June 6, 2016

God has not forsaken you

When storm clouds roll in and the waves start to overtake your boat the temptation is to panic or to question God, His power and His sovereign control in your life. But these moments are simply a test of our faith.

A moment where our faith (spoken in word) is put to the test (in action). Our “metal is tested” as they say.

Do we believe God is really sovereign over every aspect of our lives?

I think we can all relate to the disciples when they were crossing the lake (Sea of Galilee) and a storm arose, they were scared and became alarmed with what appeared to be Jesus doing nothing. But the message in the story isn’t that God sleeps. No, we know this isn’t the case.

“Indeed, He who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.” – Psalm 121:4

Rather, Jesus sleeping was used as an illustration with how we view Him when the storms of life roll in and it appears that God is not acting on our behalf.

Let’s look at the passage in Matthew 8.

“Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with His disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat.

But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!”

Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” – Matthew 8:23-27

There was a lot going on here but passivity was not one of them.

You have to remember that Christ is all-knowing. He knew what was going on. Jesus, God incarnate, was not and never will be surprised nor taken by fear. The entire experience was a test of faith for the disciples.

Would they trust Him?

This passage it reveals that the disciples were still getting to know Jesus and who He really was.

Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!

The more we know Jesus, and who He is, the more we trust Him even when it appears He is not acting.

The sign of a mature believer is ultimately faith and trust. They have experience with Jesus and they know He is up to something. They may not understand it at the time, but God is working out something for His glory.

Life will seem overwhelming at times.

It will feel like God is absent or asleep, but don’t be misled, He loves you and He cares for you. That doesn’t mean life will be easy. We live in a fallen world where sin rules and reigns. But Christ conquered sin and death so that we may live in Him. Through Christ we are offered peace in and through the storm. But we must dwell on Him.

Ultimately the faith of the disciples would mature beyond physical circumstance and they would give their lives for Christ and the Gospel. It is a sign of love, where faith has matured to the point where intimacy has developed and there is complete trust. In this, there is no fear.

God is constantly testing us, let us not forget.

After all, Jesus tested the first disciples, don’t you think He will test you too?

In Christ we are more than conquerers and by His power, not our own, we can stand on the Rock, our anchor, as the storm rages around us. We can walk in victory. God is working out a plan for His glory and your good.

Storms don’t last forever, hold tight to Jesus and you will find the peace, strength and victory that was purchased for you on the cross.

Article contributed by Matt Cote.