Luke 8:22-25 - One day He (Jesus) 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, 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. 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. He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that He commands even winds and water, and they obey Him?"
You know the story. It happened on the Sea of Galilee, that fascinating lake in northern Palestine, rich in associations from the life of Jesus. It was a treacherous little lake because often, sometimes without warning, the winds would sweep down through the rocky ravines of the surrounding hills and whip up the usually calm waters into a terrible storm. That's what happened to set the stage for our story.
At the suggestion of the Master, the disciples were taking Him across the lake. Exhausted by His labors of preaching and relieving the afflicted, Christ was soon sleeping like a child. Not soon thereafter the tempest struck in unusual fury; the waters went high and low, and the boat went with them. The disciples were filled with fear, but let's not think they were easily frightened. These were stouthearted fellows, several of whom had been raised by the sea.
This experience told them; however, they were in real danger. As they hastily trimmed the sails and manned the oars, they were no match for the forces of nature that were opposing them. They had reached the point we sometimes reach when a storm of life sweeps over us. Finally, in despair they turned to Christ, as we sometimes turn to God when everything else has failed. "Master, Master, we are perishing!" they cried out.
"And He awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, 'Where is your faith?'" The same can often be said of us, too. It is well to note that we do not live all of our lives in a storm. Yet, for many, their fears reach far out into the future. In fact, some folks are booked up with worry for months in advance. But God wants us to live each day, one at a time. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:34).
I don't know what the basis is for your fears. I do know that when you have penitently admitted to God the guilt in your life; when by faith you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior; when you have learned to love God above everything else; then you have no reason to fear the worst that life can pour over you. The world and all that is in it will inevitably pass. Yet in Christ you have strength and courage for life, heaven, and all eternity.
May His strength be yours this day.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, comfort us in our fears. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
From "Where Is Your Faith?" a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Armin C. Oldsen, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Have you experienced a very frightening event in your life? Care to share?
2. When Jesus asked the disciples, "Where is your faith?", what might have been their reaction?
3. When things are looking bad, how do you turn to God in faith?
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