23 When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. 25 And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” 26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. 27 The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” ~ Matthew 8:23-27
What a vivid and instructive picture we have here of the hearts of thousands of believers! How many have faith and love enough to forsake all for Christ’s sake, and to follow him whithersoever he goes, and yet are full of fears in the hour of trial! How many have grace enough to turn to Jesus in every trouble, crying, “Lord save us,” and yet not grace enough to lie still and believe in the darkest hour that all is well!
~ J. C. Ryle; Expository thoughts on Matthew ~
Life is full of trials. These trials are different for each one of us. Regardless of our belief, or lack thereof, we all face our moments where we begin to feel overwhelmed. This includes the darkest hours of our lives. In essence, we all have our breaking moments. We choose to succumb to the despair that seems to consume us, or, we choose to rise above and have bold faith when facing that hour of darkness. For the disciples, they succumbed to their fear of perishing when the storm arose and the waves seemed to swallow them.
It is only the words of Christ that brought comfort. Upon rebuking the wind and the seas, the Savior turned to those whom he had chosen to become fisher of men and asked: Why are you afraid, you men of little faith? Like the disciples, we cry out to the Savior because we appear to be perishing in our own storms. There is grave fear in our hearts and in those dark moments, we cry out save us Lord; for we are perishing!
How is it that we profess our loyalty to serve the Savior and yet wither when trials begin to rise up in our own lives? Even more poignant, how many times have we shrunk back in fear from stepping out in faith and prevent ourselves from growing even more in our walk? As Christians, we have a sacred promise that no matter what it is we face in our own lives, He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne (Revelation 3:21).
Therefore, let us be of good cheer (John 16:33) because we are continuously building our faith on a sure foundation:
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock (Matthew 7:24-25).
No matter how those storms rise up in our lives, no matter how hard those waves cover us, we must turn to the Lord for solace. Not because we perceive that we are perishing. We turn to the Savior because we know that it is only through him that we are able to find the calm and peace to endure those dark hours in our lives. In short, it is not in the calmness of our lives that our faith is on trial and our devotion to the Savior is challenged, it is when a great storm raises up that challenge our faith. Will you seek the Lord for the calming peace or seek after him out of desperation and fearful because of the seemingly moment of perishing?