Choice: Panic or Trust?
Mighty God, when I consider Your creation, I am dazzled by Your power and reminded that I am encircled by Your grace.
Read LUKE 8:22-25
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Old Testament makes it clear that God has authority over nature (Psa. 104:3; 107:23-30). This miracle helps reinforce the question of Jesus’ identity.
This is the first of four consecutive cameos recorded by Luke, showing Jesus’ authority over nature and evil in its various forms. As the incidents unfold they show Jesus’ power over desperate situations, bringing peace. Mark writes that this first one happened at the end of the day on which Jesus shared the parable of the soils (Mark 4:35-41). Their destination is across the lake in Gentile territory, a rare trip for Jesus. Tired after a day’s teaching, Jesus fell into a deep sleep, seemingly oblivious to the life-threatening storm (23). As the boat started filling with water the disciples panicked. Their repetitive cry of “Master” (24) expressed terror plus respect, whilst Mark’s version adds a reproachful comment about his lack of care (Mark 4:38).
Their fear of drowning typifies the sense of helplessness we can experience in the midst of overwhelming circumstances. They couldn’t see that simply having Jesus right there with them transformed the situation immediately. Instead, the threatening waves filled their horizon, leaving no room for a faith that trusted not just Jesus’ power to intervene but also his timing in doing so. They had seen him change water into wine, heal people from crippling diseases, deal authoritatively with the demonic and even raise the dead to life! And yet they still weren’t sure about him, his commitment to them, his transformational power and, in particular, his identity.
Jesus rebuked the wind and waves (24), the verb possibly implying that there could be an evil force behind them. As the storm calmed, he questioned his disciples’ faith (25). He asks us the same gentle penetrating question when our grip on faith in him eludes us and we thrash around trying to handle things on our own.
Pray for Christians in conflict-torn countries, living in fear for their lives, that they might know God’s protection and provision. How could you be part of the prayer’s answer?
Lord, my default setting is to be self-reliant. I need Your empowering to have You for my default setting amid the storms of life.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.