// Don Duncan
THE JOURNEY OF LIFE is like being on a boat. It's our vehicle to get us where we are going—to reach the destination God has for us. As we're sailing to that destination, we encounter storms. The enemy brings winds and waves to get us into fear and doubt. But the winds and waves that are meant for our destruction can be the very things that power us to our destination.
There's a story in the Gospel of Mark of Jesus and His disciples getting into a boat to cross over to the other side of the lake. On their way, a storm arises—one the disciples had never encountered before.
MARK 4:37–40 (NIV)
37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
Storms give us an opportunity to identify where we really are in life. Sometimes, we're living on cruise control, so to speak. We get complacent because things are going so well. Our faith isn't tested in those moments. But in the midst of a storm, we can see where our faith really is, or where there is fear in our lives.
In Mark 4:40 Jesus asked His disciples, "Do you still have no faith?" In the presence of fear, there is an absence of faith. Fear and faith are enemies. They're battling each other fiercely all the time. Fear caused the disciples to awaken Jesus and say, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
When we look at the storms we face in our own lives, we can see that fear challenges us to doubt—not that God can deliver us, but will He? Fear tells us, "God doesn't care!" Maybe our biggest faith struggle in life is not with our circumstances but with that thought. The storms of life will try to get us to believe something about God that's not true. But the power of faith at its very core is knowing that Jesus cares.
We know that Jesus cares for us because He cared enough to give His life for us. HE CARED ENOUGH TO GIVE US EVERYTHING HE HAS. No one else has ever paid a greater price. He died on the cross to show us that He cared for us.
If you're struggling with whether Jesus cares for you, just get closer to Him. The closer you get to Him, the more you'll know He cares. And the more you know He cares, the more faith you will walk in.
When we're in a storm, how do we turn fear to faith? First, we must focus on Jesus instead of on the circumstances. If we focus on the storm, we'll empower doubt. If we focus on Jesus, we'll empower our faith. And God has given us divine power to shift our focus.
When Jesus' disciples were in the storm, Jesus was in the boat with them. They woke Him up, and He brought peace to that storm. It wasn't wrong for the disciples to awaken Jesus.
We need to know Who's in our boat and Who cares about us. When we do, then the storms the enemy brings to paralyze us with fear and destroy us can be the very thing that powers us to our destination. We can keep moving forward in the midst of the wind and waves, because Jesus is in our boat. He cares for us, and He will quiet the storms.
[Editor's Note: This article was adapted from Don Duncan's Friday afternoon message at Campmeeting 2015.]