And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.
When the Lord instructed the disciples to get into the ship he gave them a simple word or a command. What was the word? “Let us go to the other side”.
Throughout the day, he taught and impressed upon his disciples the importance of his word and how it would impact their lives. That very evening, he was to test them to see what, if anything, they had learned. The test was not to be a simple test, but one which would take them to the very end of themselves. He told them to cast off and then proceeded to lie down and go to sleep. Everything was pleasant when they began their journey, but in short order everything went sour. A severe storm arose upon the lake and everything turned chaotic. Great fear gripped the hearts of every single disciple. They thought they were surely doomed because of the severity of the storm; totally disregarding the fact that it was Jesus himself in the boat with them. Obviously, they hadn’t learned a thing.
Finally, out of desperation, they rushed to Jesus and woke him from his sleep. They probably wondered to themselves, “How can he possibly be sleeping at such a desperate time as this”. You might even say from their communication, that they were more than a bit perturbed that Jesus was still fast asleep during this event. Master do something, don’t you care that we perish?
This is exactly the same response that many of God’s children have in the middle of their crisis.
1) God don’t you care?
2) Help us!
3) Do something!
Many become offended or even upset with God. As a result, some become embittered with their faith.
When you become rooted and grounded in the word of God and understand his great love for you, you’ll never utter these kinds of accusations or challenges to God.
People who make such proclamations are not rooted and grounded in their faith. They don’t know the God they profess to know; nor are they steadfast or grounded in his word, which brings forth all life and godliness.
How silly it would be for a tree not to know that when it is truly grounded in soil, that it is from this source that it draws all substance for life; to thrive and grow. It exists because of the soil.
When I became aware of these very issues in my life, I made a conscience decision to trust God only, in all circumstances of my life. That was over 12 years ago. I have never regretted my decision or looked back.
I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.
Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.
vs 165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
Other great scriptures…
2 Tim 2:10-13
Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
The majority of us have a debilitating problem. We interpret the word of God by our fleshly experiences instead of through God’s precious word.
That’s precisely what the disciples did. The storm, or calamity they were in, was interpreted by what was taking place in their lives at that very moment, not by the truths Christ had been trying to teach them throughout the day.
In the midst of the great storm, the disciples were overwhelmed with panic. They saw the danger, because the tempest was severe; in fact it appeared to them as a hopeless situation. They didn’t see the “author and finisher of their faith”, who was resting peacefully in the same boat.
To them, his sleeping peacefully represented a person who was seemingly unconcerned about the welfare of his friends. In desperation, they cried out to him saying, “don’t you care that we perish”.
A wonderful example of looking beyond the terrible situation brewing around her, we see how the widow woman of Zarepath reacted, when the “word” was given by the Prophet Elijah. In the very midst of her storm, and in desperation, she received the word as a promise. It became life to her in a bad situation. The promise sustained her, her child and Elijah for the duration of the great famine.
This is the true testimony of a word spoken. She received it with gladness, but the Disciples of Christ did not – they panicked. Their test resulted in failure.
Do you want a reality check?
Anytime there is anxiety, panic, fear, worry, or stress in your life, you’ve not received or embraced the word the Lord has given you.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In the context of this scripture, Christ is giving the Disciples another “word”. This word was given them the night before Jesus was to be crucified. They didn’t do well with this word either.
The disciples were about to witness some terrible things, culminating with the very death of Christ at Calvary.
1) The disciples would witness him horribly beaten and scourged.
2) They would see the crown of thorns being placed upon his head.
3) They would see brutalized and nailed to a cross.
4) They would see their Lord as the spear was thrust into his side.
5) They would see his life ebb away as he died before their very eyes.
Just think about it for a moment. Everything they had believed and witnessed over the last three years was going to be tested, and tried, in ways they never imagined. They were under extreme stress and fear, and yet he had given them a “word”.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Three days later – Resurrection Day…
Mary Magdalene sees the Lord of Glory and tells the disciples the things the Christ had spoken to her, but they doubted.
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
When the doors were shut and the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, Jesus appears to them in their midst, giving them yet another word – Peace be unto you.
Just imagine with me what their minds must have been thinking – “You greet us with peace, but don’t you know what’s going on outside these doors? . We’re afraid for our lives”
It’s difficult to understand how the early church ever got off the ground with people like these. They couldn’t seem to get anything right.
Now, let’s return to the ship…
The disciple’s wake up Jesus because of their fear, but Christ does something quite amazing. He rebukes the very thing that brought fear and confusion to his disciples, concerning the word that he had given – the storm.
Then he questions them…
And he said unto them, why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?
This is what always takes place when the word has been given you, but you refuse to receive it.
Instances where we can see…
1) It took place in the ship, when Christ was asleep.
2) It took place in the room where they were gathered after Christ’s death, with the doors shut because of fear for the Jews.
3) It took place when Peter denied the Lord three times.
4) It took place in the midst of the ship when they did not consider the miracle of the loaves.
5) It took place when the remaining 11 disciples stayed in the ship instead of walking on the water with Peter.
In this last instance, only one responded when he received the word from Christ – come. Only Peter would walk on the water with Christ, while all the others remained fearful and exhibited no faith. These disciples were with the word – Jesus, yet they didn’t receive his word, which would have calmed every storm and doubt. Though they were in the presence of the Creator of all things, they couldn’t believe the very sea he had created had no power over him.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. [insert: I have triumphed over everything that would rise up to destroy you]
So why do we fall apart when the doctor gives us a negative word? Why do we fall apart when everything seems to be going in a bad direction for us?
Most of God’s people feel that it’s normal to have those feelings.
Then consider these things.
1) It might be normal if God didn’t live inside of each of us in the new man he created in when we were born again.
2) It might be normal if God would have never said to those belonging to him that by his stripes we are healed.
3) It might be normal if he wasn’t our hope.
4) It might be normal if he didn’t say, “let not your heart be troubled”.
5) It might be normal if he wasn’t our buckler and shield.
6) It might even be normal if the word of God wouldn’t have said, “trust in the Lord and to lean not upon our own understanding”.
But, he did say those things friends, and he does live within each of us. As he was in the boat with the disciples, so he is now within each of us, strengthening us with his “words”. Fear not; only believe.
Things which aren’t normal for the child of God…
1) It’s not normal to be a child of God and be in panic.
2) It’s not normal to be a child of God to fear anything.
3) It’s not normal for a child of the King to be filled with anxiety and worry, when we’re to sit in heavenly places with Christ, with everything under our feet.
4) It’s not normal for the child of God to murmur and complain in the midst of such great riches.
5) It’s not normal to have been given the very word of God, with every promise, according to his covenant, then live as though he has never done anything for us.
With all the promises of God in our lives, through Christ, everything that would exalt itself above the knowledge of God should cease to exist in our lives.
We should not live as the heathen or ungodly live, full of doubts, fears, anxieties, and without hope. We should be as Christ, above only, in all things. It isn’t time for the church to be waking up Jesus, crying out for him to do something, when he has already done all things. It’s time for the church to wake up and to finally realize that Jesus has already made every provision, for everything that you will ever need.
2 Pet 1:3
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
We saw for ourselves that the disciples didn’t do very well with the “words” that Jesus gave them, but thankfully they would learn and finally get their spiritual acts together, and we can too.
Fear not; only believe!