Hard times come for all of us. As Christians, trials shouldn’t be a moment of panic. We have the Lord on our side; He has authority over everything in the universe.
But we so often forget this.
If we follow Jesus, then we are trusting that He has a plan. We often doubt that God has a purpose for our suffering or hard times. I could list off trial after trial that I have gone through, but I would be preaching to the choir. I CAN say, however, the times my faith has grown the strongest is through those hard times. I’m not particularly proud of my reactions, thoughts, or attitude in the heat of the moment, but looking back I not only see that the Lord got me through, but that He also had a plan and purpose for the struggles I was facing.
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew 8:23-27 (NIV)
In the passage above, the disciples literally followed Jesus onto a boat, but when the storm blew in, they panicked and thought they might die from a boating accident. I think it’s actually quite comical that Jesus was SLEEPING in the boat amidst the storm, calm as can be.
That should be us.
Concern over an issue is one thing. But the disciples’ took concern to the next level – a lack of faith. They doubted Jesus’:
- Power: His authority, who He is. “Maybe He CAN’T do it.”
- Passion: His compassion, His care, His concern for us as His children.
- Plan: His purpose.
I want to have a faith that is strong in the time of testing. The disciples crumbled, even after watching Jesus work many miracles including turning water into wine [John 2:1-11], healing many sick [John 4:43-54, Matthew 8:14-15, Matthew 8:16-17, Matthew 8:1-14, Matthew 8:5-13, Matthew 9:1-8, Matthew 12:9-14], driving out evil spirits [Mark 1:21-27], etc. Let us not forget, if we have accepted Jesus in our hearts, He has worked a miracle in our lives too! Jesus saved us from the depths of hell, the only place we rightfully deserve. Yet we so often forget that He has control.
When the disciples realized there was nothing else they could do, they went to Jesus. Why is Jesus always our last option? You’ve heard the phrase, “All I have left to do is pray.” That should be the FIRST thing we do.
If you are in the midst of a storm, I encourage you to look to Him. Trust Him. If nothing else good comes from the trial you are facing, your faith can ALWAYS be strengthened. God has the ultimate power, He has a passion for His people and He has a plan for our lives.
When hard times come, do you choose fear or faith? Christ or crisis?