Where is your faith? This is the question that Jesus Christ challenged His disciples with, when they were in, what may have been the darkest night of their life.
They were on a rocky sea, and they thought that they were going to die. Their Lord was there, and He was sleeping.
Recovery made me feel like that. My sin makes me feel like that sometimes. It was despairing. I didn’t see much hope. I had too much trust .. in myself.
I forgot that the Master of my life, my God was in the boat with me and that it was never in my hands.
The question is, ‘Where is my faith?’
Luke 8:23-25, ‘But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
Jesus Christ challenged His disciples, because He gives the gift of faith. He had shown them miracles. He had shown them that He could heal people, not just from physical diseases, but redeemed us from separation with God, something only Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of man could do. Yet, they were still worried. They acted as if Jesus Christ was not even there. How often I do that? Sadly, too much…
Then He manifested to them again, the amazing paradox of His two natures, both God and man.
He got into that boat in Luke 8, and He was tired. That was the infirmity of men affecting Him, YET, what happened when the disciples went to Jesus and cried out, ‘MASTER, carest thou not that we perish?’
He stood up. He rebuked the winds and the waves. Immediately they STOOD STILL.
So if God saved me, rescued me from the Egypt of sin and rescued me to Himself am I trusting Him with my whole life? Do I trust God as the One who rescued the Egyptians by parting the red sea, and ultimately as God who SENT His Son, out of His infinite mercy, though He did not have to, to save souls, not just bodies, but eternal souls from hell?
These truths are in the Bible, and it is God’s Word, God-breathed as Paul reminds Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16.
The ultimate question in recovery was, ‘Am I going to trust in the Lord God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength or not?’
And God saved me from myself, from my own lack of faith, and He shows me daily, continually that my faith must be in Him alone.
He rescued me by His mercy and grace. And daily, His mercy and grace floods my soul. When I see Jesus’ tenderness, even in His rebuke, of His disciples’ lack of faith, on the boat, I see that He does not lose patience as I might lose patience when someone is unduly worried.
This is how our tender Father looks at our frailty. Psalm 103:13-17, ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;’
Our Father pities our frailties, and that’s why salvation is the power of God unto salvation. It is not man. We can’t save ourselves.
Even if I tried, I couldn’t save myself, but God does. He brings salvation, and it is full and free. And He cares about His children.
That is the wonderfully comforting thing about the Psalms, about the life of Jesus throughout the Gospels.
Though, we should have faith that the One who has saved us has saved us completely and nothing can ever separate us from His loving grasp, we don’t, and we are often attacked, assailed with doubts and fears, from our own minds, from the Devil, the prince of lies.
Matthew 11:28-29, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’
That is where we have to end up. That’s where God, by His grace, brings me every time I feel distressed, cast down. He brings me back to that hope, to the promise that nothing can ever, ever separate me from His love. (Romans 8) No other person. No other thing offers that everlasting hope. It’s not temporary.
In distress, we can cry out, and He will hear because He is God; He is sovereign, and He saves.
Psalm 42:11, ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.’
Although feelings are a gift, they aren’t what drives my life, because my feelings might be saying, ‘You can’t be saved. You can’t be redeemed. You aren’t loved. You aren’t forgiven.’
We need the truth. What is the truth? Our minds will tell us lies, but that’s why Paul tells us to THINK on the right things, the things that are true, not the things that we feel. Philippians 4 is such a powerful reminder that though our mind will wander to things that aren’t true, because we are constantly fighting the devil and his armies, to think on LOVELY things, because Jesus has overcome the world.
‘He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
The next time, you are struggling, struggling with recovery, ask yourself? Has Jesus Christ overcome the world? Has God promised total salvation through His Son Jesus? Read His promises. Say them to yourself. Remind yourself that His love is what saved you. He loved us first, and it was UNCONDITIONAL. It was not of works, lest any man should boast, so that we can give the GLORY, all of it to Him, and so we won’t feel or know the burden of trying to ‘work our way to heaven,’ because we can’t.
The Lord Jesus Christ is in the boat, and He is Master of the boat. Do not fear, for He is with you. And He has overcome the world…
What truths do you repeat to yourself when your feelings are lying to you?
What is your biggest struggle in recovery?