“Where Is Your Faith?”
“And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, Master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commands even the winds and water, and they obey him.”
The Gospels talk about a great storm that arose while Jesus and His disciples sailed across the Sea of Galilee. After being awakened by the terrified men, Jesus rebuked the wind and the raging waters, and immediately, there was a great calm.
Jesus was astonished at the state of mind of His disciples in the midst of the storm: He asked them one pointed question: “Where is your faith?” The Lord’s question seems to imply that He knows they have got faith, but where was it at the moment? And this question gives us a key to understanding the nature of faith.
Faith transcends ordinary human reaction, and hence it is not automatic, nor is it a result of reflex thought or action; it is not a matter of feelings alone, but encompasses the whole person, which includes the mind, intellect and understanding. Faith is an activity that must be consciously put into operation. It is a response to truth.
How do we put faith into practice?
The first thing we must do when we find ourselves in extreme difficulty is to refuse to allow ourselves to be controlled by the situation at hand. Faith is a refusal to panic. The disciples panicked in the storm, with the cold, strong winds tossing their craft, the waters flowing in, and they thought they were going to drown and perish. They allowed their predicament to control them, instead of applying their faith and taking charge.
The second step to applying faith is to remind ourselves as Christians of what we believe in and what we know. If the disciples had only considered that Jesus was with them, the same Jesus who turned the water into wine, healed the blind and the lame, raised the dead, fed thousands, and performed many other miracles, they would not have feared. Faith grasps on to the truth and reasons what it knows to be truth.
But there is value even in the weakest faith. With their little faith, the disciples did the right thing in the end. They eventually went to Jesus, knowing that He was able to do something about the threatening situation at hand.
Each of us has been given a measure of faith, and should we find ourselves in the midst of trials and testing, let us take it as an opportunity to put our faith into action, to make our faith clearly manifest, to bring glory to our Lord, as we live our lives on earth.
Reference: D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, Lowe and Brydone Printers, Ltd, Glasgow, Great Britain, 1965, pp. 134-147.
Image: Christ on the Sea of Galilee, Painting by Eugene Delacroix, circa 1854, in the public domain, courtesy of Wikipaintings.org