Devotional: ‘Don’t Be Afraid’

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What’s the greatest storm you have ever encountered? I remember once while we were on vacation the weather report called for a hurricane. Not knowing what to expect, we packed up as quickly as possible and headed home. I’ve seen wind storms, rain storms and snow storms. But the greatest storms in my life have not been storms that affected me on the outside, but rather storms that affected me on the inside. I’m sure that many of us would agree that the death of a loved one is one of the greatest storms someone can ever face. It is with that in mind that we read –John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews…

When Jesus died on the cross, His disciples encountered a tremendous storm. How so?

First There Was the Storm of Fear

The Bible says that on the first Easter morning the disciples were not out in the streets celebrating the resurrection of their Savior. Instead they were huddled up together behind closed doors. John tells us that they were frozen with the fear of what might happen to them. No doubt some of them thought that at any moment they too would be arrested and crucified even as their Lord. The storm of fear drove them into hiding.

Secondly There Was the Storm of Sadness

The three years the disciples spent with Jesus were the best three years of their lives. But now it was all over. Jesus had been crucified and was buried in a stone tomb. For three days and three nights the storm of sadness beat upon the hearts of His followers.

Thirdly There Was the Storm of Disappointment

Luke’s gospel explains some of their feelings. “But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel…” (Lk 24:21) The disciples believed that Jesus was their long awaited Deliverer and that He would liberate them from their oppressors. But now Jesus was dead and so were their dreams.

Perhaps you are in a storm today. If so, consider this important portion of scripture.

And the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ” Matthew 14:24–27 (NIV)

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