Pastor Youcef who is heard on WFUR, recently spoke on faith. His sermon gave me reason to think on it as well and to write this article, because a question had come to mind. How does the world look at faith or do they believe in faith of any kind?
Many people only believe in the faith of what they can do. It is all wrapped up in their abilities and actions that they take. You might hear a coach talking about all the training his team has done before the big game. The countless practices and the many trips to the weight room that his athletes have taken. If they win, much is said of the preparation (which is very good thing to do) that took place beforehand. Nothing about the Lord that faithfully gave them the abilities that they possess. God created all of us and gave us our abilities.
Those that do not know the Lord and are unable to lean on Him can spend countless hours worrying over the many aspects of life. They wonder and worry, will their job still be there tomorrow, will they be able to pay the bills, will their 401K do well, will the presentation go well they have to address tomorrow and many other concerns. They have nothing to lean on but themselves. God and the Holy Spirit are not available to them.
How do you look at faith as a Christian? Yes, we have concerns. We would not be human if we did not have concerns for the things of life, but as a Christian is that all we have; or do we have something extra. Do we have faith in God? Do we acknowledge that God will guide us and will be there to lead the way in anything that happens in our life. As Christians, we can have faith that whatever happens in our life; we know that God is there for us as we walk through the fire and that He will use it for His glory.
Mark 4: 35-41 gives us some insights to faith and trust in God. We see Jesus and the twelve having put in another long day of serving the people. I can imagine the 12 thinking to themselves, finally the day is over, the pressing crowds have been dismissed. Now on to a nice piece of sand by the lake and some sleep. Then they hear Jesus, “oh by the way, cross over to the other side of the lake.” So muscles aching they start over. This is no small vessel, it is big enough for 13 men, and even if they were using sails; it took a lot of skill and muscle power.
As a side note, I sometimes wonder what happened to the other boats? It states there were other boats that left at the same time. Did they safely arrive on the other side or maybe turned back to shore when they saw the storm coming.
The boat heads out and the 12 settle into a routine and maybe hoping for a quick passage to the other side. That idea is dashed as a sudden storm (common to that area) forms overhead. The wind picks up and waves crash over the sides of the boat, all the while Jesus is resting and sleeping.
Mark 4:37-38 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was already filling. And He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow: and they awoke Him, and say unto Him, Teacher do you not care that we are perishing? (NKJV).
These were the men who had already seen miracles by Jesus and saw men turn from unbelieving (like themselves) into those that believed in Jesus. There would be more times when this would happen until the final days when Jesus would send the power of the Holy Spirit upon them and they would go out and change the world by His Power.
Mark 4:39-40 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. But HE said to them, why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? (NKJV).
We as Christians sometimes run to the stern end of the boat and ask God, “Do you not care that I perish? We still drag around our old sin nature. A nature that is always at war with the Holy Spirit that lives in us.
In my visits with the senior saints, I come away with the knowledge of their deep faith and trust from decades of walking with the Lord. As we study the Bible and pray, let us all come away with that deep faith and trust in the Lord that will help us stand against the temptation to run to the stern end of the boat.
RBC Visitation Pastor