Mark 4:37-38 "And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care if we perish?""
There are some people who are sure that there is no god, they are atheists. There are some people who do not know if there is a god, they are agnostics. There are countless millions who believe there is a God. Millions more believe that God has something to do with their life. And in a recent Gallup survey, it was found that those who believe there is a God, and a large percentage also believe that He expects something of them, which feel no necessity to live up to. Its as though they are saying, God, I know what you expect, but I am going to do what I please.
Given this condition, it is not hard to see why although millions claim to believe in God the majority are going to perish. They know God is going to come. They know that God is going to judge, they know they are guilty, they know they will perish. SO they next time you hear someone who claims to believe in God, know that there is a great difference between believing in God, and faith which believes in God and lives accordingly.
In this respect, the demons may perhaps be better off, than a large chunk of the world, for James 2:19 reminds us: "You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe -- and tremble. Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith without works is dead?" Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?"
What does this mean? Often we speak of being justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and in that scheme, works contribute nothing to our salvation. However, if we are living by faith, then works are the natural outcome of a faith which is lived. Works do not save us, but they are signs to us that our faith is living.
But perhaps the biggest sign to us that we are living by grace through faith, is our ability to trust in God and to put all our cares and concerns into His hands, confident that he will see our need and supply all that is necessary. When the storm arose at sea, while the disciples believed, they had trouble trusting in a Savior who is sleeping.
This too is the problem in Job,
Job 38:1-3"Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind: "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me."
So it is that God reminds Job, who Job is, and who God is. And Jesus rebukes the winds and the sea, and reveals to the disciples who He is, and who they are. Knowing that God is our Savior, that he knows our need, that he is able to provide, makes it much easier for us to trust in and rely on Jesus our Savior, and to believe in God in such a way, that we call such belief, saving faith. Not because we are saved because of our belief, rather as God is revealed to us, it builds our faith, and helps us so that in all things we may turn to him and rely on him.
It is a curious thing, God first loves us, and because of His love, we are able to love ourselves, others and to love God. God also first believes in us, he entrusts us with the treasure of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and because of Godís trust in us, faith is worked in our hearts, and we believe, and as a result of living the faith, as a response to Godís love and faithfulness, we do good works. Jesus does care for us, he would not have us perish. Thanks be to God!