Desperation Can Push Us into Reliance Upon God, Part 1

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into various trials, Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.”  (Jas. 1:2-4)

From The High Standards of God for End-Times Christians

In the Gospels and in The Acts of the New Testament there are many examples of human crisis, desperation, and need.  Luke 8:22 through 8:56 presents four such examples of people who have reached the point of desperation in their lives, who turn to Jesus for help.  They were the disciples in jeopardy in the storm at sea, the man who had the legion of demons cast out, the woman who touched the border of Jesus’ garment, and Jairus the ruler of a synagogue.

In Luke 8:22-25, the disciples and Jesus are in a boat crossing a lake, when a strong wind creates a storm dangerous enough to place their lives at risk.  But Jesus fell asleep at the beginning of their journey across the lake and is still asleep as water from the waves are coming into and filling up the boat.  The disciples wake up Jesus, and excitedly say to Him “Master, master, we perish.”  Jesus rebukes the wind and the waves, and there was calm where moments before there was a perilous storm.  Luke 8:25 reads “And he said unto them, Where is your faith?  And they, being afraid, marveled, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! For he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.”

Because this story is so brief, and the happy ending comes so quickly, it is easy to gloss over the serious import of this story.  On board this boat were probably most of the apostles, although none of them are mentioned specifically by name.  John was probably on board, who wrote the fourth gospel, three letters to the churches, and the book of The Revelation.  Peter was probably on board, who by tradition provided the information for the writing of the gospel of Mark, wrote two letters to the churches, and figures prominently in the book of Acts and in the first century church.  Matthew was probably also on board the floundering boat, who wrote the first gospel.  A good portion of the entire New Testament, not to mention Jesus Himself, was riding in that boat on the lake.  For Peter and Andrew, and James and John, who were all fishermen by trade, to awaken Jesus and to say they were on the verge of perishing, meant that the storm was serious.  To the apostles the moment was desperate.

The solution that Jesus brings to this otherwise life and death situation is not on the list of normal responses to save a boat that is floundering at sea.  We do not know what the apostles had in mind for Jesus to do during this crisis, but it probably fell somewhere within the realm of solid advice on how to reach land while working together as a team bailing water out of the boat.  The idea that Jesus would stand up in the boat and rebuke the wind and the waves to produce an almost instant calm was a solution to the problem that was way above and beyond the possible options the apostles might have possibly imagined.

Author: Barton Jahn

I work in building construction as a field superintendent and project manager. I have four books published by McGraw-Hill on housing construction (1995-98) under Bart Jahn, and have six Christian books self-published through Create Space KDP. I have a bachelor of science degree in construction management from California State University Long Beach. I grew up in Southern California, was an avid surfer, and am fortunate enough to have always lived within one mile of the ocean. I discovered writing at the age of 30, and it is now one of my favorite activities. I am currently working on two more books on building construction.

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