Scripture Reading: Luke 8:22-25, Mark 6:47-52, Matthew 17:24-27, Mark 11:12-14, Mark 11:20-25
It’s scary to ask the Lord for specific and even tangible things.
Recently, our pastor encouraged the congregation to pray more specific prayers. I confess that the moment he invited us into this journey, I began to doubt that God would actually hear my prayers. I usually like to manage my expectations and qualify my prayers with something like, “If it’s Your will, Lord, then…” But our pastor was calling us to more. He was calling us to faith. Since that encouragement, I’ve sought to ask Jesus to do miracles in my own my life. But I fear my faith is lacking.
I relate to the fear the disciples so often display in the Gospels. They were normal people, after all, just like you and me. Although they walked with Jesus, they still struggled with unbelief (Luke 8:25). And like the disciples, when the storms rage and the winds blow and everything seems unsure in my own life, peace feels far off and unimaginable.
The unknown can be scary, but Jesus calls us to something greater than our fear. He calls us to faith. The miracles of Jesus remind us that no matter our circumstances, He proves His faithfulness over and over again. He doesn’t just offer peace—He is Peace. He doesn’t exercise His power over nature—He is Power.
Jesus’ miracles over land and sea are examples of the power and authority He has over the world He created (John 1:1-3). Scripture tells us that Jesus defied gravity by walking on water (Mark 6:49), and that the winds and the waves obeyed Him with a word (Luke 8:24-27). But despite all they had witnessed throughout their time with Jesus, even the disciples didn’t understand. They lacked faith and their hearts grew hard (Mark 6:52). While Jesus didn’t have to reveal His power in this way, through miracles, He did so out of His mercy for them.
Just as He did with the disciples, Jesus calls us to trust Him in the middle of the storms we face. He asks us, “Where is your faith?” because what’s going on in our doubtful, troubled hearts is important to Him. He gently instructs us to “Have courage!” and reminds us that it’s because of who He is that we don’t have to be afraid (Mark 6:50). The rules of nature don’t apply to Him. The One who spoke creation into existence can also calm it with a word (Mark 4:35-41).
Jesus invites us to trust Him, and I long for the faith to do so. His miracles are for us, too, so that we might see and know that He is Lord. The wind may be howling, the waves may be crashing, but our God is faithful in the midst of it all. By His grace, may we have the courage to trust Him in any circumstance. May we have the faith to call out to Him, to take Him at His word, and to believe.
Trillia Newbell is the author of Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts, Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves, and United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity. Trillia is married to her best friend, Thern. Together, they reside with their two children near Nashville, Tennessee. You can find her find her on Twitter at @trillianewbell.