Week 38: Storms
22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to each another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?” Luke 8:22-25
So let me ask you, where do you put your trust? Do you put it in yourself? Do you put it in your relationships? Maybe you put your trust in your bank account or in your success? Do you tend to put you trust in your circumstances? If your circumstances are going well then you are doing well, but if your circumstances change then you feel like your entire life is uncertain.
The Greek word for trust is “pistuo.” It is also translated as belief or faith. In Luke chapter 8, Jesus is asking His disciples the same question that I asked you. Where is your “pistuo?” In our text, the disciples are suffering from misplaced faith. Jesus and the disciples are in the boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus is at peace taking a nap in the small front-covered portion of the fishing boat. A storm comes out of nowhere and catches the disciples completely off guard. Immediately, the disciples put their trust not in their sovereign Savior who is asleep in the stern of the boat, but instead they place their trust in the storm.
It is clear from the text that they are not necessarily overreacting. The Bible tells us that the water is raging and that the boat is taking on water. However, these circumstances don’t seem to bother Jesus. Why? Because His faith is not in the circumstances. He knows that He is Lord over all circumstances. In fact, the storm doesn’t seem to bother Him, He was going to sleep through it.
The disciples on the other hand begin to panic. You’ve often heard me say that the opposite of faith is not doubt. The opposite of faith is fear. Fear comes as a result of putting your faith in your circumstances instead of your sovereign Savior. Fear causes us to exaggerate the circumstances and their impact on us. When the disciples wake Jesus they say that they are “perishing.” Now, are the really? How could they be perishing while in the same circumstances, Jesus is napping?
You see, fear will cause you to shrink your view of the Almighty God and magnify your view of the temporary circumstances around you. Mark records that the disciples ask Jesus, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Talk about a lack of perspective.
By putting their faith in their circumstances it caused an immediate theological amnesia. Apparently the waves drowned out Jesus telling them that He had come to rescue them, redeem them, and reconcile them and resurrect them. Now, one huge advantage that you and I have over the disciples is that we live on this side of the crucifixion and resurrection. Romans 5:8 lets us know that “God demonstrates His love for us in this that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”
So the next time you find yourself in circumstances that seem out of control, you may be tempted to put your trust in those ever-changing circumstances. You may be tempted to exaggerate the effects of the storm. You may be tempted to even question God’s motives towards you because of your circumstances. If and when you find yourself face to face with those temptations be reminded of the words of Jesus, “Peace. Be still.”
When Jesus said those words, I don’t think He was only speaking to the storm. And if He can calm the wind and the waves, then He certainly can calm our fears. But in order for you to be able to find your peace in Christ in the midst of the storm, then you are going to have to take back that misplaced trust and put your faith in Jesus.
When we choose to trust Jesus in the midst of the storm not only do we experience a peace that transcends understanding, but we also deepen our relationship with Him.