Fear or Faith, Which One Will You Choose?
When I was eight years old, I attended a church camp for children and during the week they took our group to a water park. At one point during the trip, the leaders took us to a big water slide in the park. Our leaders lined us up to get ready to go down the slide. I remember feeling nervous about getting on the slide because I can’t swim. In fact, I believe I explained to the leader that I cold not swim however, somehow my sister and I were up next to go down the slide using a big circle tube. We got to the top of the slide and they pushed us down the slide. Off we went, it was fast, and then the land into the pool was BIG. Splash! However, once I landed in the pool, I began to drown. I remember seeing the water all around me. I remember going down, and down, and down in the pool. I also remember saying to myself, “Well, this is it. My life is over.” Thankfully, the lifeguard saw that my sister and I were drowning and were in trouble and pulled my sister and I out!
Drowning in the pool that summer has left a terrible memory in my childhood. Unto this day, I still fear the water. The water scares me. This is how the disciples felt like in Mark 4. The disciples were on a boat with Jesus and everything was fine, until a storm hit them. Have you ever experienced a storm in your life that just suddenly appeared? Life was calm and then bam something unexpected shows up.
The Bible says that while the storm was happening, Jesus was sleeping. It seems odd that Jesus was sleeping while the disciples were in trouble, but he was fast asleep. At this point, the disciples wake up Jesus and say to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (v 38). I think we can all relate to the disciples. Sometimes in life, we feel like Jesus does not care about our life storms. Jesus is sleeping while we are going through our problems.
Then Jesus spoke to the wind and the waves, “Quiet! Be still” (v 39). The Bible says the wind calmed down and the storm was over.
What! Just like that, the storm was over? It is hard to comprehend how quickly Jesus was able to change the situation for the disciples. Yet, while the miracle of calming the storm was amazing it is what happens next in the story that needs our attention. After rebuking the storm, now it was Jesus’ turn to rebuke the disciples. Jesus turns to the disciples and said, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (v 40).
Hmmmm. I wonder if we are like the disciples, who were fearful of the storm in front of them? I wonder if we’ve been spending our energy worrying over our problem? Or maybe feeling anxious about what is about to happen next in our life.
Life storms can do that to us. No job. No marriage. No pregnancy report. Bank account showing negative. Losing a loved one or a court battle, or getting sick. All of these things can make us fearful.
Yet, Jesus wants us to be like him during a storm. When Jesus was sleeping, during the storm, something deeper was going on. Jesus wasn’t resting because he didn’t care, rather he was showing us the posture we need to take when a storm arises in our life. Which is to rest. Why was Jesus able to rest? Because Jesus was trusting the Father to take care of him. What about us? Are we trusting God while we are in the middle of a storm? Or have we been like the disciples who entered into fear and accused Jesus of not showing care to them? Maybe we need to be like Jesus, to go bed, get some rest, and leave our problems to our Heavenly Father because the storm we are facing is beyond our control.
Jesus wants you to turn the fear that is rising up in your heart and mind and replace it with faith. What is faith? It is believing and trusting that Jesus is present in our lives, he is able, and he is powerful. Trusting that God knows what to do about our situation, even though we do not. No matter the storm shape or size, Jesus can handle it. In the storm, Jesus spoke the word, and in one moment the disciples went from experiencing chaos to calm. Jesus can do the very same thing in our life, turn our trouble into tranquility.
Does that mean every storm we go through will turn out the way we prayed for, desired, or hoped for? NO. I have enough life experience to know that not every storm turns out the way I want.
But God is challenging us to think, no matter what happens, will we trust Jesus?
Will we trust that God knows, cares, and sees our needs?
Today, what storm in your life do you need to surrender over to God?
Maybe it’s time to let go of fear and maybe just like Jesus it’s time to rest and exercise faith in God.
Dear God, I confess that I have not always trusted in you during my storms. I want to be like you and trust that even though I do not understand my situation you do. I put my faith in you and I want to trust that you will work out my situation for your purpose and glory. Lord, please remove fear, worry, and anxiety in my life and replace it with faith. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
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