Stilling the Waves

Luke 8:22‑26  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Luke 8:22-2622Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. 23But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. 24And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him. 26And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. (Luke 8:22‑26)LUK 8:22-2622Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. 23But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. 24And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him. 26And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. (Luke 8:22‑26)>
Here is a display of what we may expect if we follow the Lord, and the opening out of what the Lord would be to those tried by such circumstances. The consequence of being the disciples and companions of Jesus, is that they get into jeopardy every hour; they are not on terra-firma, but are tossed about on the troubled sea, and Christ Himself absent ("asleep").
“There came down a storm of wind on the lake," the ship was filled with water, and they filled with fear, and were in jeopardy. But the fact was, Christ was in the same boat with them. He who made the worlds, the Son of God, was with them, and yet they are afraid, and cry out, "We perish," as though He could be drowned, thus showing they had no sense of who He was that was with them in the boat.
To us, now calmly reading the circumstances, what absurdity there seems in such unbelief, when, alas, is it not just the same with ourselves spiritually? Have we no sense of jeopardy when tossed about, and trouble is in the Church? In truth we have, for there is many a heart, saying, "Who will show us any good?" forgetting what God is acting and doing, though man is battling to all appearance against God's purposes. But God is not baffled, and He is calmly carrying on His purposes through all the storms raised by men or devils.
In John 16 we find the disciples sorrowing because Jesus was going away, and the Lord had said to them (chap. 14),
“If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice, because I said I go to the Father." In chapter 16 Jesus says,
“Now I go My way to Him that sent Me, and none of you asketh Me, Whither goest Thou? But because I have said these things, sorrow hath filled your hearts.”
God was accomplishing His blessed purposes in redemption by Christ's going. You forget that God is acting in all this, for you cannot suppose that God is to baffled as to give up His purpose. The disciples thought when Jesus was crucified, that all their hopes were disappointed. They say,
In fact, in that very act, and at that very moment, all was being accomplished for them. Where is the Lord going? should have been their question. It is not now that there seems no jeopardy, no confusion, no sorrow; but faith looks at and through it all to God, and asks,
“What is the Lord doing? Where is the Lord going?”
In and through all the trouble, the Lord has not turned a hairbreadth out of His way. We may be in distress, but faith will not say the Lord is far away, but will know Him nigh at hand.
Verse 24. The Lord let them be in jeopardy, the ship filled with water, and Himself asleep on purpose to put their faith to the test, to prove if they were really trusting Him, and that it might be seen if such foolish thoughts would arise when they were put into jeopardy. They say, "Lord, we perish;" but they were in the ship with Christ, and could they be drowned? He said to them: "Where is your faith?" Well might He say thus to them, for though the water was in the boat, He was there too, and could sleep through it all. It was not so much of Him they were thinking as of themselves.
“We perish," said they, and it is just the same now, for the fact of being in danger with Christ in the boat, is the same at one time as at another, just as impossible now as then.
And in truth, Christ is much more with us now, being more perfectly revealed to us, and we are united to Him, one with Him, so that He is with us every moment in the power of the Spirit. However high the waves may rise, there is no drowning His love and thoughts towards us. The test is to our faith. The question is: Have we that faith which so realizes Christ's presence as to keep us as calm and composed in the rough sea as the smooth?
It was not really a question of the rough or the smooth sea when Peter was sinking in the water, for he would have sunk without Christ just as much in the smooth as in rough sea. The fact was, the eye was off Jesus, on the wave, and that made him sink. If we go on with Christ we shall get into all kinds of difficulties-many a boisterous sea, but being one with Him, His safety is ours. The eye should be off events, although they be ever so solemn, and surely they are so at this present time, and I feel them to be so, for none perhaps has a deeper sense than I of the growth of evil, and of the solemn state of things. But I know all is as settled and secure as if the whole world were favorable.
I quite dread the way many dear saints are looking at events, and not looking at Christ and for Christ. The Lord Himself is the security of His people, and let the world go on as it may, no events can touch Christ. We are safe on the sea, if only we have the eye off the waves, with the heart concentrated on Christ, and on the interests of Christ. Then the devil himself cannot touch us.