Luke 8:22-25a (NIV) — “One day Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.’ So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke Him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. ‘Where is your faith?’ He asked His disciples.”
There used to be a popular plaque that asked, “If Christianity was illegal would there be enough evidence against you to be arrested?”
In the world of Christian faith, I continually find myself being tested. I read about the Apostle Paul and I think, “Yup, definitely an ‘A’ student.”
In my world, it’s recommended that you don’t compare yourself with other Christians. The main reasoning is simple: “We’re not to be like other Christians, we’re to be Christ-like.” Jesus is our example, not other Christians.
Jesus said in John 13:15-17, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Going back to our opening Scripture, the question: “Where is your faith?”
In my opinion, Jesus was the ultimate revolutionary.
For example, Luke 6:27-28 — “I say unto you which hear, love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”
This is totally against everything I was taught as a kid. I didn’t grow up in church and around anyone who did. So in my early 30s, learning these words of Christ, well, I knew I was going to have some problems.
Now in my 60s, I know for a fact I’m no “A” student! I still can’t quite get the knack of turning the other cheek. It’s easy to share my extra tunic but when it’s taken … there’s potential to fail that test.
“Where is your faith?”
I consider myself to be in the group that wants to do well and often does try to help more than hurt, so it goes for our intentions.
There’s two quotes that come to mind: 1) “Hell is paved with good intentions, not with bad ones. All men mean well.” (George Bernard Shaw); and 2) “Hell is paved with good intentions.” (John Ray cited that in 1670 as a proverb)
I’ve been hearing that for most of life as a tool of motivation or to slap down any excuses I may have offered.
I guess here’s the point of this article: The Christian life is full of challenge, change, sacrifice and self-denial. It takes commitment regardless of strengths, gifts, talents. Personally, I would say that for me, even though the devil is the enemy who sets himself against the Trinity of God, our own fallen nature trips us up more than any other obstacle.
I take great encouragement from this next verse:
Philippians 2:9 — “Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above every name.”
I guess each of us would have to ask — “every name” means? The name above fear, doubt, unbelief. Perhaps the giants that each of us face, such as procrastination or good intentions. Perhaps we could invoke the name of Christ for faith and encouragement, even a healing upon our land.