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Faith Failure

As humans we are acquainted with failure. Failure is part of our human condition and it is normative throughout our lives. However, we often spend a great deal of time hiding from or hurting from failure and either choice can lead us to make poor decisions, particularly in regard to spiritual matters.

In Matthew 8 we read:

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Matthew 8:23-27

The disciples in the text are faced with a storm on the lake of Galilee. This was not something with which they were unacquainted as fishermen from the region. But, on this occasion, whether the storm was more intense than normal, or they were more frightened than normal, their decision to reach out to Jesus for help indicates that they thought the matter was beyond their expertise and control.

The rebuke of the Lord is telling. He indicates that their fear and lack of faith were working hand in hand to cripple them from making a better choice with regard to the outcome. Perhaps they could not keep the water out of the boat, nor were they able to stop the storm by themselves, but, they had either forgotten or failed to understand Who was with them in the midst of the seeming calamity. In that moment the miracle of the calmed seas certifies Jesus as Lord over creation. Fear and Faith Fails needed a stern correction so that in the future, their choices would be made from a place of trust and serenity.

You and I will indeed experience fear and failure. The goal is to secure our hearts and mind, that is the seat of our decisions and our rational understanding to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus, Christ. Like the disciples we need to accept that despite the intensity of the storm and uncertainty of the outcome, when Jesus is with us, His will for us will be accomplished, and we will make it safely to the earthly or heavenly shore of His choosing.