What does it mean to have faith over fear and how do we do it?
Faith is often a last resort. Who’s winning the faith versus fear battle?
Right now, it looks like fear has the edge.
Our hearts and our cities are engaged in the ill effects of fear. Our citizens are afraid of looters and rioters. Our police officers are scared to do their job.
The unknown creates fear. If we do not know if the police force will protect us, then fear results in doing the wrong thing. So, we grab a gun and stand in our yards like the attorney in Missouri. Not a good idea. Grab your gun and stay in the house.
Fear is rampant
Fear is running rampant through our cities and across the country. Fear rules the atmosphere. The everyday American is scared to death of an invisible virus. The virus is creating torment for many.
The Bible says that fear is torment. The word torment refers to punishment. It is simple to assume that anxiety is punishing. Yes, fear renders punishment. It thwarts our dreams, steals our future, and cripples our present.
There is fear that is real. Some experiences validate our fears. But believers must stand against fear and operate biblical faith. Having faith over fear is not always easy because faith is abnormal and is counter-cultural. The disciples experienced a moment-their fear goes off the chart. Emotionalism on steroids.
As they crossed the Red Sea, they encountered a severe storm. The storm was so intense that the boat was taking on water and tottering on sinking.
The disciples were overcome by fear.
On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the ship so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:35–41, NKJV)
My focus is on how Jesus handled the encounter. The disciples woke Jesus up, and that is important.
We must “get woke,” and more. The church is far-past the time to wake up from a state of spiritual sleep. (Ephesians 5:14, NKJV).
And when we wake up, we are commanded to:
- walk circumspectly,
- operate wisdom,
- reject foolishness,
- redeem the time,
- understand the will of God, and
- be filled with the Spirit of God.
Examine how the points above are antidotes to fear.
Back to Jesus and the disciples
The disciples wake Jesus up and accuse Him of not caring about their lives. Jesus does the unusual and supernatural. It takes a lot of courage to rebuke a storm and speak to a storm. Jesus rebuked the wind and spoke to the sea. What? Jesus did two simple things, which resulted in profound outcomes. Have you ever noticed that Jesus rebukes the storm? I have never seen that before. Allow me to extrapolate.
Jesus rebuked the wind. Jesus discerned the wind as the source of the storm and the storm as a symptom of the wind. Yes. Jesus rebuked the wind because it was sent from the enemy to kill the disciples. God used this moment for his good.
Jesus would never rebuke something sent from God. So, the wind was from the devil, and the waves were a result of the wind. Jesus dealt with both the source and the symptom. We tend to only deal with the fruit and to leave the root alone.
There is a fruit from anger, and there is root as to why anger is present in us. We must consider that Jesus did more than one thing to counteract the storm. Jesus rebukes the wind and speaks to the waves. Jesus rebuked the storm with his words and spoke to the storm in the same manner.
Can you and I do what Jesus did? Yes, we can. Ultimately, Jesus calms the storm. But notice what happens next.
“Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:40–41, NKJV)
Look carefully. The disciples experienced a different fear – an AHA moment of fear-they realize the power of Jesus. Amazing. The disciples witness the calming of the storm. This is wild and boggles the mind. The moment reveals the humanity of the disciples and the gift of faith that Jesus possesses. Can we see that Jesus carried an antidote to fear and took action to stop it? Jesus did what he expected of the disciples and what he expects of us.
Did you notice that Jesus said, “How is it that you have no faith?” This was about how they saw themselves. Jesus could have said, “where is your faith?” He didn’t. He said, “How is it that you have no faith?”
Did Jesus mean, if you knew who you were, your faith would be on-point? I think so. It was apparent, Jesus expected his disciples to use their faith. Jesus expects the same from us. The faith of Jesus challenged the storm and shifted the actual circumstances. Pay attention. The sea goes calm. Amazing. And the disciples freaked. Most of us would. Right?
Jesus was not going for a drop the mic moment. No. Jesus was acting in God’s overall purpose and modeling how faith works. Faith works by taking action and taking God at His word. The tension for us is how we see ourselves and our willingness to step out and use our faith. These kinds of miracles are waiting for us.
Yes, this message is very spiritual. I know. It is challenging. Most of us are more practical than this.
Well, it’s time we birth a new normal.
Everyone needs to see God’s power in motion. I am ready, and I hope you are.
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name, they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15–18, NKJV)
Signs follow believers. It’s time to believe and put actions to your faith.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews11:1, NKJV)
Can you see it? What we hope for, activates the faith. It’s time to use our faith and do what Jesus said was possible.
What is possible? All things? Really? Yep.
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26, NKJV)
That’s how we win the fear battle-only believe.
Thank you for reading this post I would love to hear from you.
Share a story of a recent faith battle that you faced.
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The article first appeared here.
FATHER, the world is running around, at the moment, like Chicken Little, screaming “the sky is falling, the sky is falling. ” Man is looking around at the death, loss and destruction in front of him.. people are crying out in fear as they tremble at every view set before them.
We ask that the HOLY SPIRIT, remind us to look UP… to hold our heads high as we remember whose we are… to fix our eyes on the heavens, where YOU are seated…. …the heavens, where JESUS is “high and lifted up”….the heavens where our SAVIOR is seated at the “right hand of the FATHER”….the heavens where the angels bow down before YOU… the heavens where the “KING of KINGS and the LORD of LORDS” dwells on high, the heavens where every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that “JESUS CHRIST IS LORD”…the heavens where the saints sing, “holy, holy, holy, is the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY “…the heavens from which “OUR SALVATION COMES “.
LORD, In a world that seems to be crumbling and swirling with fear and confusion.. We choose to look up to the heavens…up to YOU and YOU alone …help our eyes dwell only upon the beauty of YOUR word, help our hearts be filled with the peace that passes all understanding, coming only from YOU …help our minds be fixed only on the foundation of YOUR truths..and, remind us our hope is found in our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST alone, whose name is above ALL other names. Amen.