Faith in Crisis
Me: Lord, where are you? I am in the land of despair; I don’t sense you at all.
The Lord: I am close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
Me: Really, Lord? The sadness doesn’t seem to stop. I am so lonely I can feel the dark. Where are you?
The Lord: Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)
Me: God, I am tired. I trusted you, and now, I am devasted.
Maybe you have had a similar conversation with the Lord. Have your recent days been filled with tears and sorrow or anger? Perhaps you have discovered a new grade of exhaustion. You are tired of crying, feeling sad, wanting things to be like they were or at least better than they are now, and your faith is in crisis.
When our faith seems to be in a crisis, we seem to have the hardest time opening our hands to receive Him. So why do we fight God in loving and leading us? Why do we fight Him in giving us what we really need? But the Lord stays in pursuit of us and wants us to trust Him in the storms, give us peace in the storms, with a bonus of eternal life where there are no more storms!
In Mark 6:45-52, there is a story about a storm. To paraphrase the story, the disciples were obedient to Jesus’ directions to get into their boat and go across the Sea of Galilee to Bethsaida, while Jesus stayed ashore to pray. It was later in the night when gale winds started raging, beating against the disciple’s boat. The storm all through the night was very intense, and now they are far beyond their ability and strength to manage the storm. Don’t you know they were frustrated, tired, and most likely a little mad at Jesus because their obedience landed them in a storm. Maybe they were headed into their own faith crisis. We know they must have had emotions of fear, too, because when Jesus did come to rescue them, they didn’t recognize Him. The disciples, who had spent much time with Jesus, thought He was a ghost. How can that be? Could it be the disciples were so caught up in the process of “controlling their storm” they weren’t even thinking about or looking for Jesus?
One key to this story: Jesus came to them! In the darkest part of the night (just before dawn), during their storm, when they had little faith, no strength, no hope, Jesus came to rescue them. You see, it wasn’t the disciples looking for Jesus, but Jesus looking for the disciples! Jesus could have stopped the storm from the shore, but He didn’t. So instead, Jesus walks across the sea, while the wind is in full force, He puts himself in their storm. And as soon as He gets in the boat with them, the winds ceased. This is the Lord’s sovereignty at work. He cares so much for us that He is not interested in the storm as much as those who are in the storm.
Scriptures tell us over and over that we will go through storms, not around them. He reminds us He is the Lord, our God, the Holy One of Israel, our Savior. And He tells us not to be afraid, for He is with us.
Friend, if you are in a storm right now, and maybe your faith is in a crisis, will you look for the face of Jesus. Ask Him to come into your boat and calm the seas as you pray and praise Him. Let His peace wash over you and rest in His living presence. Watch how God will strengthen and sustain you in your storm.
Father God, how grateful I am that you have never left me, although I leave you out of so many things in my life. How gracious You are to come to my rescue when I only look your way in anger. Lord, with the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in me, will you enable me to always turn my face toward yours and let You lead me through the storms of life. Thank you for your mercy, and I pray not for strength but to let you love me. In Jesus’ name, amen.