Some people have this idea that if you follow Jesus, you won’t have troubles. I don’t know where that came from. The truth is, if you follow Jesus you will still have trouble. Maybe even more trouble.
Matthew 8 describes the scene. The disciples on in a boat when a sudden storm erupts. It’s a big storm and they are very afraid.
I got to thinking about that. Their troubles were directly tied to their walk with Jesus. Matthew 8:23 says, “And when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.”
Had they not been following Jesus they wouldn’t be in that boat, which means they wouldn’t be on that sea which means they wouldn’t be in that storm.
Why is this important? It comes down to expectations. If you expect everything to go easily then you won’t be able to handle the trouble when it comes.
One of the greatest moments of spiritual trials happened with a dryer for me. We were totally committed to the Lord, raising two sons, living on nothing, and serving a church. We couldn’t afford anything. There was a Little Caesars, and when Amy and I wanted to eat out we would buy two “baby pan pans” for 2 dollars. To save money on occasions we would go to the grocery store, look at the cards until we found the right one and say, “Read this.” Then put it back. We couldn’t afford gift cards!
I had just done the bills. I figured we could make it if we didn’t have any more major expenses. So we prayed, “God we are faithfully following you. Our hearts are in this work. We are trying to save every dime but we need your help. Please don’t let anything else happen that would challenge our finances.” The next day the dryer went out. The next day.
I was devastated. It cut me to the quick. My faith in God’s care was shaken. “If I can’t count on you for a dryer, then what can I count on?” The process of working through that disappointment with God became one of the pivotal points in my faith. I learned that life is sometimes harder than I thought. That’s Ok. God will use it to teach me about him.
Matthew 8:26 says that Jesus calmed that storm for those men. And look at what they said, “Who is this man that even the winds and the waves obey him…” When life is harder than you thought, get ready to discover that Jesus is bigger than you think.