Plant faith and do things to make it grow!

Mark 4:40

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?” NIV

This is the story of a furious storm that comes up when Jesus and the disciples are all in a boat.  According to verse 38, Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.  The boat, meanwhile, was taking on water.  Verse 37 says that it was almost swamped.

I love what the disciples say when they wake him up in verse 38, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

I totally understand why they are so snippy.

Presumably, the disciples have been working to solve the problem on their own.  They’ve likely tried to steer the boat appropriately, they’ve done all the textbook things to the mast, and, now, have probably begun to bail water, and to see the situation as hopeless.  It is at that point that they finally get to the place where they think they might ask Jesus for help.  When they do, their attitude appears to be that they feel slighted … as if Jesus should have been helping them all along instead of sleeping.

The disciples have it backwards.

They shift to faith only after their efforts have failed.

For us to live a truly victorious, worry-free life, our efforts must stem from our faith.  I don’t think that the placement of this story in the book of Mark is coincidental.  It immediately follows Jesus’s description of the Kingdom of God.  Verses 31 and 32 say, “It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground.  Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” NIV

Others of the gospels record Jesus comparing a little faith to a mustard seed.

If the seed of faith is planted in my life, through the Holy Spirit, and if I will fertilize it with study and with prayer and with practice, it will grow so large that it will overshadow everything else about my life.

That’s the kind of believer that I want to be.  I don’t want to be a worrier, or to find myself the recipient of Jesus’s words in verse 40, “Why are you such a coward?  Don’t you have any faith at all?” MSG

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Faith, Mark, New Testament, Worry

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