What does it take for me to not be afraid? Does God need to make all the storms of my life go away in order for me to have no fear? When Jesus asked His disciples, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40), did He calm the storm first because He figured that was the only way His disciples could avoid their fears? Or did He want them to have chosen not to be afraid even in the midst of the storm? In the midst of our current sermon series on spiritual warfare, it’s an important question. Do the battles we face have to end in order for us to not be afraid? The answer must be no, for Jesus’ question was two-fold: it was about their fears as well as about what they had already witnessed as food for their faith. It feels as if Jesus is saying, “What is your problem, you guys? Haven’t you seen enough miracles to know that I can also take care of any storm you’re facing? Where’s your faith gone to now that the going’s gotten tough?” So as I face storms in my life, do I need Jesus to calm them in order for me to not be afraid and in order for me to have faith? Or have I seen enough of God’s hand at work in my life to have faith in the midst of the storms — even ones that are bad enough to leave me feeling like I could perish in them? I know the reality is that I’m afraid far too easy — long before I’m at risk of perishing. But I want Jesus’ questions to ring in my ears: “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Because I know that even in the storms Jesus doesn’t calm, He’s with me through it all, and can turn those winds around whenever He chooses!
© 2008 by Ken Peters