“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd, they took him with them, just as he was, in the boat … And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care if we perish?’ And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?’ And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?’” (Mark 4:35-41).
Discipleship formation in the first century was clearly fraught with danger and heart-stopping action. Like all who have gone before us, our discipleship process is not complete without encountering perilous storms that test our faith. Here’s how we can move from fear to faith amid trials.
Remember who Jesus is. In their distress, the disciples forgot that Jesus was in the beginning with God, and as God, has authority over all creation (Jn. 1:1-3, Col. 1:15-20). This same Jesus continues to lead his Church with divine authority and power.
Remember where Jesus is. Fear causes us to doubt Christ’s nearness, yet he is still in the boat with us for he has promised to never leave or forsake us (Heb. 13:5, Jn. 14:18).
Remember what Jesus said. No storm has power over his voice. When Jesus says, “Let us go across to the other side,” you can trust him to deliver you safely to your destination for his promises are sure (2 Cor. 1:19-20).
Relinquish control to Jesus. The principle works like this: we seek to control … he rests. He takes control … we rest. St. Augustine once said, “All of God’s children embark with Christ on a life that is full of dangerous storms, especially attacks from evil spirits and temptations of the flesh. We must learn to trust Christ daily since he alone can restrain these forces and bring us to the safe harbor of salvation” (Sermon 51, Mk. 4).
Reap the rewards of faith. There is a “great calm” in store for disciples who ride out the storm with Jesus as they realize the results of radical trust and obedience which ultimately lead to the advancement of the Gospel. The disciples stepped out of the tempest into a wave of miracles as the demoniac of the Gerasenes was set free, a little girl was raised to life, a woman was healed from 12 traumatic years with a hemorrhage and the Good News spread far and wide (Mk. 5).
With Jesus, any storms we face merely serve to strengthen our resolve and increase our faith! I invite you to pray this with me: Lord Jesus, I relinquish control of the storm I am navigating to you. I trust your voice and receive your grace to “go across to the other side” so others can encounter your love, power, and freedom!
Your brother in Christ,
Associate Director of Discipleship Formation
Connect with Anthony: [email protected]