The Christian world is full of so many platitudes that the truth behind them often becomes obscured or even forgotten. These things get repeated so often out of context that they lose their usefulness to us. While I am sad that there are no more brick and mortar Lifeway stores, I am not upset that there are fewer Philippians 4:13 coffee mugs out there. We see them so often that we forget that it’s not about you needing that cup of coffee because you stayed up to late watching a movie, but you can do all things so you are gonna make it.
There is a passage in Luke 8 that can, if we are not careful, become the same to us. It can become just another story that we take out of context and then use it to think God is a genie that will get us out of every bad situation. But that’s not the point of verses 22-25 in Luke 8. Let’s remember the context. Luke has spent the past few chapters showing that Jesus called those who followed him to a deep life of faith and not just any faith, but faith that showed itself in a changed life. We, as followers of Jesus, should look and act and talk and think differently. And one place that is seen powerfully in the life of a Christian is who we deal with difficulty and hardship.
So here are the disciples, crossing the lake, when a terrible storm pops up. And we know its bad because the disciples, with all their experience on the water, were terrified. So they wake up Jesus in the most dramatic way possible… “Jesus! We are dying!!” And after the storm is calmed Jesus asks them one question, “Where was your faith?”
We don’t follow Jesus because the life he gives us is free of difficulty. He doesn’t remove every danger. Rather he calls us to have faith that he is with us and he is greater than all of it. You may need to make a difficult decision, you may be facing rejection or hardship because of your faith. Maybe you are passed over for a promotion or your kid loses her spot on the team because you choose church on Sunday over work or practice. You may have a dear friend walk out of your life because you share the gospel. Remember friend, Jesus doesn’t keep our lives free of difficulty but he does promise to walk with us through it.