Unfortunately, it seems to take times of trouble in order to identify who truly is following God. In the case of Hannaniah, Misheal and Azariah, they showed that they followed God when they came up against a fiery furnace. Other martyrs came up against death and there are those today that stand for their faith no matter what may come their way.
The disciples followed Jesus– they were in the boat with Jesus, but that was explainable. They had seen Jesus perform many miracles and they could trust that He was someone that was with God.
The interesting thing is that there were other small boats that followed as well. You see, they saw the miracles and His wise sayings attracted many to follow him– and so there was more than one boat on the water in the storm. These people remind me of us– we don’t have Jesus physical presence, but we still follow Him. We still get the trials, we still see Him at work to still them, but we don’t see him physically there.
Matthew Henry has the following to say:
There were with him other little ships, which, no doubt, shared in the distress and danger. Probably, these little ships carried those who were desirous to go along with Christ, for the benefit of his preaching and miracles on the other side. The multitude went away when he put to sea, but some there were, that would venture upon the water with him. Those follow the Lamb aright, that follow him wherever he goes. And those that hope for a happiness in Christ, must be willing to take their lot with him, and run the same risks that he runs. One may boldly and cheerfully put to sea in Christ’s company, yea though we foresee a storm.
We have many things working against us. We do not have Jesus physically walking and talking with us today. However, Jesus pronounced that we are more blessed:
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have have believed. – John 20:29
We may not see His plan, or may not be as assured of what He’s doing in our lives, but we can be assured that He is at work. For example, there was no way that Jesus was going to let His disciples and himself die– it was not His time.
We can be confident that, as we seek Him and He uses us we will be safe. We have many promises that we can cling to:
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? – Matthew 6:26
God is paying attention and working all things together for good to those who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). And even when we die– we should consider it gain– as Paul did in Philippians 1:21.
You see, those that are out for self tend to run when the going gets tough. In Luke 18, the rich young ruler turned and walked away when Jesus gave him a tough assignment– to give away all he had to the poor and follow Christ. In John 6, when Jesus told those that followed him that they would have to eat His flesh and drink His blood many chose to walk away.
The question for today is, are you “with God”?
- If you’re not a follower, what’s in your way?
- If you are a follower, are you praying that you will be prepared for the difficult times?
- Are you in hard times? Look to Him, He has the power, but it has to be for His reason and in His timing.