Do you still have no faith?Mark 4:40c
This is why people become afraid--because they lose faith. Faith is the answer to fear. Faith is always the answer to our fears, regardless of what they are. Jesus put His finger right on it:
Do you still have no faith?
Well, evidently they did not. They had forgotten all the things He said to them in the Sermon on the Mount about the extent of God's care for them:
Are you not much more valuable than flowers and birds? God cares for them; will he not much more care for you, O you of little faith? (Matthew 6:30). Here Jesus was in the boat with them; their fate would be His fate; and yet they had forgotten this.
How would these men have acted, do you think, if they had faith? Suppose their faith had been strong--their faith in Him and in God's care and love--what would they have done? One thing is certain: they would not have wakened Him; they would have let Him rest. He was tired and needed the rest badly. They would have done so because their faith would have reminded them of two great facts: First, the boat will not sink; it cannot sink when the Master of ocean and earth and sky is in it. Second, the storm will not last forever.
A good friend of mine, a handsome young evangelist from another country, told me about all the troubles he and his wife were going through. He was dejected. She was struggling with severe physical problems, ill health arising from asthma and bronchitis, which constantly kept her down. They had gone through years of struggle with this condition of hers already, and it seemed to pull the bottom out of everything he attempted to do. Here they were planning to go back to their own country, and now she was sick again. He came to me discouraged.
I remember turning to this incident in Mark and reciting this story and saying to him,
Remember, the boat will not sink, and the storm will not last forever. That is having faith--to remember those facts. He thanked me, we prayed together, and he left. I did not see him for a couple of months; then we ran into each other. I said,
How are things going? How is your wife? He said,
Oh, not much better. She's still having terrible struggles. She can't breathe and can't take care of the children or the house, and we have a hard time. But I do remember two things: the boat will not sink, and the storm will not last forever! So I prayed with him again.
After a while I received a note from him. He and his family had gone back to their country, and there they had found the answer. A doctor discovered a minor deficiency in his wife's diet that needed to be remedied. When that was done, the asthma and bronchitis disappeared, and she was in glorious, radiant health, and they were rejoicing together. At the bottom of the page he had written,
The boat will not sink, and the storm will not last forever.
I thank You. Lord, that You are here with me to comfort and strengthen me, to reassure me, and to take me through whatever storms may come. I know You are not here to stop the storms from coming, but to take me through them.
How would we respond to our fears if we acted on the basis of faith in God's sovereignty? Today's circumstances allow us to see our lives from His point of view.