Where is Your Faith?

Hi everybody, it’s Pastor Dave. Welcome! Welcome to the Alone With God daily journal guides. If you’ve got an Alone With God journal, grab it and open it to a “Daily Journal” page. If you don’t have an Alone With God journal and you’d like one, get one at wordbymail.com. You can find out all about our Bible teaching ministry there. You can use any journal you have. And if you’re not a journaler, just pause. Put everything on pause for a few minutes, and sit down with your Bible. Definitely get your Bible. Open your Bible. Turn your Bible to Luke Chapter 8, and get ready. Set your heart right with God so that you can hear from him as we go through this journal guide devotion.

So, today, I’m going to read the text to you. I’m going to talk to you about the text, and then I’m going to send you off to do your journal work. And I’ll walk you through the whole thing as we’re going. So, if you’ve got your Bible, turn it to Luke Chapter 8. If you don’t have your Bible, and you can get it, pause this recording and go get it. Luke Chapter 8, verse 22, is where we are going to start today.

Listen, today and tomorrow, I want to talk to you about boats and about faith. And I want to talk to you about how Jesus used boats and storms to challenge the Disciples’ faith. And I love this because, well, first of all, because I love boats – even in storms – but I love this because Jesus still uses boats of some type in our lives. And he definitely uses storms in our lives to change our faith, to challenge our faith, to build our faith. It’s like to “check” us. He wants to use a boat, a situation in your life, and a storm to allow you to check your faith. Look at how he does it in our lives, in the Disciples’ lives, and in our lives in Luke 8, starting in verse 22. (I’m reading from the NLT; you follow me in whatever Bible version you have.)

Luke 8:22 says, 22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” That seems innocent enough, doesn’t it? So they got into a boat and started out. 23 As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. . . . And listen, I know Jesus got tired. He was one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man. And so, I know he got tired. I’m just not positive he was tired here because of how this section unfolds and how this event unfolds. But verse 23 says, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. . . Come to Israel with us sometime, and you’ll see how the Sea of Galilee is in this bowl of hills. It can really cause wind storms, and the waves can really get rough. So, . . . a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. I like that the NLT points that out. They were actually in real danger.

And so verse 24 says, 24 The disciples went and woke him up, (that’s Jesus) shouting, “Master, Master, and then look really close at this line –  we’re going to drown!” . . .They were positive they were going to drown. They were sure of it. In fact, they had faith in the fact that they were going to drown. “Master, Master! These circumstances are going to drown us! We are going to drown!” . . . When Jesus woke up, verse 24 continues, . . .When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. He just said a word – “Be still!” Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm.

And then, in verse 25 is the challenge. Look at verse 25. 25 Then he asked them, You can imagine him just turning and just absolutely looking straight into their souls. And he says, “Where is your faith?” He doesn’t say, in Luke’s account, “Why don’t you have faith?” Because they did have faith. They had absolute faith that they were going to drown. They had faith that these circumstances that Jesus had put them in were going to overcome them, overtake them.

Again, back in verse 24, they say, We are going to drown! And so, Jesus says, after stills the storm, he says, you need to decide. “Where is your faith?” Is your faith more in the circumstances of your life, or is your faith more in the fact that the Creator God, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, The Lord of All Creation, IS IN this circumstance WITH YOU? Is your faith greater in the circumstances and greater in the fact that you’re going to drown because of your circumstances, even though you have Jesus in the boat with you? Or is your faith great enough to say, “The Lord is with me. The Lord has led me into these circumstances,” if, in fact, he has, if it hasn’t been your own sinful choices, your own choices that made those circumstances – which by the way, Jesus is still in those circumstances with you. So, no matter how you got in them, the Lord of Glory is with you. You have the power of the Person of Jesus Christ with you. Where is your faith? Where’s your faith? Is it in those circumstances, or is it IN the Lord of Glory who is with you IN those circumstances?

Okay, listen. If you’ve got the Alone With God journal, there’s your challenge for the day. In the first section of your journal, it says Meditate. “What is God’s Word saying? What spiritual principles are here?” Hopefully, I just helped you see a few of those.

And then, next, it says Apply. This is really big. Apply. It says, “How does this apply to my life today, personally and specifically?” How does this scripture and my encouragement through this scripture apply to your life today? Write it down.

And then, the big one, Respond. It says in your journal, “What action will I take today in response to this truth?” How are you going to respond? Are you going to maintain your absolute faith in your circumstances that they’re going to overwhelm you and drown you? Or, are you going to switch your faith to the Lord of Glory, who is with you in those circumstances? The Lord who has promised to never leave you, to never forsake you, that nothing can separate you from his love. You write in your journal how you’re going to respond to this in your situation today.

And then, Pray. Write your prayer. Really meet God in this, you guys. Really wrestle with this and meet God, and write your prayer in response to this time with him.

And before I let you go to do all of that, let me pray for us.

Lord Jesus, may we know that we know that we know that you are in these circumstances with us, Lord. May we know that our faith is in you. That our faith is in your being in these circumstances with us, Lord. May we know that there are no circumstances that can separate us from your love. That there’re no circumstances that we could be in that you’re not with us. And may we know in an ever-deepening faith that as you will, when you’re ready, you can stand up and say, “Be still.” And the circumstances in our lives will be still. They will respond to you because you are Lord over them. Please give us this faith today. In your mighty name Jesus, and thank you for being in the boat with us. Amen.

Alright, guys, there you go. Listen, don’t let this go. Really spend some time on this before you’re done. See us at wordbymail.com. We’ve got a huge Bible-teaching ministry there. In fact, if you’ll download the Word By Mail phone app from your app store, on the home page, tap the search icon (the little magnifying glass at the top on the home page), and just type in the word “Storm.” And if you do, you’re going to see five messages there, full-length messages on the storms of life. The one that covers the same text we just looked at is called When The Storm Hits.” 

And then there’s another one there that’s called, Really? Another Storm?”  So, those are both from the Mark series. And then there’s more in there, all the way back to 2003. But you just type in the word "Storm", and you can do it on the website, also. Under “Teaching,” just click on the search bar. Type the word “Storm,” and you’ll see five full-length messages, as well as a couple of podcasts. We’ve done a lot on this. So be sure and check it out. Wordbymail.com or text us right now with questions, comments, and prayers. You can text us right now at (877) 790-WORD. (877) 790-9673.

Thanks for being part of the Word By Mail family. We’ll see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.

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