Our Faith Journey

“When Jesus woke up, He rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then He asked them, ‘Where is your faith?’” (Luke 8:24b-25 NLT)

In the Greek language faith and believe are derived from the save root word. They are two sides of the same coin and have many similarities in meaning; however, they also have some distinct and notable differences. Some of these differences are illustrated in the story in Luke 8 above.

Jesus is asleep when a massive storm arises and literally threatens to sink their boat. Have you ever wondered why Jesus didn’t wake up on His own? The storm has obviously been howling and the rain falling long enough for the boat to be quickly filling. You’d think the turbulence caused by the waves and the fact He’s soaking wet would have been enough to awaken Him, but what if He purposely allowed Himself to not get up and take charge of the situation before now?

Couple that idea with the question He asked them – Where is your faith?” There’s a part of me that is asking: “What does faith have to do with it?” Not that faith isn’t always vital, but what does faith have to do specifically with THIS circumstance? How should their faith have been exercised?

A case could be made that their faith in Jesus led them to awaken Him, but on some levels, Jesus seemed disappointed that they didn’t take care of the storm on their own. But how? Could this have been a “test” of their faith?

In John 5:19 Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing.” Then in John 15:5 Jesus says to His disciples and to us: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Please bear with me. I realize this is Christianity 101, but the Lord is showing me that we can know things intellectually and not “see” them spiritually – experientially. Jesus was God in human form, yet, His whole purpose and goal of being a man was to please His Father. In fact, according to the verse above, He did nothing except what His Father did. What’s the implication? His only desire was to please His Father.

Likewise, as believers in Jesus who have committed our all to Him, our desire is to only do what we “see” our Savior do. Why? Because when we stray into doing our own thing, we “disconnect” from the vine. We can’t do anything of eternal value apart from Jesus. So, here’s where the plot thickens.

In John 14:11-14 Jesus told His disciples (and us): “Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen Me do. 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. You can ask for anything in My name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it!”

Remember the withered fig tree in Matthew 21? In verses21-22 Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”

And some of you may be thinking: “Aren’t you being a little repetitive?” Yes, I am, with very good reason. We’ll pick this up in tomorrow’s post.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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