed on God, having faith and trusting in his promises. Remember we are saved and God is in control of all things, he will not let us perish. Walk by faith, not by sight.
The truth is we will not always feel God’s presence, even in our toughest battles.
Often it will be God who leads us into these storms as he did the disciples, “And when he go into the boat, his disciples followed him” (Matt. 8 23:27). Jesus knew a storm would come for his disciples, just as he knows a storm will come for us, it is his intention. God will use these storms to grow our relationship with him, to shape us , and form us to his likeness. So take heart my brothers and sisters, for if God brings us to it, he will bring us through it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (The Message)–All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
For more encouragement, check out this great article by Michael Morgan on Intouch.org: