“He said to them, why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
Faith is the currency of the kingdom of God. Without it, all the ingenuity, bravado and wisdom of the world is useless. You can see this in the story of Jesus calming the storm. There’s nothing more humbling, even embarrassing, to a group of experienced men of the sea, hardened by years of labor, than to be reduced to tears in the face of a storm. No doubt, they had seen storms before. But this one sent them into a panic. Courage failed them. Sailing expertise was useless. Like a tourist trying to spend Pesos in Russia, they were bankrupt without the currency of faith. After Jesus speaks peace to the storm, he looks, probably with a chuckle, at these tough sailors -turned preschoolers, and says, “Don’t you have any faith ?” He didn’t chide them for lack of courage, these men were no cowards. He didn’t criticize them for lack of skill. Neither did he give them a lecture on team building. He asked them where their faith was. This event likely served to remind them that in the kingdom of God what gets things done is faith.
If you want to simply get by in this world you need a different currency. The world values intelligence, wealth, possessions, talent, appearance and position, to name a few things. Most of us spend our lives trying to make sure we have enough of these things to make us successful and secure. Just like the disciples in the boat, we float through life telling ourselves we’re okay as long as we have what we need to handle ourselves. No doubt these men were fully capable seamen. But once in awhile a storm comes that is beyond our abilities and the currency of this world suddenly becomes useless. The Billionaire weeps over his failed marriage. The powerful ruler finds he has terminal cancer. The beautiful model is irreparably scarred in a career ending accident. The dream job ends when the company goes bankrupt. There is a point when all the human ingenuity, wealth and position in the world simply will not fix things. When that happens you enter a realm in which the only currency is faith. Without that you are lost at sea. But one word from the master and even the greatest storm can be stilled. The problem is that those of us who are presently nodding our heads in agreement are still trying to get through our storms with the wrong currency. We think if we just keep trying we can get ourselves through on our own. In the story Jesus was asleep on a cushion when the storm came up. He didn’t act until they woke him and cried out. I can’t help but wonder, though, if the whole time he was asleep, he was peeking out with a grin on his face just waiting to see how long they would fight the storm on their own before waking him. Does the Lord seem to be sleeping through your storm? Maybe he’s waiting to see how long it will take before you trust him with it. Final note: One day we will face the ultimate storm. Death will come unannounced. When that storm hits, the only currency acceptable at judgment will be faith in Christ. Your deeds, and accomplishments, and even your religion will be worthless before him. The admission fee is paid only through faith in Jesus Christ. This currency is available only at the foot of the cross, where Jesus paid the price for your salvation. Make sure you stop by and exchange the failing currency of this world for the only thing that lasts. Turn to Christ today before it’s too late.