Jesus slept on the boat. Even as water poured over him, wind howled, and disciples cried out in fear all around him, still he slept. He didn’t wake of his own accord. They woke him. That event in a storm on the Sea of Galilee demonstrates what bona fide, 100% pure faith looks like.
Even in human flesh, Jesus was fully God, and being fully God, he knew he could sleep deeply and soundly, for his mission was not going to end with him drowning in the bottom of the sea. It would end on a cross. Knowing this, for the sake of his disciples alone, Jesus calmed the wind and the storm.
“Why are you so afraid?” he said to them. “Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40)
“The antidote to fear is faith,” reads my ESV Study Bible note.
When I feel terrified, when I worry about my bold and adventurous offspring, when I stare into the 3:00 a.m. darkness puzzling over the details of my husband’s coming retirement, when another vehicle careens toward mine in our ridiculous metropolitan traffic, and when my autoimmune disease gnaws at my bones and the nucleus of each cell, I need not fear.
When I don’t understand the market or the latest Amazon strategy, when I’m puzzled about a particular piece of the publishing process, when I don’t know if I can keep up with all the latest trends in marketing, and when I wonder where my sales are heading, I need not fear.
“When I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalm 56:3).
If I had faith like Jesus, I would know in every fiber of my being that nothing can harm me or mine until the day God has ordained that we walk into his presence. I would know in my bones, without any thought otherwise, that each event that touches our lives is ordained by God, orchestrated together for our good. Nothing is outside of God’s providence to work for our good. I would know that this covers my writing journey as well, every single bit of it. But instead, faith isn’t inherent in me, and I must remind myself of the truth frequently.
If I had faith like Jesus, I would know in every fiber of my being that nothing can harm me or mine until the day God has ordained that we walk into his presence. Click To Tweet
Recently our pastor stated, “Responding to the unknowns by faith is where the Gospel radically changes our lives.”
It boils down to this: How will we act when we are afraid and when we doubt?
Will we cower in fear? Or will we peacefully keep rowing or bailing or writing, even as the boat seems to be sinking, even though Jesus is in the boat?
Faith is a journey of continuing, ascending hilltops. Faith is formed amidst the ongoing race. @MattPowell Click To Tweet
“Faith is a journey of continuing, ascending hilltops,” our pastor said. On this journey, we are to keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. “Faith is formed amidst the ongoing race.”
We don’t get to take the Faith Seminar and walk out girded and prepared for the rest of our lives before the Lord turns us loose in the world. No. We must learn this lesson as we run the race, as we sit in the boat, as we send off the query, as we await word from the publisher, and as we watch our sales tank.
Trials that shake us up are one of God’s chief means for perfecting us. Trials allow us to see the true state of our faith, how weak, how strong, how in need of fortification. As a believer, my life should be characterized by faith, not by midnight hand wringings.
Our faith is demonstrated by how we choose to act, what thoughts we choose to censor, what ideas we refuse to allow inside our heads, and how we choose to continue to press forward with the mission the Lord has given us, the mission of writing for him. All of this requires intentionality.
Will we press on in our writing? Will we trust the Lord to help us in the tasks he has given? Will we lay aside fearful lack of faith and trust Jesus?
This piece first appeared on Seriously Write.