“As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.” (Luke 8:23 NLT)
Each of us is either coming out of a storm or heading into one. Life on earth is rarely “smooth sailing.” Why do you think that is? We so easily drift out of harmony with God’s plan for us, so He will often use a “storm” to blow us back on course, or at least get our attention shifted back onto Him. But why? Maybe to build our faith?
In the verses above the disciples are genuinely fearing for their lives and, in their minds, Jesus wasn’t doing anything about it. Have you ever stopped to consider – What did they think Jesus was going to do? Help them bail? Yet, frantically, they turned to Him in desperation.
Maybe that’s why you’re experiencing a storm right now. It’s likely not to literally kill you, but it may be a means of getting your attention. Why does He want our attention? There are many, but there are typically a few common reasons.
In the verse above the Lord desired for the disciples to realize He had authority over any storm. When they woke Him up the Bible says: “He rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then He asked them, ‘Where is your faith?’”
Why would He ask them such a question in that setting? The disciples were literally terrified. Some were professional fishermen who had experienced many storms on that lake. They were no stranger to storms, but apparently none that had scared them this badly. They’d obviously survived all the others, but this one was different.
A couple observations. The Lord allowed the storm. Nothing enters our lives except it passes through the filter of God’s permission, so He had a reason. The storm you’re facing has the Lord’s fingerprints all over it, but why? Could it be He’s wanting you to see that He has authority over your storm? But even beyond that, could it be He wants you to see that He has given YOU authority over that storm!
Why else would He question His disciples about THEIR faith? Jesus had absolute confidence that the wind and waves would obey Him. How did He know that? He’s God! He created them and knows they have no choice but to bow to His command. And He would later tell the disciples, and us: “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12)
The purpose of storms is to build our faith and either propel us toward the fulfillment of His clear command or redirect us, like He had to do with Jonah, back to the mission from which we’re running. Beth Moore reminds us: “Sometimes a storm in your life is what will blow you to the place you are longing to be.”
Wherever the Lord is allowing the storms to blow you, know this: He’s in control and He’s not going to let you drown. He’s using whatever it is to build your faith, not only so you can be more like Him, but that you can take command and exercise the authority He’s given you to carry out the mission He’s given you.
No, of course, it’s not apart from Him. We can’t do anything apart from Him. It’s like the dad steadying the bike while their child is learning how to balance. But it’s us on the bike! It’s us He’s entrusted to carry out the mission, and it’s us who will ultimately give Him all glory and honor for what He accomplishes in and through us.
Wherever your storm is blowing you, trust that the Lord is with you and is using those circumstances to put you where He wants you to be – a place that will help build your faith that will ultimately honor Him.
Blessings, Ed 😊