One day Jesus and his disciples got into a boat. He said to them, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they started out. As they were sailing along, Jesus fell asleep. A violent storm came across the lake. The boat was taking on water, and they were in danger. They went to him, woke him up, and said, “Master! Master! We’re going to die!”
Then he got up and ordered the wind and the waves to stop. The wind stopped, and the sea became calm. He asked them, “Where is your faith?”
In the summer of 2002 I moved from Manila, Philippines to San Francisco. I was thirteen years old, about to enter high school. I moved to America by myself to reconcile my relationship with my mom and to pursue a better education. I had no friends and I was living with my family, whom I resented. I felt scared, lonely and many times I regretted the decision to move. Like Jesus’ disciples I felt my life sinking. I was alone, I was terrified and I was drowning emotionally. But the difference between the disciples and me was that they chose to go to Jesus.
And He said to them, [Why are you so fearful?] Where is your faith (your trust, your confidence in Me—in My veracity and My integrity)?
In Luke, the bible says having faith is not just believing in God but rather trusting and putting your confidence in him (Luke 8:25). Faith is not a state of mind and it is not based on the condition of a situation. The faith that the bible describes is a confidence that what we hope for will actually happen and conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1).
The scripture teaches that I need to have faith rather than be overcome by fear. The way I coped with my life and emotions was by being ambitious and excelling academically. But I learned that my drive to succeed and be independent were the things that were making me sink (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11).
Choosing to have faith in God was the only way to change the resentment and anger that was deeply embedded in my life and character. I needed to see that my bitterness and mistrust towards others were the things that were keeping me from having faith and separating me from knowing God (Isaiah 59:1) and having deep relationships with others. The only way to get faith is by reading the bible (Romans 10:17) and allowing it to change the way you think (Colossians 2) and your life.
When I studied the bible I was able to see God’s vision for my life. The scriptures challenged and encouraged me to take on areas of my character and relationships that needed to grow.
Without faith in God I would never have learned to value relationships over my ambition and I would never have learned to forgive and love others. With God I was able to learn how to have purpose through any storm in my life.
- Where is your faith? What do you put your hope and confidence in?
- What are things in your life that are hard for you to have faith in?