Fruitful Day 5 Peace For Life: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out Peace For Life!

The Questions

1) What causes us to doubt God’s care and active presence in our lives?


2) What is God’s active answer to doubt based on this passage?


3) What does His active answer impact our faith or doubt?

Mark 4:35-41

On that day, when evening had come, he told them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” So they left the crowd and took him along since he was in the boat. And other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So, they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?”

He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  Then he said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

And they were terrified and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey him!”

Original Intent

1) What causes us to doubt God’s care and active presence in our lives?
In the story recorded in Mark 4:35-41, Jesus had been preaching from a boat all day. He knew He had ministry to do across the sea the following day, so He instructed His disciples to push off from shore in the evening. As they were sailing, a tempestuous storm arose. This kind of storm would easily flood a boat, capsizing it and likely drowning the sailors. We enter the scene as the boat is filling with water (verse 37) and Jesus is sleeping at the back of the boat, His head on a cushion (verse 38). Some of the disciples in the boat had made a livelihood of being fishermen before following Jesus. All of them had lived near water their whole lives and were familiar with storms and boats. Yet, this storm scared them to the point they were certain their lives were in danger. Feeling certain of death, they woke Jesus, accusing Him of not caring for their lives, “Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?”. (verse 38) A smaller squall wouldn’t have incited this level of fear and doubt for the experienced seafarers, but this storm was unmanageable and threatening, utterly beyond their control. This place of fearful desperation brought into question Jesus’ professed care for them.

2) What is God’s active answer to doubt based on this passage?
Jesus got up. He woke from sleeping. He rebuked the wind. Sometimes, it’s significant to slow down when studying Scripture and simply “sit with” the physical actions happening in the text, especially in the gospels describing Jesus’ activity on earth. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) The word “rebuke” is an interesting Greek word with two sides to its meaning. One side means to give honor and the other is to hold accountable for a fault. As Jesus rebukes the wind and waves, He acknowledges their power while simultaneously placing them under submission to Him. Jesus said to the sea, “Silence. Be still.” This was a command to cease loud noise and settle into calm submission. The wind ceased and there was great calm. The wind obeys Jesus and stops blowing. The Greek word for “cease” means “to stop raging”. The great calm refers to a peace that surpassed something normal. It was a sense of calm that could be equated to the peace that passes all understanding referenced in Philippians 4:6. When Jesus speaks peace, His peace goes deeper and wider than “normal”, having ripples and reverberations exceeding expectations or imaginings. After stilling the sea, Jesus turns to His disciples and asks two questions. (1) Why are you afraid? (2) Do you still have no faith? Jesus saw His disciples’ fear (“deilos” in Greek) and knows their fear evidences a lack of faith. In the face of trouble, “deilos” is a thermometer measuring the temperature of faith. When Jesus says, “no faith” His statement really means, “not yet faith.” Jesus is asking, “Do you not yet trust the relationship between Me (as God) and you, between Me (as God) and creation?”

3) What does His active answer impact our faith or doubt?
The disciples were terrified in response to Jesus’ authority. Where they clearly feared the waves’ power to take their lives, they fell in terrified awe of Jesus’ power to calm the storm. The Greek word for this fear, “phobeō”, is different in meaning than “deilos”, signifying fear resulting in awe and could cause you to want to run away. Peter experienced this fear with Jesus when he first realized Christ’s divine power to cause fish to swim into his net, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Luke 5:8) Seeing Jesus’ power over nature, the disciples turned to one another and asked who Jesus really was. Jesus used these fearful circumstances to grow their faith in God’s all-powerful authority over Creation. His disciples needed to recognize Jesus as Creator God, holding all sovereignty over all creation and all circumstance; there is nothing beyond His authority. (Colossians 1:15-16) Jesus specifically called out their lack of faith in this regard, “Do you still have no faith?”. (verse 40) Jesus was calling His disciples to step out and become convinced of His absolute divinity as God. In watching Jesus’ authority, His disciples did indeed grapple with the very aspect of faith He lovingly led them to consider when they woke Him in their fear of death. “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (verse 41)

