In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus is not rebuking the disciples for being human, rather he’s rebuking them for what they conclude about their situation—“We are experiencing the consequences of this storm; therefore, Jesus must not be able to defeat it or he doesn’t care about us, so either way we are doomed.”

So are you ruled by fear or by faith? Here’s how you can answer that: Are you consumed with circumstances or truth? Again, it’s perfectly normal and acceptable to be scared, for instance, of a severe storm, however it’s evidence of unbelief to conclude that God doesn’t care about you and you’re certainly going to die as soon as you see the first sign of an unfavorable circumstance.

Keep in mind that the point of this text is not that God will deliver you from all your trials if you just have enough faith—No, faithful Christians lose their jobs; faithful Christians die from cancer; faithful Christians are persecuted and mistreated; faithful Christians are even killed in natural disasters.  The point is that God is powerful enough to protect your faith as you trust in him. He will not forsake you or bring something to crush your faith.

So that’s why, as we process this text, we need to be thinking of the intangible things that threaten our comfort and require faith to endure.  One of the most common is relationship tension; perhaps the way our spouse, or family member or co-worker or friend or child treats us–“If I don’t do this, then that is going to happen in the next few moments or at some time in the future, and I can’t allow that to happen because that will be too much to bear.”  So we either resort to perpetual worry, living our lives trying to prevent all the potential disasters that could occur and/or we seek to squash any identified threat to our well-being as quickly and decisively as possible, often manipulating others with no regards to how God commands us to deal with things.

This is the same type of fear that led the disciples to conclude that Christ doesn’t care about them in their dangerous state.  Faith is incompatible with that kind of thinking and without faith it’s impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).