23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"

26 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.

27 The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"

Matt 8:23-27 (NIV)

In our verses for today Christ demonstrates His commanding power even over the winds and the waves. All of nature is under His authority, indeed, everything is under His feet. God often answers prayer by awesome displays of deeds which demonstrate His power and strength. He enjoys doing things that are simply too hard – impossible - for flesh to accomplish. This is to build our faith, ever pointing us to the Object of it which is, of course, Jesus. To be sure, whatever God sends or allows in our lives is not for the lessening of our faith but rather for the increase of it – even if the trial is sharp and lasting. God can make possible what seems impossible. When a crisis arises in our lives it instantly reveals upon what, whom or Whom we rely. God is desirous of our believing in Him Whom is infinitely bigger than our burdens. We are to put our hope in the One Who is our Surety. The psalmist proclaims:

5 You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, 6 who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, 7 who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. Psalms 65:5-7 (NIV)

“I know He tries me only to increase my faith, and that is all in love. Well, if He is glorified, I am content.” J. Hudson Taylor

The Sea of Galilee was notorious for having vexing squalls and sudden storms sweeping across it. One such storm was occurring while the disciples were at sea yet blessedly Jesus was in the boat. Isn’t that just like life? Things seem sunny and calm – blue skies, bright days and a sudden disturbing phone call, a bad lab report, a flash of nature and all of a sudden a storm sweeps across our lives wreaking havoc and sinking our faith. It is natural for fear and panic to quickly overtake us erasing our knowledge of Who is in control of all things. This is exactly what happened to Jesus’ guys. Panic and fear had set in when the wind started to blow hard even though He remained with them in the boat. It is in such times as these that dwelling on the greatness of God’s faithfulness, sufficiency, strength and sovereignty serves us well. I am reminded of Job’s words:

1 Then Job replied to the LORD: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:1-2 (NIV)

“Faith is a living and unshakeable confidence, a belief in the grace of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake.” Martin Luther

“A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul.” D. L. Moody

His troubled guys wake their Master with cries of"Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" Our Lord rouses and rebukes the wind and the waves – His mere Word bringing a complete calm and causing His disciples to be overwhelmed with amazement. Never had these seasoned fishermen seen such a violent storm turn to calm repose so immediately. When Christ speaks, the storm not only abates but the effects of it as well. The same is just as true in our lives – great storms of doubt and fear in our souls can result in a wonderful calm, a peaceful resting in God. This availability of inner tranquility encourages the believer’s soul to continue to trust in the Lord while the wind blows hard as well as while the sun is brightly shining. I am reminded of the prophet Isaiah’s words:

3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV)

“Though assaults be many, and my enemies mighty, if God strengthen me, I have enough to comfort me; for the greater my enemy, the more glorious my victory; and the more glorious my victory, the more triumphant my glory.” K.H. Von Bogatzky

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:2-5 (NIV)

What I Glean

  • God never allows trials to lessen my faith rather to increase it.
  • God delights in demonstrating His power and strength to His children.
  • God’s power can keep me in perfect peace while the wind blows as my mind remains fixed upon Him.