Everyday Application

1) What causes us to doubt God’s care and active presence in our lives?
Like the disciples, we are most prone to doubt God’s care and active presence when we are swamped by life’s storms which are seemingly overtaking us. When we feel like we can control our circumstances and the outcome, we don’t care that God seems to be asleep. In fact, we may prefer His seeming lackluster involvement. It’s when we face something threatening and beyond our control, we are tempted to believe God is neither present nor caring. It may appear God is slumbering in our “boat” of life, completely disinterested in our crisis. Our skewed perception can convince us He has lost control (as we have); surely, He has lost interest in protecting us. If we are comfortable enough with God, as the disciples were with Jesus, and as David prayed in the Psalms, we may even blatantly accuse Him of lying about His character of love and constant care. (1 John 4:8, 1 Peter 5:7) Take heart, these doubts have swept over all who have walked closely with Jesus, studied His Word, sacrificed to follow Him, and served Him with the whole of their lives. Doubt and fear are part of our experience as we journey with Jesus, but beautifully, He uses these dark storms to teach us of His steadfast faithfulness. (Psalm 36:5) His love for us goes beyond our fear. (1 John 4:18) If we will continue to call out to Him, He will continue to provide His peace in the midst of our fear. (Philippians 4:6-7) We are not greater than the original disciples; we are like them in most ways. Our God remains just as faithful to us as He was to them. (2 Timothy 2:13)

2) What is God’s active answer to doubt based on this passage?
Sometimes I tell my children and friends, “We serve an eleventh-hour God.” It doesn’t mean God finally comes desperately crashing in with rescue at the eleventh hour. He is never late as He exists outside of time, choosing to precisely operate within time. But, by our perception and limited perspective, He can appear to be “sleeping at the helm” until the last minute. At times like these, it’s critically important to cling to truth about God as declared in Scripture. God knows the timing of all things; He is never late. (Psalm 90:2) Habakkuk 2:3 reminds us God’s vision will not tarry. We wait for its coming, but it will not delay according to the Lord’s timing. In 2 Peter 3:8-9, we are reminded, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” He isn’t slow, late, or disinterested. Neither is He slumbering. (Psalm 121:3-4) When Mark recorded Jesus’ nap in the boat, it appears He was also well aware of the storm. He was not disengaged from His disciples. Though Jesus was fully human, requiring rest, He was also fully God, knowing all things at all times. Jesus is actively aware of everything we face and continually intercedes for us. (Hebrews 7:25) Many times in Scripture, we are encouraged to fear not, be anxious over nothing, and have faith. These commands exhort us to fix our eyes on Jesus rather than the storms around and within us. We need to focus on the truth that He is in control and cares about us and the outcomes of our lives. He cared enough to endure the cross. If He cared enough to save us, He cares enough to journey with us.

3) What does His active answer impact our faith or doubt?
Jesus divinely used natural circumstances, terrifying as they were, to cultivate unshakeable faith in the all-powerful God. Similarly, He guides our own journeys, navigating our hearts through suffering while teaching us to both know Him deeper and trust Him more. We can watch Jesus calm storms in our lives, then recognize His sovereignty. His active involvement in our everyday lives fosters faith in Him as the sovereign Creator and Ruler over all things, even our circumstances. As we surrender our fears to Him, even if it looks messy, He will transform our doubt into awe as we observe Him at work in our lives and in the world. He will grow in us a trust-filled conviction of His constant, active presence as He superintends our lives, even in storms that will seemingly overtake us. He is at the helm. We don’t need to pretend we have control. We can trust Him to steer the boat and still the waves at just the right time. When He speaks peace, we can confidently know His peace surpasses our understanding and echoes through our hearts as only the voice of God is capable. We don’t need to fear. Let’s surrender our doubts to the Lord of All as He faithfully grows our “not yet” faith into the kind of faith that fosters a deep, trusting relationship with Him.

What do YOU think?! Share Here!
Missing the connection to our other Journey Study today?
Catch up with Peace For Life!

Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

Digging Deeper Community

Share What You’ve Learned!
Pray Together!
Join us in the GT Facebook Community!

Our Current Study Theme!

This is Fruitful Week One!
Don’t miss out on the discussion!
Sign up
to receive every GT Journey Study!

Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

Memorize It!

Download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!
Tap and hold on your mobile device to save.