Why Are You Afraid?

What stands out to you most in the story of Jesus calming the sea?

If I had to guess, I would say what sticks in our minds is the amazing truth that Jesus is able to command the laws of nature. No one living today can make a storm lay down. If we could, there wouldn’t be any more hurricanes or tornadoes to worry about. The fact is, God is Creator, and only the Creator has power over His creation.

So, yes, I agree, that this is an important truth to acknowledge and believe.

But as I reread this passage in Mark 4:35-41, I had to ask the question, “Why does Jesus seem to rebuke His disciples for not having faith?” After all, they panicked in the face of a storm that by all accounts was soon to throw them all into the sea. I’m sure their faith grew exponentially at the moment Jesus spoke those simple words, “Hush, be still,” and the storm literally laid down at His feet.

To answer this question, we need to back up to the first two things Mark tells us that happened, before they got on the boat … and before they faced the storm.

Mark 4:35-36 – On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him.

#1 – Jesus had already told them they were going to the other side.

#2 – Jesus was in the boat with them.

The disciples did not need to know anything else. By this time, they had already witnessed Jesus’ power over natural laws. They had spent enough time with Him to know He had a plan, and a purpose to fulfill.

All they needed was to trust that He would accomplish the work His Father had given Him to do and stay close to Him.

Storms will come, to test our faith. But our faith cannot rest only in the knowledge that God has the power to stop the storm. He certainly can, and often will, but there will be times when He wants to ride out the storm with us. The disciples would have gotten to the other side whether Jesus calmed the storm, or not … even if the boat sank. Jesus had already told them they were going to the other side.

Jesus is merciful, however, and He recognizes our human fears. In His mercy and grace, He woke up to the cries of His friends and performed a miracle. In this case, He took away the storm, but He rebuked them for their little faith.

My friends, there is a storm coming. If scripture is true, our world is headed toward a time of total rejection of God and the bowing down of all nations to Satan’s pawn, the antichrist. We don’t know God’s timeline on when He will rescue us from this storm. As the world continues its path to judgment, those who cling to faith in Jesus are going to be rejected, persecuted, mocked, and yes, jailed and killed for their faith. It’s already happening in many places around our world, and it’s not far-fetched to believe it will happen here.

I’m sure many reading this are going through storms of your own – facing circumstances beyond your control – things that threaten your well-being, your way of living, and life itself.

Do you have enough faith to make it through the storm?

Will you be content to know God has a plan and He will see it through?

Are you satisfied just to have Jesus in the boat with you, or will you give into fear and miss the great adventure as He takes you to the other side, to our eternal home with Him?

Mark 4:40 – And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

4 thoughts on “Why Are You Afraid?

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