Read Mark 4:35-41
35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!” (NLT)
It has been said that at the most basic level faith is a refusal to panic. It is all about considering our circumstances and putting them in a proper perspective. For a Christian, it is about focussing on the God in whom we trust rather than the situation we face.
Easier said than done. Jesus’ disciples had seen evidence of Jesus’ power and compassion. When the storm came, he was there in the boat with them. A faith-filled response would have seen them remark on the storm but then realise Jesus was with them so he surely could be relied upon to keep them safe.
That is the theory. In practice they panicked. Just as we so often do. We too know about Jesus; we have read of his power; we sing about his power; we have even experienced his power. And yet when the crunch comes we may forget all about that and be overwhelmed by the real or imagined threat.
Jesus will put the same question to us as he put to his disciples: do we still have no faith? It is not enough to believe certain things about Jesus. Faith is not just about asserting correct truths; it is about applying what we know to a given situation. It is looking at our circumstances, taking a longer look at Jesus, and then refusing to panic.