Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well, and that this devotion finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy!
Readings for June 20, 2021: Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Job 38:1-11; Psalm 124; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41
. . . A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 37-41)
Have you ever found yourself in a scary position like the disciples did in this story? I know I have. My fear-filled moments didn’t occur on a boat in the middle of fierce waves and winds, but they remained fierce storms for me, none the less.
The thing that gets me about this story is that the disciples were in the physical presence of the one who could rescue them from the storm. They were face to face with Jesus, the long awaited Messiah, yet they remained frantic and feared for their lives. I wonder if they would have reacted the way they did if Jesus wasn’t there. I wonder if, despite their fears, they would have spent time in prayer asking God for protection from the storm and a safe return home. I wonder if they would have acted more like Daniel when he was faced with the lion’s den, or like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, when they were faced with the fiery furnace. For these people, their faith in the Lord gave them the assurance of knowing, without a doubt, that no matter what they were faced with, their God could deliver them. And even if they weren’t spared, God was still worthy of all their praise and loyalty. So despite all things, they remained faithful to the Lord and trusted him to get them through all of life’s stormy trials.
Personally, I would much prefer to have the faith of Daniel and his three buddies, than that of the disciples as displayed in this story. I would much prefer to know I can go to my Lord in prayer at any point of any day, lay my requests and pleas before him, and trust that he will answer me according to his will, instead of fearing that just because I am not in his physical presence or that he may not be physically paying attention to me, that perhaps he doesn’t know what’s going on. I would much prefer the blessed assurance of knowing that my God is worthy of my praise and thanksgiving despite what is happening to me in my life’s journey, instead of feeling like I have to question him and his intentions because he’s not acting the way I think he should; “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Yes, I would much prefer to have faith that makes others question why I do things, than have the Lord question me, “Do you still have no faith?”
Well, the awesome thing is that after Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples did have a solid faith in our Lord, just like those faith-filled people of the Old Testament. With the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, we too can have that faith that trusts the Lord above all things and in every circumstance. Yes, the disciples may have had the opportunity to see and spend time with Jesus physically, but it wasn’t until Jesus ascended into heaven that they depended on all that Christ had promised them, of proclaiming him as Saviour of the world, and clinging to the assurance that he now lives in his heavenly home, preparing a place for them, for you, and for me.
Yes, the disciples may have seen Jesus, “but blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29b) So, let go of the old adage, ‘seeing is believing’, and live your life in the assurance that ‘believing is not seeing’, and know without a doubt that Jesus has conquered sin, death and the power of the devil, and trust that he will get you through every and all of life’s trials, as you call upon him, no matter how big or small they are. He lives to guide you through your days on Earth and into eternity according to the will of his Father. He remains the only one who can still the storm, shut the lion’s mouth, and stand alongside you in all of your life’s fiery blazes. To him alone belongs all glory and praise!
Prayer: Dear Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Please do not let my actions and giving into my fears make you question my faith as you did the disciples. I pray that your Holy Spirit strengthen me to live a life of faith and trust in you, as Daniel did. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!