Great Lesson of Faith: Jesus Asleep in the Boat During a Storm

By Dr Koay Chuan Lek

Sometime ago a nun of a certain religion came to see me seeking  help and assurance. She is a very religious, friendly and kind person in her fifties.  She was told by her medical doctor there is a growth in her mouth and it looks insidious and could be cancerous. That sets her into a state of worry and fear for her life.

Well, in my years as a dentist, it is quite often that I see and deal with situations like this. Thus with much assurance from an old, experienced dentist, her worries, anxiety and fear were allayed and she was comforted. I told her that the lesion in her mouth is ninety percent a benign tumour and to make it one hundred percent sure, we will do a biopsy or cut it off and do a special test to confirm that it’s not cancerous.

I could see the happiness and joy in her after my assurance. Sure enough three days later when the histology report was read to her; her joy overflowed and she wanted to give me a hug. But I told her, she is a nun and I am a man, so it is better we just shake hands; I was very happy for her.

Likewise brethren, we live in troublesome times. Families are beset with financial uncertainties, health problems, worldly pressures, and moral challenges. Some cry out for help, some grow weak and weary, and some falter and fall. But as Christians, there is help available to us in whatever difficulties we must confront. Our Father in heaven will always be there for us. Consider what apostle Paul wrote:

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1:2-4).

“Blessed be the God” here means praise be to God. He is the “Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.” Comfort means “to call to one’s  side”, thus there is no comfort that can ever compare and exceed the consolation offered by our Heavenly Father. When we see young children playing with their parents by their side, how joyous they are. Surely we ought to be like them. “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:3).

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10).

Sometimes we fail to seek the comfort which God extends to us. The apostle Paul admonished, “But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).  We often sing, “What a friend we have in Jesus.” One verse says, “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer.”

Our Lord Jesus taught his disciples in Mark 4:35-41:  On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

These are the lyrics from God on the Mountain:

Life is easy when you’re up
on the mountain,
And you’ve got peace of mind like you’ve never known.
But then things change and
you’re down in the valley.
Don’t lose faith for
you’re never alone.

For the God on the mountain
is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong,
He’ll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day
is still God in the night.

You talk of faith when
you’re up on the mountain.
Oh but the talk comes easy
when life’s at its best.
But it’s down in the valley
of trials and temptation
That’s when faith
is really put to the test.

Jesus admonished, “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28).

Remember the counsel of the apostle Peter : “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,  casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet 5:6-7).

Brethren, may I encourage all of us with the words of God to Joshua and the Israelites.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh 1:8-9).

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).

“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in his mighty heavens!” (Ps 150:1).