One time Jesus got into a boat with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee, and began to cross to the other side. A windstorm arose with such violent force that the waves broke into the boat, filling it with water. The disciples awakened Jesus, who was asleep in the stern of the boat, and asked him whether he cared that they were in danger of perishing. Jesus “rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Jesus then asked his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:35-40).
This account is full of precious truths for our comfort and encouragement. We first notice that Jesus allows his followers to go through storms. They are part of the normal Christian life. Jesus actually promised that “in the world you will have tribulation;” but then he added, “but take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Our hope is not that we will escape every trial, but that Jesus has already gained the victory, not only over the world and its ruler, Satan, but also over sin and death itself. We share in Christ’s victory through faith in him, and know that the storms he allows us to go through are for our good and his glory.
We are also reminded that Jesus has the sovereign power of God himself. Jesus spoke to the wind and the waves, and they obeyed him. He is Lord of nature. Nothing is impossible for him. If Jesus is in the boat with us, we are safe and secure—regardless of the storm raging around us. As the Apostle Paul affirmed, “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us;” nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39).
Early church art depicted the church as a boat on a stormy sea with Jesus in the boat with them. It is a powerful image, and doubtless a great comfort to those believers at the time who were undergoing persecution. The safest place to be in the midst of this fallen world is with Jesus. Whatever storms we may face, he will never leave us nor forsake us. We are absolutely secure in his power, wisdom, and love—now, and for eternity.