Overcoming Fear with Faith

(Featured in the Sisterhood Magazine a couple weeks ago. For the latest edition, click here)

It was a dark cloudy night. The waves beat ruthlessly against the boat. The men shook cold and soaked in fear. Another restless, questionable night on the open sea. Some of them were fisherman. They should know how to handle the boat on a night like this.

They were all alone. Their leader had told them to go on ahead. What would they do without Him? He was the Man of Miracles. Now, they were left on their own to fend for themselves…or so they thought.

“Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, 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.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” –Matthew 14:25-33 (Bold and italics added for emphasis)

Jesus told the disciples to not be afraid. Peter stepped out of the boat in faith and courage and headed towards Jesus. With darkness, wind, and great waves all around him, Peter’s eyes went from Jesus to his surroundings. His fear suddenly overcame him and he began to sink.

As soon as Peter cried out to Him, Jesus immediately reached for Peter’s hand and helped him up. Notice that Jesus didn’t let Peter sink or drown. He didn’t let him wallow in his fear or human weakness. He was right there answering his cry for help.

Jesus was teaching Peter valuable lessons. He knew that Peter would need extraordinary faith to fulfill the task that Jesus was about to call him to. He strengthened Peter in order to build, serve, and lead the church with no reserves.

Are you filled with fear? Cry out to the Lord. He is our ever-present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1). What might Jesus be calling you to today? Perhaps He is asking the church to rise up, be strengthened, and stand firm. He is about to do something amazing. We need to be looking to Him, not to the circumstances surrounding us.

Jesus doesn’t get frustrated with us. He doesn’t leave us to sink in our fear. He picks us up, dries us off, and keeps us going. All we have to do is ask Him for help.

In light of today’s circumstances, I know there’s lots of reasons that people are feeling fear. No one wants to get sick. No one wants to face another recession. Questions of when “normal” life will begin again loom in the air. Loneliness and depression are threatening. 

BUT…God is on the throne! “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). 

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. (Hebrews 13:8) He isn’t shocked by this. His plans don’t change because of this blip in history. He knew this would come. 

What this moment in history shows us is that He is calling people to Himself. When the world is filled with fear, it cries for help. When the world is in crisis, it needs a Saviour. 

Let’s lean in to our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. Let’s trust that He will provide all our needs. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:1). Go shine the Light that is within you to the world around you.

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