But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid”. – Matthew 14:26-27
Every day we are confronted by events that strike fear in our hearts. Headlines shout disaster, violence, crime, poverty and depravity—we live in such turbulent times. How do we stay afloat as the waters swirl out of control around us?
The Bible is filled with God’s pledges of divine intervention, but nothing is clearer than the Apostle Paul’s advice to Timothy: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Tim. 1-7 NIV). Christians have the tools to turn back fear!
Rather than using these tools, we often want to live in a world free of fearful situations. When we don’t find this, we give up and exist in hopeless desperation. We may even turn away from God because we expected Him to keep us from harm’s way – something God never told us He would do.
Remember the story of the disciples in the fierce storm in Matthew, chapter 14. They watched him feed five thousand people with a few fish and five loaves of bread. They witnessed Him heal blind men and yet, when it came to facing their first crisis in the midst of the storm, they raised the bar of cowardly behavior to a new level. The bottom line of this story is this, Jesus knew of the pending storm and the struggle they would face, but He allowed them to get into the boat and into turbulent waters.
Here’s what we can learn from this. Sometimes there are valuable lessons that God wants to teach us in our difficult times – before He calms the storm and quiets our fears. God never promised us a trouble free life. He did promise to be there with us in the dark times and the stormy seas, to give us hope in spite of fear. This knowledge becomes the foundation for living free of fear’s chains.
Facing your fear is not based on the abstract idea of simply believing. It is not based on the nebulous commitment to positive thinking. It is based on the concrete promise that He will be there, in the midst of our storm. Whether He carries us through the storm or whether He simply calms it down, we have the guarantee of His word that He will be there. As believers, we cannot simply say no to apprehension. We must say yes to the Master of the storm.
There is only one secure foundation: a genuine, deep relationship with Jesus Christ, which will carry you through any and all turmoil. No matter what storms are raging all around, you’ll stand firm if you stand on His love. – Charles Stanley
Lord, I acknowledge that I have the truth of your Word which promises me that You will be with me in the midst of my storm. I stand firm in the truth that You will never leave me or forsake me. No matter how violent my storm might be, You are the Master of my storm. I will not fear. Amen.
Adapted from Fearless for Life by Stephen Arterburn, Paul Meier and Robert L.Wise