“[Jesus] said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”(Mark 4:40).
Unless I missed one, this is the second rebuke Jesus gives his disciples in Mark. Jesus and his disciples have started across the Sea of Galilee and have encountered a storm. Mark calls it a “furious squall” with waves breaking over the boat so that it was “nearly swamped.”
Why was Jesus so peeved with his disciples? They woke him up! They must have believed that Jesus could do something. They must have believed that he would do something. After all, they were all in the same boat! Doesn’t that belief count for anything?
Faith is more than belief. It’s even more than belief in someone (or some thing). Faith engenders calm in the face of trial.
The twelve had seen Jesus’ great power: exorcisms, healings, and restorations. But these had been challenges faced by others. If you haven’t noticed, it’s easier to urge faith on others during their trials, to be at peace during their storms. It’s tougher when the trials are our own. The disciples were now the ones in trouble, and it was plain to Jesus their belief had not risen to the level of faith. Proof was in their fear.
Faith doesn’t come all at once. It’s a process, like a growing seed. It is nurtured by trial believe it or not – which is why it’s important NOT to pray you won’t be tried, but to pray that you will be delivered from trial when it comes. It’s also nurtured by prayer, and an exposure to the stories of God working in the lives of others.
Spiritual maturity is a developed confidence in God so that no matter what life throws at you, you face it unafraid, confident in the one who finds it easy to sleep in the storm.