We are sitting at church on Sunday, singing loudly with the choir, singing praises to God for all that He has done. He has blessed us so much, far beyond anything we could have ever imagined. We have seen the hand of God working out His Plan for our lives in a way that brought us into green pastures and beside the still waters. God has restored our soul.
Two weeks later we are sitting on our couch with our head in our hands and tears on our cheeks and fear in our gut. We just found out some terrible news, some news that shook us to the core and robbed us of all our hope. All our joy is gone. All that is left is the fear; the anxiety; the stress; the tears. We don’t know what we are going to do. We don’t know who we can turn to. We turn to God and cry out in anguish, “Lord, save us: we perish.”
“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.” (Matthew 8:23)
“And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.” (Matthew 8:24)
“And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.” (Matthew 8:25)
“And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” (Matthew 8:26)
How many times has this scenario, or one similar to it, played out in our lives? One minute we are riding high with God; the next, we are crying out in fear. What has changed? Has God changed? Is He not the same God in the good times as well as in the bad?
“…shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? …” (Job 2:10).
God hasn’t changed (Hebrews 13:8). What has changed is our perspective of God. Many times we believe we are looking at God, or looking to God; when we are actually only looking at the works of God. We see the blessings of God and the peaceful surroundings, and we proclaim God to be good, faithful, and trustworthy. We see our problems and trials, and we proclaim God to be out of control or uncaring. But as long as our perspective is what we see with our natural eyes, then the appearance of God will constantly seem to be changing. The Apostles in the storm saw only the storm, and so they lost heart.
They could have seen God, the same God who had worked miracles before their very eyes, lying asleep in the boat with them. They could have seen that the Creator of the wind and the rain was at peace in the midst of His own storm. They could have had the same peace; knowing that God was right there with them and unconcerned with the storm, because He knew they would reach their destination safely. But all they saw was the storm.
This is really nothing new. The Israelites were led out of Egypt with a mighty hand, witnessing many wondrous works of God; only later to have their backs against the wall, so to speak, at the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army in hot pursuit to kill them. The Israelites lost all heart and gave up, only to be delivered by God yet again (Exodus 14). “O ye of little faith”
Elijah called down fire from heaven to slay the enemies of God; only to be chased into a cave to hide from the threats of a woman (I Kings 18 and 19). “O ye of little faith”
Peter boldly claimed that he would not only stand beside Jesus, but die for Him if need be. Later he cursed and denied he ever knew Him (Matthew 26:35; 69-75). “O ye of little faith”
In each instance, men of God took their eyes off of God and saw only their troubles. We need to see God with spiritual eyes and not with natural eyes.
It is natural to become fearful and cry out in the face of danger or uncertainty. Even Jesus cried, as it were, tears of blood; asking for God to take away His suffering (Matthew 26:36-46). But supernaturally, He finished by saying,
“… nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39)
“… O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” (Matthew 26:42)
The question ultimately comes down to: Do we trust God? Do we have faith in God, not in what we see? Not in the blessings we perceive to be God’s presence; or in the troubles we perceive to be God’s absence. But true faith in God is Faith to see beyond the natural and into the supernatural, where God truly is.
Remember, God is in the boat with you, right there in the storm.
“Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”
“… Peace, be still…” (Mark 4:39)