Years ago, Homer Smith preached a sermon on this text and I copied his outline in my Bible. I’m going to use his outline to preach this text today. The question Jesus asked his disciples is a great question for us to answer today, “Where is your faith?”
Is your faith in your craft? Lk 8:22 – “he went into a ship.” Sailing in a ship was common for Jesus’ disciples. They had done it many times before. Some of them had even been commercial fishermen. So, they had learned to trust the ship and their knowledge of the sea.
The faith of so many of us is in what we have and what God has given us for our lives. Consider our church. We have buildings and we have money in the bank. Consider our personal treasure. We have homes, we have jobs or retirement income, we have food, we have vehicles, and so forth. It is easy to trust all these provisions and to forget God when we have so much. What would happen if all this were taken away?
Is your faith in your comrades? Lk 8:22 – “with his disciples.” These men were not alone in this storm. They had each other. When things get tough, it is easier to ride out the storm if someone on board is calm and cool-headed. But if everyone is scared, then the whole ship is in a panic. That’s what happened to the disciples.
The faith of many Christians is in men, their pastor, their friends, their family, and so forth. So, when the pastor fails or gets scared, the sheep scatter. Likewise, your faith wanes when you see a friend backslide or your family lose faith. I thank God that Tony, Randy and I haven’t given you an excuse to run scared from God. However, you must remember, “the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own.”
Is your faith in your cause? Lk 8:22 – “”he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake.” I have often said that the disciple should have been able to survive this storm because they had a command from Jesus to go to the other side. However, just following his orders weren’t enough to strengthen their faith against the vehemence of the storm.
Many servants of the Lord ride out difficulties in their lives because they know God has called them to a certain duty. They say, “God called me here to do this thing (whatever their ministry may be).” And so they endure hardship for a time. But it is not uncommon for them to quit before their work is done because the storms they face eventually shatter their faith.
Is your faith in your circumstances? Lk 8:23 – “there came down a storm of wind on the lake.” It was easy for these men to trust the Lord as long as the sailing was easy. They certainly liked the “calm” more than they liked the “storm of wind.” When their circumstances changed they thought for sure they would perish.
Likewise, when it’s smooth sailing for us, it’s easy to testify of the goodness of the Lord and of the privilege it is to serve him. But when the storm comes, we start bailing. We aren’t sure where the Lord is and what he is doing. We get scared. We start questioning God. We aren’t even sure that he’s aware of the trouble we’re in (like these disciples when they awoke Jesus). The disciples asked Jesus in Mk 4:38, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?”
Is your faith in Christ? Lk 8:24 – “they came to him.” When the disciples awoke Jesus, he “rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.” Truthfully, he didn’t have to do that. They would have ridden out the storm in safety. As long as they had Jesus, they were going to be fine. They had to learn this lesson because they were going to face other “storms” after Jesus’s ascension. And they had to know that he was with them and that he would save them until it was time for them to depart. They weren’t going to have the luxury of always serving him in the calm.
We must remember, no matter how rough things may get in our lives, to always keep our faith in Christ. Wives must learn to trust Jesus to lead them through their husbands even when their husbands aren’t faithful. When you are ill, you must trust Jesus to take care of you and to provide the medical professionals who can help you. When you face financial, marital, emotional, familial , medical, ministerial or whatever storms, your faith must be in Jesus.
Conclusion: Jesus is sufficient in the storm. The ship couldn’t save them. They couldn’t save each other. Their cause was no guarantee of their safety. And their circumstances were no indication of their impending doom. They didn’t need the ship; Jesus and they could have walked on water. He got Jonah to Nineveh in the belly of a whale. They didn’t need each other; they had him. They didn’t have to worry about the cause; Jesus was going to accomplish through them everything he wanted to do. And they surely didn’t need to be fearful of their circumstances; they had him with them on board. And if you are saved you have Jesus with you always. He said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Keep you faith in Christ and in Christ alone.