FROM THE DESK OF THE ARCHBISHOP AND APOSTOLIC HEAD
His Grace Sir Dr. Godfrey Gregg
This is the day that the Lord has made and we are going to rejoice and be glad in it. It is a pleasure to serve the Lord in faith and know that He is the Lord of your Life. To His All Holiness Patriarch, Queen Abbess, Cardinal and our other ministers greetings. Today I want to talk a little on the topic.
Where is Your Faith?
In times of disappointment, heartache, sickness or discontent when the storms of life are raging all around God sometimes feels very far away. We can start to wonder why He let this happen, or why He isn’t doing something, right now, to stop it or fix it. He could have prevented this storm and He didn’t. As we come to the end ourselves in our storms of life, we angrily cry out, “Lord, don’t you care?” And His reply is, “Where is your faith?”
If you are not currently experiencing a time of difficulty, or time of doubt and uncertainty, then PRAISE God! But get ready, because Jesus assured us in John 16:33
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world!”
Jesus in the midst of the storm
In Luke 8:22-25 and Mark 4:35-40, we find the disciples with Jesus, in a boat, taking a trip to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. They might have expected this would be one of the most amazing trips they’d ever take, and it was; just not in the way they expected.
As they crossed the Sea, a raging storm came upon them, out of nowhere. This storm brought these expert fishermen to the very end of themselves. I want you to note that these men fished for a living. We fish for men in the Kingdom of God. Our storms are spiritual and can be natural. They thought they were going to die. Have you ever been in a situation like that? Yes we all have similar stories, and sometimes we feel like giving up when we are tested, tried and tempted. One where there seems to be no way out, nothing you can do to save yourself? That same desperation is what the disciples must have felt that night. The storm was too big. We can look at their situation and think, “Didn’t they realize they had Jesus in the boat with them?” Listen, Jesus is in the boat with you too. O, how we sing “with Christ in our vessels we will smile at the storm.” Are we seeing Christ in the storm as it approaches?
The disciples struggle to keep their boat from capsizing. Finally, as a last ditch effort; turn to Jesus in anger, crying out, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are going to drown?” As they look to Him, they find Him sleeping on a cushion, in the back of the boat. When we finally turn to Jesus, we too angrily cry out, “Lord, don’t you care?” As we look to Him, we find Him resting. We wonder, “How can He rest at a time like this?” Hallelujah, my brothers and sisters don’t be angry but cry out for HELP. Jesus is just a prayer away if you know how to call.
As the story continues, Jesus awakes and says to the storm, “Peace! Be still!” and there was instant calming. A word from Jesus was all it took. The disciple’s desperation ceased and they were left in awe and amazement. We shouldn’t criticize ourselves too much for our lack of faith. The Disciples had witnessed the greatest miracles of Jesus, yet they were consumed with fear. Jesus was physically with them, and they waited until the last minute to ask Him for help. We wonder, “Shouldn’t it have it occurred to them, to ask Him for help, right away?” We should ask ourselves that same question in the desperate situations we face. Why go through all the worry and struggle, when we can just ask Jesus to calm the storm?
We can declare, “It’s just not that easy. Besides, Jesus was with them, physically.” If we believe in God’s Word, if we trust completely in what He says, then we must know that He is with us too. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not fear for I am with you.” Matthew 28:20 says, “I am with you always” So the question is, do you believe He is? When we’re consumed with fear and doubt and the wind and waves (pleasures of this world, sex and lies, fornication, inordinate affections, adultery, drunkenness) are taking us under, we can be assured that Jesus is with us. Do not let sin have any dominion over you. Jesus will hear you if you call out to Him for help.
We know that we need to trust Jesus, but practically, how do we do that when we’re being tossed about? Trusting in God means: seeking Him, entering into His rest, and trusting in His Word. Our faith requires action and right now in the time.
Faith seeks God in all things at all times. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus was very specific in telling those who were heavy-laden and overburdened to come to Him. If we’re experiencing fear and doubt, it’s because we’re not trusting God. We can’t trust Him in some things and not in others. We must give Him our all and not in part. We cannot hold back but in everything we must give thanks. There’s no such thing as God being almost sovereign.
If our situation needs a miracle, then we must realize that God is the only One that can perform that miracle. We must go to Him in prayer, casting all our cares on Him, and trust that He will handle it all, in His way, in His timing, which is always perfect. We must stop “labouring,” and start trusting.
Faith enters into God’s rest. In a violent, life-threatening storm, Jesus was peacefully asleep. In our storms of life, we too, can enter into rest with God. We must stop trying to do what only God can do. Often times, we are to stand still and watch God work (1 Chronicles 20: 15-17). Most of the time He simply wants us to believes (2 Chronicles 16:9). Entering into God’s rest, means continuing to trust Him, even if, our situation does not change. We can’t change our circumstances if the circumstances we are in are God’s will. We must trust that He has promised to work ALL things for good (Jeremiah 29:11). We might not be able to see how the trials and tribulations of our lives can possibly be used for good, but God is sovereign, we are not; His ways are higher and His ways are far better (Isaiah 55:8-9). Many times we stand in the way of our own miracle. We fail to see God working on our behalf. Do not put anything or anyone in the place of our God.
Faith trusts God and His Word. You can’t be an unbelieving believer. You either trust God or you don’t. You trust His Word or you don’t. Faith does not walk by sight, because every time you step out in faith, you can rest assured, you are going to be challenged with something that contradicts it. Faith is a choice, not a feeling. It is choice that declares, regardless of the way things appear, “I trust God.” Never forget that God sees your life from beginning to end. He is all-knowing, all-caring, and all-loving. There is nothing in your life that goes beyond His control. Trust Him to bring about victory in your life. You won’t be disappointed (1 Chronicles 5:20; Psalm 22:5).
If you find your faith and fear colliding, look to Jesus. He has not jumped out of the boat of your life. Seek God, enter into his rest, and trust His Word. When the storms of life hit you won’t have to dust off your Bible or go searching for a lost prayer. You’ll know where you faith is. Just trust the Lord even if the valley is deep or the mountain too high. Remember that prayer will make the darkest cloud withdraw. Love the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding.
I love you and God bless and keep you.
Your servant in the Lord.