Faith cannot operate in conjunction with fear.
The disciples’ fear, when in the midst of the storm, was greater than their level of faith. As a consequence, they couldn’t exercise their faith.
On the other hand, Jesus experienced the same storm in the same boat at the same time along with his disciples – and had absolutely zero fear.
A fear response is startlingly different when compared to acting out of faith.
So often, though, we are like the disciples. We exhaust our strength and give in to panic. In addition, we cause those around us to succumb to fear, too. We prophesy doom over ourselves like the disciples did.
In contrast, look at Jesus’ response. He was more disturbed by the disciples’ lack of faith than the boat filling with water or the violent waves or the boisterous winds. He stands up and rebukes the wind – and the wind and the waves obey.
I’m also intrigued by the fact that Jesus could sleep through a storm. Perhaps He was giving the disciples a chance to exercise their faith?
Does it seem to you like Jesus is asleep while you encounter a stormy situation? Have you considered that, perhaps, He is waiting for you to exercise your faith?
I know for a fact that I’ve been angry with God for seeming to stay silent during the fiercest storm in our lives. Our daughter, Jenita, had gone through multiple surgeries to remove a lesion in her abdomen. Post-surgery complications led to her fighting for life in the ICU – and I was succumbing to fear. At that time, God spoke to me through Scripture: “Do not be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” (Jesus’ words to Jairus in Luke 8:50). I clung to those words and depended on God’s faithfulness to us.
Until you and I say “no” to fear, we will not be able to exercise faith.