23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with His disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 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.
27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this Man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey Him!” ~ Matthew 8:23-27 — NLT ~
This is one of my favorite scripture passages. I love reading how Jesus arises in the midst of the storm and rebukes the wind and the waves, telling them, “Peace! Be still!” It blesses me to think that He cared enough about the disciples to calm the storm that was raging all about them, and it makes me wonder, does He love me enough to calm the storms in my life? Does He love you enough to calm the storms in your life?
To believe in the possibility that Jesus loves me, knowing that He knows my every thought and every secret deed requires faith. And sometimes, I just don’t know if my faith is strong enough. Now, when it comes to believing that He loves you or someone else, I have great faith. When it comes to believing that God will step in and move on your behalf, I have no problem.
You see, it is easy to have faith in God for someone else, but it is another thing to have faith in God for yourself. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love this story so much, because in it, I can see that I’m not that much different than the disciples who walked with Jesus everyday, and knew Him physically, as well as spiritually.
Although they knew Jesus intimately and actually saw Him work miracles, signs and wonders, their faith was still small. They had seen Him work wonders in the lives of others, but could He or would He work on their behalf? They were afraid to believe that He would, and sadly, I understand that fear.
You see, it began when I was a child. I can remember not doing my homework and then praying for a blizzard, so that I could stay home from school and get my work done, and I really had great faith that He would come through for me, but He never did. I didn’t understand it. Why didn’t God answer my prayers, when He knew that my parents would beat me and curse me? Was it because I was so bad, and I just wasn’t worthy of His love? At the time, this was the only answer that made sense to me. After all, He knew the things that I had done, and even worse, He knew the things that I thought. Have you ever felt like that?
The sad thing is that we don’t always outgrow those childhood disappointments, and they can hinder us as we get older. I grew up believing that God helps others, (just as the disciples probably thought), but not someone like me, until the storms in life began to batter me. Have you been battered by the storms in life? Have you longed for the Savior to rebuke the wind and the waves in your life?
If so, we must do as the disciples did. They shamelessly cried out to Jesus, while He slept peacefully. As they wakened Him, the disciples shouted, “Teacher, don’t You care that we’re going to drown?” Isn’t that what we all want to know? My life is falling apart, and the storms keep on raging against me, and Jesus, do You really care about me?
Now, let’s look at how Jesus responded to His panicked disciples…
26 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. ~ Matthew 8:26 — NLT ~
The scriptures show no indication that Jesus was angry with His frightened disciples. Instead, He takes the time to answer them, before calming the wind and the waves. “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Now, pay attention! After telling them that they had little faith, Jesus still got up and rebuked the wind and the waves, thereby causing a great calm. Do you see that, beloved reader? Even though their faith was small, He still answered their prayer, and calmed the storm.
How does your faith measure? Is it little faith, or great faith? If it is just little faith, can you still believe that Jesus loves you, and that when you delight yourself in Him, He will give you the desires of your heart? Beloved readers, Jesus loves us far more than we know, and if you are willing to admit that you have little faith, and ask Him to increase your faith, He will! Remember the father of the demon possessed boy…
21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.
He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” ~ Mark 9:21-24 — NLT ~
You know that Jesus saw the pain in that man’s eyes, and he heard it in the man’s voice as he cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Friends, I understand what that man was saying. “I believe, but help me Lord, because I believe for others, but not for me and mine. Lord, please help me overcome my unbelief!”
And Jesus’ response to this man’s plea? It was the same as His response to the disciples. Jesus heard the cry of his heart, and He healed the man’s son, thereby helping him to overcome his unbelief. For the disciples, He calmed the wind and the waves. He did it for their sake, to increase their little faith.
So, what do we do when our faith is little? We cry out to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith and…
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:2 — NLT ~
Do you see that? Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. The author of a book is the one who writes the book, creates the characters and endows them with their various abilities, and it is the same with the author of our faith. It is He who created each one of us, and it is He who gives us our various gifts and abilities. Therefore, if Jesus is the author of our faith, then He is the One who gave us our faith to start with, and it is He who finishes our faith. Therefore, if I cry out to Him to increase my faith, since that is His will for you and me, will He not honor that request? Of course He will.
Do you have little faith? Then do as the father of the boy did, and do as I do. Ask Jesus to help you overcome your unbelief… And one more thing, when you read God’s word, read it out loud, so that you can hear the words as they are spoken. Memorize His word, so that you can speak it to yourself and to others…
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~ Romans 10:17 — NKJV ~
If you want your little faith to grow, cry out to Jesus and speak and listen to God’s word, because faith comes from hearing the word of God. By crying out to Jesus, you are crying out to the Word of God, to increase your faith. And by reading and speaking His word out loud, you are speaking the words of the author and finisher of your faith — the One who is writing your existence and your faith, and by doing so, your little faith will grow… Amen.
Cheryl A. Showers