Faithful or Fearful
Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"
Mark 4:36- 41 NAS
Every October we write a devotional or two about fear. It is always culturally and spiritually relevant, especially as Halloween decorations fill our neighborhoods and appear to get darker and scarier every year.
You have heard us say time and time again, “Every fruit has a root.” Good roots produce good fruit and rotten roots bear rotten fruit. The root of fear is a lack of faith.
In the verses above Jesus was sleeping through a storm while the disciples panicked, fearing they would perish. This is not to say that the circumstances were not concerning or even scary, but take a close look at how they approach Jesus for help, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” After all they have seen and heard, their cry for help seems to be lacking in many ways. Jesus’ response shows that He is more concerned with the storm inside them than the one that surrounds them.
Jesus rebuked the wind and sea and then he rebuked their wavering belief, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" Ouch! In full transparency, I am not sure I would have gently shaken Jesus awake and calmly said, “Lord, You are awesome and able so would You please take care of us and get rid of this storm?” but I have learned over many years and many trials to pray and not panic. Prayer should always be our first response and not our last resort.
How We Can Pray
Some of the significance of the story has been lost in our English translation as our Bible translates two different Greek words into one English word, “afraid.” In the original language Jesus asks them “Why are you timid?”(v. 40) and then they become terrified (v. 41). 2Timothy 1:7 reminds us, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”
Let this verse come to mind every time a “storm” springs up in your life. There are many things that tempt us to respond emotionally instead of spiritually and faithfully, our health, finances, family, future, work, wars, politics, and more. We must remember God’s faithfulness and respond according to His abilities and affection and not worse-case scenario what-ifs. Remember that God loves and cares for you, your family, and all that concerns you even more than you do.
Will you pray with me right now?
LIGHT Your Path!
Please join us as we “Lift up the Word and Light Up the World.”Here is some LIGHT for your path as you walk by faith and dispel darkness and fear.
"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Ps. 107:1)
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. (Ps. 139:17-18)
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” (Eph. 3:20)
“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." (Ps. 55:22)
Please add your favorites to this list and be encouraged to repeat them in faith-filled prayer whenever fear comes knocking on your heart’s door.