Faith Through the Storms of Life
By Don Suleski
a Tribosblog.org contributor
One of the most familiar symbols of having faith in a storm is the account of the disciples on the boat in the Gospel. In three pieces the beautiful story unfolds, in Matthew 14, Mark 6 and John 6.
There is something tucked away before this major event, where Jesus had a miracle of feeding a multitude of over 5,000 people.
If you read each of these chapters in turn, you will see that this miracle was a major test to His closest of friends.
-In John 6:5 Jesus asks Phillip where they could buy bread to feed them, and in 6:6 it says that this is a test for them, as Jesus already knows what He is going to do to feed them.
-They don’t quite catch this as a chance to provide a miracle, and lack the trust and faith in The Son of God.
-They continue by saying two hundred denarii isn’t enough to pay for the needed food, and have further shown doubt by saying “all we have is 5 loaves and 2 fish.”
PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Jesus has pitched this scenario to them as a test of their faith in Him, and to reveal an important part of their walk with Him.
-Jesus then makes everyone sit down and watch- it’s time to learn, be still and witness the power of God’s love and provision!!!!
-Jesus lifts up the food, prays, and delivers this miracle to feed everyone around! On top of that huge feat, there are 12 baskets full of pieces left over!! (Huge symbolism of the spiritual sustenance that is in Him: enough to feed every man, woman and child on earth and then some!)
So this “test” isn’t quite revealed, until the disciples get into the boat to meet Jesus in Bethesda- on the other side of the sea:
-They are struggling against the wind, trying with all their might to meet Jesus on the other side.
***This is a familiar place for the children of God- finding ourselves in a rough spot, and trying to just make it through to Him on the other side of the storm.***
-Jesus appears walking on the water, and calms their cries, and Peter cries out to Him in Matthew 14. Such a great desire here, to trust completely in Him with our all in the storm!
-Of course, Peter eyeballs the storm, looks at the opposition and sinks… Just like the opposition of feeding the multitudes, and often our fading faith in the trials of our lives reveals our faith level.
So in Mark 6:32 the result of that major testing is revealed: “they didn’t understand about the loaves, because THEIR HEART WAS HARDENED.”
It’s an interesting revelation to see that God took them on a rough ride to shake them loose into seeing they had missed the mark of having faith in God in their needs.
-We often are shaken up also, just the same, to only marvel at the amazing power God has.
This bonds us to Him in a fullness of faith!
Here is the main purpose of this trial:
In Matthew 14:31 Jesus calms the storm, and points out their lack of faith IN HIM.
Then in verse 33 they all worship Him and have no doubt any longer: saying “TRULY YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD!”
There is a special someone that this message is meant for, so please, if this speaks to you, read on!
The true message of this account is to show that the friends of Jesus needed to have faith in Him to continue in their salvation: NOT FAITH IN THEMSELVES. They rowed late into the fourth watch of the night- to no avail of their own power. They couldn’t save themselves from the waves of the storm, and I’m sorry if it’s scary to admit: neither can we!
Your spiritual life doesn’t depend on your works, or ability to weather the storm, but of your trust in Him. If your have reached that point of saying Jesus is my salvation, and is God, then you have passed that storm in your life. Don’t get back in the boat under your own power: trust Jesus.