Friday, September 25, 2015

Of Raging Tempests

Jesus wearing white and red robes, with arms outstretched, standing near His Apostles on a ship that is being tossed on large waves.
Awakening the Savior, one of His trusted Apostles cried out, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?" Taking in the scene of chaos around Him--the driving winds, the near-flooded ship, and the frantic Apostles--Christ stands up, rebukes the storm, and then rebukes the Apostles for their lack of faith.

As I have read this story over the years, question has repeatedly come to mind: on what grounds did the Savior call into question their lack of faith?

In the Bible Dictionary we read that "Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true, and must be centered in Jesus Christ in order to produce salvation." Doesn't that describe what occurred in this scene on the ship? The Apostles found themselves in the middle of an awful and dangerous storm so they turned to the Savior with hope that He could save them from their dangers. How can He then turn around and question their lack of faith?

As I have personally studied this principle of faith and worked to apply it in my life, I have learned a number of things that go beyond the simple definition stated above. It is certainly true that faith is a "hope for a better world" as based upon and founded in Jesus Christ. But this is not an exhaustive definition, this is only one aspect of faith.

In order to have real, substantial faith, our turning to Christ must be a reactive and instinctive choice rather than a safety net in case our own efforts fail to save us. Christ is not, indeed cannot be our backup, our plan B. As taught by multiple Book of Mormon prophets, "there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world."