I love Luke chapter 8 for a number of reasons.
Jesus had gone out on the Lake with His disciples. A terrible storm came up quickly. They panicked and wakened Him up from His resting. He spoke words of authority and stilled the maelstrom.
Then He asked them “Where is your faith?”
And they, being afraid, wondered…
Now they had the physical presence of the Master, but no faith, no heroic confidence based on the promised victory behind the things seen*. They were still in the Old Covenant. Still operating upon a resource that knew too quickly its limitations. So when did faith arrive?
I would suggest it was after the Resurrection and after the New Birth, when they had seen the risen Messiah, repented of their betrayals and confirmed to their own satisfaction the fulfillment of prophecies and the truthfulness of Jesus’ words. Then they received a deposit of the Holy Spirit (John 20: 22, 23). Then they received His fruit including “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…” (Galatians 5:22)
And the faith must be applied faith, accomplished on the basis of the indwelling Spirit. This is the New Covenant dynamic. This is what James addresses when he says that faith without works is dead (James 2: 17-20).
Have you been born again? Yes? Then expect faith and trials. But if not…
And one further comment on terminology. When I share what has been given to me, I often hear people say “I’m glad that you have your faith”. It isn’t my faith. I didn’t learn it, earn it or conjure it. It is the “faith once given to the saints”, and God alone has opened my eyes and heart to it.
*Note: What had the disciples been promised? “Let us go over to the other side.” What had appeared to frustrate them? Seemingly contrary circumstances – wind and waves. Hold on to the sacred Word of promise. Flex that faith!
As I finished this post the bells of St Agnes were ringing around the corner from our house.