Fear is the enemy of faith. My fear can overwhelm me if Iâ€™m looking with worldly eyes. When I see the state of my country, I fear for its future. This fear is not unfounded, however, if my fear is calculated without God, then it is unfounded.
Jesusâ€™ disciples were facing a life-threatening moment, one in which all of us would no doubt be fearful. We should be able to totally relate to their fear and nod our heads in understanding, and yet Jesus rebuked them for having little faith:
â€œNow when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him.Â And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.Â Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, â€˜Lord, save us! We are perishing!â€™ But He said to them, â€˜Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?â€™ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.â€ (Matthew 8:23-26)
I give credit to the disciples for their reaction to Jesus calming the storm; they marveled. I would have been hurt that Jesus rebuked me for having an â€œunderstandableâ€ fear. But the disciplesâ€™ eyes were opened and they realized that Jesus was not some ordinary rabbi. They were beginning to understand that Immanuel had come.
Understand that this was not just some normal storm that had come upon the disciples. They werenâ€™t some weekend boating warriors out in the water beyond their skill set; they were seasoned fishermen. This was some storm they were facing and Jesus calmed it. This is why they marveled; they knew that only God could control the seas.
Even when we have all the facts, we can come up with the wrong conclusion. We look at all sides of situation and determine our best course of action. Or we think we come up with the best decision. However, any decision made void of Godâ€™s power is never the best one:
â€œTrust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.â€ (Proverbs 3:5-6)
How many Christians claim the above Scripture passage as their life verse, have it posted throughout their homes, and blow right past it in their hectic days fretting about something? Oswald Chambers give us some insight:
â€œOur trust is in God up to a certain point, then we go back to the elementary panic prayers of those who do not know God. We get to our witsâ€™ end, showing that we have not the slightest confidence in Him and His government of the world; He seems to be asleep, and we see nothing but breakers ahead.â€
That perfectly describes me at times. If I will just seek Godâ€™s counsel on my everyday life decisions and desires, my Lord will answer me through His word and prayer. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit to serve us as a counselor in the issues of God:
â€œHowever, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.â€ (John 16:13-14)
You may have heard the old saying, â€œThereâ€™s no panics in heaven; just prayers.â€ This is true because God is in control, even when our government is godless, when society has rejected God and His word, or you are alone in your faith. Jesus Christ is King and He has promised that He will not miss a thing in our lives. So we need not panic.
We can stop panicking when we stop leaning on our own understanding. When we stop trusting our earthly wisdom and start trusting Jesus, then we will live a life that overcomes all fear.
When we turn to God for guidance through the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus promised, He will direct our paths.
We just need to take the first step.
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Copyright Â© 2016 David Jeffers