Mark 4:35-39 (KJV) “And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, ‘Let us pass over unto the other side.’ And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, ‘Master, carest thou not that we perish?’ And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, ‘Peace, be still.’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Emphasis Added).
This is a very intriguing Scriptural setting. Jesus had been teaching throughout the day without any observable period of rest. He had begun the use of teaching though the means of Parables with presenting how the Kingdom of God, and His Word, would be received, or rejected, depending upon the condition of the “Heart’s Soil.” Then He shared how God’s Word would grow faith within a person’s heart according to the receptivity of his heart.
He taught His Disciples that they did NOT need a great amount of faith – they just needed to “plant” the faith and TRUST they had in in Him. As they “experienced” His Faithfulness, not only would their CONCEPT of God grow, but their CONFIDENCE in Him would grow also. Others – “Birds” – would find “comfort” in the “Shadow” of their faith.
Not long after Jesus taught these principles, the Disciples found themselves in a “Trial of Faith.” Amid their trial, they expressed their true faith…
Mark 4:35-39 (NLT)“As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.’ So, they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, ‘Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?’ When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the water, ‘Silence! Be still!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm” (Emphasis Added).
It is easy to trust God when everything seems to be going well. When there is no immediate cause of concern, it is easy to quote…
- Psalm 23:1 (KJV) “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Emphasis Added).
- Psalm 27:1 (KJV) “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Emphasis Added).
- Psalm 91:1 (KJV) “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Emphasis Added).
It was no challenge for His Disciples to obey Him and cross over to the other side of the lake when Jesus commanded them to do so. After all, the ones operating the boat had spent most of their lives doing that! It wasn’t anything new to them! What WAS new to them was to be in a seeming hazardous situation with Jesus in their midst – AND, He wasn’t doing anything about it! A great storm arose – which was NOT something new – AND He had neither prevented it from happening, nor seemed to be concerned enough to intervene.
The “Trial of Faith” did NOT make them into the Disciples they would become, it DID reveal what was in their hearts. In Matthew’s account of this scenario, the Disciples had witnessed Jesus touch a leper and heal him, heal a Centurion’s servant by saying, “Go home and see the reality of what you believed,” healed Peter’s mother-in-law, and challenged His Disciples that it would require total commitment to Him to be able to “walk-in-faith.”
We must understand that Jesus did NOT just teach His Disciples these principles, He MODELED these principles. What was their response? “Jesus, don’t You care about us?”
How do we truly learn that God cares for us? Is it when everything is going well, our family is with us and well, and when tomorrow looks like it is going to be better than today? NO one has experienced the depth of God’s love and care, EXCEPT they were in great need!
I said earlier, it is easy to trust God when everything seems to be going well; therefore, we quote the verses I shared a few minutes ago with cheerfulness. BUT, these verses lead us into WHY the Psalmist had CONFIDENCE in God…
- Psalm 23:1-6 (KJV)“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Emphasis Added).
- Psalm 27:1-6 (KJV)“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD” (Emphasis Added).
- Psalm 91:1-6 (KJV) “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday ” (Emphasis Added).
How did the Psalmist know that the Lord IS, WAS, and WILL be his Refuge and Fortress, His God, and that he could TRUST Him? It was because the Psalmist EXPERIENCED God’s Faithfulness!!
I stated earlier – NO one has experienced the depth of God’s love and care, EXCEPT they were in great need!
Romans 5:1-9 (KJV) “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Emphasis Added).
The Disciples had been with Jesus, BUT they didn’t really KNOW Him! IF they had “known” Him, they would have known they were SECURE if He was in the boat with them!
Do you KNOW Jesus?