On Fear and Anxiety: Where is Your Faith?

Meditation: Luke 8:24

“And He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, ‘Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him?’”

In this verse from the familiar story of Jesus' calming the storm, we have the opportunity to consider how the disciples’ fear was transformed. In a moment, they were catapulted from the fear for their lives to the fear of the Lord. When Jesus spoke to the wind and it calmed, they were amazed. Their immediate response to the miracle was fear. They were filled with wonder and questioned what they had witnessed.

Jesus asked them a pointed question, “Where is your faith?” They answered his question with a question: “Who is this that the wind and water obey him?” I wonder if they said it aloud?!

When Jesus stopped the storm was it his intention to show them where they were putting their “little faith?” Why did they run to Jesus and awaken him in the middle of their fear? Was it not because they thinking He could rescue them and make a way of escape? 

When Jesus asked them about their faith, was he telling them that they could have trusted Him to carry them through the storm even if he had remained asleep?

The answers to those questions is yes! These men went to Jesus in the storm. He is the One they turned to for help. They may not have expected that he would command the wind and water, but he was their go-to man. If they were going to be in a storm, they wanted Jesus awake and present with them in the middle of it. 

“They had faith in Jesus, but they didn’t have Jesus’ faith.” (Dallas Willard)

Our faith can grow from a place of fear---especially the fear of the Lord. The storm provided the opportunity for the disciples to receive more faith. Their faith had a new rung on the ladder so they could reach a higher plane with a better perspective on who Jesus was. After the miracle, they understood Jesus’ power over nature. As their fear of the storm diminished, their “fear of the Lord” increased.

This we can know about the storms we encounter: either God will calm them or He will take us through them.

There may be times when we, like the disciples, question who Jesus is. I hope this is the case because it will mean that we have seen Jesus do something we’ve never witnessed before. Jesus’ posed the question concerning their faith not to scold or shame them, but to draw them deeper into relationship with Him.

Will we see the storms of life as opportunities to grow in our faith and trust of Jesus?

When fear drives us to awaken Jesus, questions always arise---some are spoken, some are not. The challenge is to sit with them in the presence of Jesus and let him show us “what eye has not seen, what ear has not heard, and what no human mind has conceived, the things God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)

Lord, help me to grow in faith. How you choose do that makes me tremble just a little bit, not because of you but because of me. Thank you for the storms in my life you have calmed and for the storms you have brought me through. When I am cared for by you, I am safe. Your kingdom is secure. Even the wind and water obey you.