Devotional: ‘How to Overcome Fear’

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Matthew 8:23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” NKJV 

Who doesn’t become afraid whenever the waves are spilling over into their boat? Who doesn’t feel some anxiety whenever the doctor gives them bad news? Who isn’t tempted to worry when they are struggling financially? Who doesn’t feel some bit of fear when trouble comes their way? It is the one who puts their faith and trust in God.

The Bible says there arose a ‘great tempest’ in the sea. The words used here indicate that it was a storm so severe that it actually shook the boat. Not even an experienced sailor like Simon Peter knew what to do and therefore, as far as the disciples were concerned, they were going to drown. Yet through it all, Jesus continued to sleep.

Mark’s gospel adds another layer to the story. “And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38 NKJV) First of all, the disciples could not understand HOW’ Jesus could sleep through a storm like this. To put it in modern terms, a storm like this should have awakened the dead. Secondly, I’m sure that they also could not understand WHY’ Jesus would sleep through a storm like this. Why didn’t He get up and do something to help them?

QUESTION #1 – ‘HOW COULD JESUS SLEEP THROUGH A STORM LIKE THIS?’

The wind was howling, the waves were crashing, and perhaps there was even thunder and lightning. How could anyone sleep through a storm like this? Jesus could sleep through the storm because He had complete confidence in His Father’s care. He knew that His Father loved Him and therefore, nothing would happen to Him unless His Father permitted it. 

QUESTION #2 – ‘WHY WOULD JESUS SLEEP THROUGH A STORM LIKE THIS?’

The disciples could not understand how Jesus could sleep through a storm like this and why He wasn’t doing something to help them. “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38 NKJV) Their question wasn’t so much, “Do You have the power to calm the storm?” as it was, “Because You have the power, why aren’t You using it? Where are all the miracles now?”

I admit it, storms have a way of frightening me and, to be really honest, sometimes it doesn’t take a storm as severe as the disciples were experiencing to cause me to ask similar questions. Just a few drops of unexpected rain can arouse a bit of fear in me. The ‘what if’s’ start to creep into my mind and tempt me to worry. What if the storm gets worse? What if the waves come crashing into the boat? What if the boat takes on too much water? What if Jesus isn’t paying attention? What if I drown?

Consider how Jesus responded to the disciples’ question: “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” In other words, “Why are you not resting in My care even as I am resting in My Father’s care?”

Who doesn’t become fearful during a storm? It is those who have faith in the love and care of Jesus. It is those who believe that He is fully aware of their situation and that He will do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. It is those who remind themselves that He is in the boat with them and therefore, everything is under His control.

I pray that today’s study has been an encouragement to you. God bless you brethren.

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