It is when we encounter evil that the grace of God saves us
Imagine we are in a boat and a storm suddenly blows into our midst. There have been many instances in history where that occurred and left many people in a condition that brought death. The same encounter in the spiritual world has encompassed too many that do not know what to do or who to call upon for safety. We are all susceptible to occurrences of impending disasters, even when all the measures of safety have been secured.
Jesus surprised the disciples more than once when fear overtook them on the water during storms. During a storm with the disciples alone in the boat, a storm began tossing the boat. Jesus came walking on the water and said, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Then he said to Peter to come to him on the water. Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water towards Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord save me.” Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt.” (Mt. 14: 26 - 31).
Another time Jesus and his disciples were in the boat when a violent squall came up and the waves were breaking over the boat. Jesus was in the stern asleep and they woke him saying,
“Do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” (Mk 4 : 37 - 40).
The very encounters as these occur constantly with each of us, more times than we care to admit, and some can be much more traumatic than a storm at sea. Often we will respond to God asking why he was so far away when turbulence regarding financial, marital, or weaknesses seem to be the greatest dilemma in our life.
We need only to remind ourselves of what Jesus just went through as he carried his cross, falling three times under its weight, and finally laying down to be nailed and lifted high as his flesh tore under the stress of his dying breaths.
Was there ever so much grief that he endured for a purpose to give you and me a free pass to heaven without paying the price of extreme suffering?
This could only happen by the generous grace of a loving Father, who never once considered removing his love. This of course is a love that cannot be measured in human terms. It is agape! A love that becomes visible only when a servant suffers without excuses or bargaining.
Within the evil of unbelievers Jesus is saved on the cross, not with nails and scourging, but through divine grace that is the payment through suffering and ultimately saves us. Why the cry of fear should behoove our lack of faith, since Christ is always beside each one as the winds of evil confront us. “I AM here!
Ralph B. Hathaway