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This story is a good illustration of what it means to trust God's Word. Jesus told His disciples, "Let's cross to the other side of the lake" (Mark 4:35), speaking of the Sea of Galilee. At that point, they knew it was His will to go to the other side, and Jesus expected them to believe what He said. However, after they launched out, they soon found themselves in a fierce storm, and waves were breaking over the edge of the boat, filling it with water. Amazingly, Jesus was taking a nap! He obviously believed, unlike His disciples, that they were going to make it to the other side of the lake.
Little children are often scared over things that their parents, who have a higher knowledge, aren't the least bit concerned about. We are often like those fearful little children and God is always like the confident parent. Like little children, we should look at our Father's confidence and have faith. When we trust Him, we can sleep even when things are going badly, because we know God has everything under control. Fear and anxiety are what keep people up all night long.
Jesus' disciples should have followed His example, believing His Word in spite of their predicament. They should have realized that if Jesus was asleep, He must not have been worried, and so there was no cause for them to be concerned either. They were, however, petrified over what was happening to them, and finally woke Jesus, who immediately calmed the wind and waves with a rebuke. Can you imagine seeing such a violent storm immediately stop?
After rebuking the wind and waves, Jesus then rebuked His disciples, asking why they were so afraid and why they had no faith in Him. God expects us to trust Him.
Jesus' disciples were too stunned by what they'd just seen to attempt to answer Him, and probably missed what He was hoping they'd learn. But they would soon have another chance to use their faith against some wind out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, only next time, Jesus wouldn't be in the boat with them! God is a great teacher!
Q. Certainly Jesus was always in the center of His Father's will, and was surely led by the Holy Spirit to cross over the Sea of Galilee that evening. And certainly God knew there would be a violent storm that would threaten their lives as Jesus and His disciples crossed. So why do you suppose God led Jesus to cross the Sea of Galilee when He did?
A. We don't know for sure, because the Bible doesn't say. However, we can read other stories in the Bible where God led His own people into difficulties with the purpose of delivering them. He wants us to learn to trust Him, and times of trial are great times to trust God! God may have been teaching the disciples a lesson about faith, as well as glorifying His Son before them.
Q. When you face difficulties that you can't control, what do you think God would want you to do?
A. He wants us to trust Him, taking Him at His Word. Of course, unless we know what He has said, we have nothing to trust. That is why it is so worthwhile to know the Bible. That is the only place we can find God's promises.
Application: The only time we should worry about our circumstances is when God is worried about them. But since God never worries, we should never worry either!