Matthew 8:23-27 – “And after He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly, behold, there arose a violent storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered up by the waves; but He was sleeping. And they went and awakened Him, saying, Lord, rescue and preserve us! We are perishing! And He said to them, Why are you timid and afraid, O you of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm (a perfect peacefulness). And the men were stunned with bewildered wonder and marveled saying, What kind of Man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!
The Everyday Life Bible Amplified Version by Joyce Meyer.
What does it take to have the faith to stand up in a storm, rebuke it, and have a perfect peacefulness replace it?
Matthew 17:20 says “…For truly I say to you, if you have faith (that is living) like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”
A grain of mustard seed. The smallest of seeds on Earth.
God does not ask us to have faith like the seed of a palm tree (the largest seed on earth). He asks us to have faith like a mustard seed- that is all. That one seed is smaller than a grain of sand, and yet it grows into a plant large enough to be a resting place for birds.
The seed of faith must be planted in fertile ground. It must be planted in living soil for it to thrive and grow. We can kill our faith with doubt and unbelief and be powerless to withstand the storms when they come.
At times, I’ve wondered where my own faith has gone. The storms I have walked through have been like walking the main street of hell itself, and I have asked God, “why? Why must I walk these storms? Why can’t you simply calm them and make everything ok again?” And when God didn’t answer, I screamed.
Slowly, and I do mean slowly, I began to understand what faith really meant- what it meant to me, at least. Faith meant that to calm the storm inside me, I had to trust God had a bigger plan. I had to let go of what I thought was the best for me and, in faith, rely on God to put into action, His plan. Rely on, let go, and have faith- like Abraham did when God told him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac.
Sarah and Abraham had waited a long time for Isaac. It has been estimated that Sarah was in her nineties and Abraham in his hundreds when Isaac was born. And yet, God told Abraham to sacrifice what he had waited for in faith. Because of his faith in God to raise Isaac from the dead, God provided Abraham another sacrifice to take Isaac’s place. He passed God’s test of faith.
In fact, the entire chapter of Hebrews 11 talks about the heroes of faith- those who did not doubt God but placed their hearts in His hands and said, “Your will, not mine.”
Have you the faith to say that?
In my interview with Daniel Carver, he said something I had him repeat- he said, “Lord, I pray that Your will will literally meet me at the doorstep”. That takes a lot of faith and a lot of courage.
When your faith is low, and you don’t know where God is or how you will ever have faith again, read Hebrews 11. Read Matthew 8:23-27. Read Matthew 17:20.
Know God can calm any storm.
Realize that mustard seed faith will grow into something more significant if you feed it well.
Grow that mustard seed faith into a palm tree seed. Let your faith grow so big you can’t contain it within yourself. Let your faith grow so big it spreads to others.
What if you are shaking your head right now, saying, “I Can’t.”
“Faith is hard”, you say.
Yes it is.
When the Hebrew people were at the Red Sea and their enemies were behind them, they had no faith. They were screaming at Moses to do something, to save them. Many were convinced the Egyptians would take them back to slavery or kill them- where was God who had led them out of Egypt? Then Moses, through the strength and power of God, parted the Red Sea, and the Hebrew people walked through to the other side on dry land. But it wasn’t enough.
We see miracles every day. We see the sunrise and the sunset. We see birds fly almost to the heavens. We see clouds that seem to simply appear, and we see the wind blow through trees and the grass. We see the tide of the ocean and the peaks of mountains, yet we never stop to consider what miracles these things truly are.
Our lack of faith tells us these things simply are, but deeply grounded faith tells us they are because God spoke, and they were.
Faith tells me that God has a plan for me; He will not stop until that plan comes to fruition. It is the lie of the devil that tells me God has nothing for me, that He never thinks of me, and there is no plan of goodness for me, only destruction.
What does it take to have strong faith in God?
1.Focus on God’s Character.
2. Focus on God’s Power.
3. Focus on God’s promises in God’s Word.
4. Focus on God’s faithfulness.
Have faith in God. Even if it is the size of a mustard seed, watch it grow into something bigger.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV