That day when evening came, He said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!”
Mark 4:35-41 [NIV] tells us the account of Jesus calming a storm as He and His disciples were crossing the sea at night. Notice how He was asleep in the back of the boat while everyone else was freaking out. He’s not concerned, He’s got it all under control. Notice also that Jesus said it was their lack of faith that led to their fear.
Throughout life, we will face some frightening situations. You might get laid off or fired. An unexpected expense. A serious illness. A loved one in trouble. A death in the family. Even the unavoidable event of our own death and realization of our own mortality. All of this along with other events in our lives can be very troublesome and worrying. And understandably so. What can we do then to stop worrying and live our lives in peace? A peace that each one of us desperately seeks.
Most things that we fear and worry about are beyond our control, hence the fear and worrying. But Jesus poses the question in Matthew 6, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” The obvious answer to this rhetorical questions is “No.” Worrying does nothing for us. But not knowing how to handle a situation will fuel our fear and increase our worry.
Proverbs 3:5-6 [NIV] says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Trust in the Lord. Without trust in God we are on our own. We have no other hope other than to trust in ourselves and hope for the best. But we can’t see one second into the future. We can try to guess and speculate based on past events, but really we have no idea what tomorrow will bring. We don’t know if a life changing letter will appear in our mailbox. We don’t know if a car will run a light and slam into us. We don’t know if an earthquake will hit, terrorists will strike, or if our heart will just give out. We have no control over life, it’s circumstances, it’s challenges, or even our own plans. But we can trust in God. He is eternal. He sees the beginning from the end. He knows every aspect of our lives past, present and future. He created the universe and He created us. He knows us inside and out far better than we know ourselves. By trusting in Him and putting our faith in Him, all fear and worry fall away. By knowing that He is in control, He has it all planned out, and that He loves us dearly, we can have the peace and joy that we seek.
Fear is the absence of faith in God and faith in God is the absence of fear. God loves us and He has great plans for us. Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV] says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God loves us so much that He sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. Jesus willingly gave His life for us. And He promises us hope and a future. He says He will direct our paths. All He asks is for us to turn from our own ways and trust Him enough to put our lives in His hands. To turn from this world, our lives, our sin and put our faith completely in Him as God and Savior.
Put your faith and trust in God today. Open the Bible and see what He has to say to you. Step out of your boat of self-confidence and faith in yourself. Step out onto the waves and follow in Jesus’ footsteps on the water as He leads you into His ways, His plans, His kingdom and into life everlasting.
Fear or Faith? Choose Faith in the living God.