Luke 8:22-25 (ESV) One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out,  and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger.  And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm.  He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”
It could not have been any ordinary storm. There are at least four fishermen in this boat and they have no doubt been in many storms that would terrify the landlubber. But this storm has even them thinking that this is the one that is going to take them. Most fishermen live with the knowledge in the back of their heads that the sea is likely to take them at some point before they retire out of fishing. The sea is unforgiving and impartial. It swallows up whoever happens to be foolish enough to venture out into its territory thinking that survival is a given. It never is.
Of course, on this night the One who both causes seas to do their worst and gives pleasant sailing, is in the boat. The storm has been brought into being in order to teach the disciples a lesson about just who it is that they have been following for the last little while. It has also been brought into being in order to test their faith. They fail the test of course, but it is a lesson that they will never forget. “Master, we are perishing” is what Luke tells us they said to Jesus. It wasn’t all they said. At least one of them asked Jesus “Don’t you care that we are perishing?” (Mark 8:38). One thing to think that you are going to die. Quite another to feel that someone with you doesn’t care if you do. It sounds like whoever said it believed that Jesus could do something to help them but just didn’t care if they lived or not. And it seems that he or they do not believe that Jesus would die as well. So they think that He is willing to let them die while somehow escaping that fate. We shouldn’t think that we would do better. In the face of death who knows what evil thoughts will assault us? So Jesus rouses Himself from His slumber and causes the storm to stop.
Then He says the most amazing thing. He turns to His disciples and asks “Where is your faith?” How does being terrified in seas that were about to capsize one’s only hope of survival demonstrate absence of faith? Faithlessness is absence of belief. But even fully believing that Jesus was the Son of God would not necessarily mean that they would survive this storm. Something has to take us and this may be their time as far as they know. Just because God says He loves and cares for us does not mean that we will not die or have pain, poverty, sickness and trouble. How are they showing lack of faith?
Verse 22 tells us. Jesus got into the boat at the beginning of the journey and said “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” At that point, one thing was guaranteed. They were going to make it to the other side. Jesus never said that they would not encounter a storm in the middle of the lake. He did not say the trip would be care free and clear sailing. He simply told them that they were going to make it to the other side. If, when the storm got fierce, the disciples had woken Him, and said, “Master, we need your help in getting to shore!”, I am sure He would not have questioned their faith. But that is not what they said. They told Him that they were about to die and they questioned His concern for them. The storm made them forget the promise, and once they forgot the promise, they neglected to trust Him.
Dear child of God. You have put your trust in Jesus to forgive your sins and give you eternal life. When you came to Him He said to you, “Let us go to the other side”. There is one thing you can be sure of. You are going to arrive safely at the other side. It will not be clear sailing all the way. There will be storms. There will be fierce attacks upon your soul, your faith, your sense of security. Never forget the promise. Remind yourself on a daily basis that Jesus has made you a promise to get you safely to the other side. He is the God who cannot lie and He will not start with you. Remember the great and precious promises of Christ to you and know that He will not break His word. His own glory is at stake in your salvation. The display of His own manifold wisdom to Satan is at stake in your salvation (Ephesians 3:10). Whatever storm you are called to travel through you never need go to Jesus and say “Do you not care that we are perishing?” He does and you are not. He will not let you. If you are truly His He will not allow anyone or anything to snatch you out of His hand.
What a great hope. What a great Truth. What a great Saviour.
Meditate on these few of the many great promises to all of God’s children.
John 10:28 (ESV) – I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
John 11:25-26 (ESV) – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,  and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Romans 8:35-39 (ESV) – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hebrews 13:5 (ESV) – Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
2 Peter 1:3-4 (ESV) – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,  by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.