The disciples were crossing the lake in their boat, with Jesus asleep in the bows. A furious storm blew up and the disciples were terrified. They cried out to Jesus to save them. ‘He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm’ (Matthew 8:26).
Fear and faith don’t go together. We’re either afraid something might happen, or we have confidence that it won’t. It may be that we hope something will happen and it doesn’t, even after much prayer. Does this mean we don’t have enough faith?
Jesus said, ‘if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there, and it will move”’ (Matthew 17:20). Most of us would readily confess that we don’t have that kind of faith. ‘Whatever you ask in prayer you will receive, if you have faith’ (Matthew 21:22). The Bible seems to suggest this is possible. But is it?
When we ask anything of the Lord in prayer we’re submitting it to the King. Far be it from us to try to tell God what to do. We’re laying our petitions before Him and trusting Him with them. A bible dictionary defines faith as ‘confidence in and commitment to God and Jesus Christ.’ So, our confidence is in Him, not in us. Having made our requests to Him we must then let go. We’ve handed them over and they’re no longer our responsibility. ‘Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need’ (Hebrews 4:16)
We need to ‘draw near to God with full assurance of faith’ (Hebrews 10:22). This is not faith that comes from a desperate hope that certain things will happen, but faith in the One who can do all things.
Faith must not be what we can generate in ourselves, hoping that He will recognise our need and do something about it. No, faith is in the person of Jesus Christ. We must align our will to that of the Holy Spirit and determine His way in the situation. ‘If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it’ (John 14:14).
‘In His name’ is through His identity living in us by the Spirit. It is by faith, taking Jesus at His word in complete confidence that He will never let us down (Hebrews 13:5b). When Jesus said, “you of little faith” He was really saying “don’t you trust me to look after you?” By putting our faith in Him we’re relying upon His love towards us, knowing that it’s His pleasure to ‘graciously give us all things’ (Romans 8:32).
It’s not about ourselves and how much faith we can muster. It’s about trusting and depending on Jesus and His faithfulness towards us.
Prayer: Lord, help me to take my faith as a mustard seed and plant it in You; to know Your faithfulness and love towards me, and acknowledge that Your ways are not always my ways, but Your ways are best. Let my faith be always in You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.