There are many people today that feel the anxieties of life are too big to handle. The problems are just too big to face alone. Interestingly, this need not be the case, when we place our confidence in Jesus Christ.
In Matthew 8, we read about an event recorded for us that is referred to as a “nature miracle". Jesus used this miracle to call the disciples to trusting faith rather than doubting fear. Jesus was not primarily concerned with the problem the disciples faced or even the solution to the problem. His concern was that in times of natural disaster they and thus we would draw near to Him in faith rather than agonizing in fear. Faith, like fear, can be contagious. Our faith in God not only glorifies Him, but it also can inspire others to believe in Him.
Here is the question I want you to answer today for yourself, “Why am I so afraid?”
Matthew 8: 23-27
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?”
The situation began calmly, naturally. Then, without warning a storm, “a great tempest" crashed into their boat. The idea here is from a word that means “earthquake”.
In Mark 4:35-41 he describes this storm as a “great windstorm”. A whirlwind or storm that breaks out in awesome gust.
The Sea of Galilee is 680 feet below sea level and is prone to such a violent storm. Warm moist air hovering over the water is met violently with gusts of cool, dry air being thrust through narrow passages in the hills from Mount Hermon, which is 9,200 feet above sea level.
There is certainly no doubt that the threat of their lives caught the disciples by surprise. They were simply following the directions of Jesus. Our text says that Jesus was asleep. Worn out from serving His Father, doing good, loving others. He obviously was not worried.
They go to Him “Lord save us” And their concern is understandable. This was a furious storm, and they were professional fishermen. We can already see their lack of faith as they go to Jesus, “Lord save us”. They must have concluded that all of their lives were in jeopardy, even the life of Jesus.
Jesus response was mild but firm “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith”.
First, they had little faith, and that will do little for the glory of God. Second, Jesus already knew that they feared. As Jesus responsed to their fears, He rebukes the winds and the sea. We might have expected the wind to stop and then the sea to calm over time but not this time, “there was a great calm”, I believe that it was instant.
Jesus calmed the storm with divine power, and that is the same power, which can deliver us from the storms of sin wrecking our lives. The theme “don’t be afraid” is repeated numerous times throughout the Bible. Because people naturally fear instead of trusting God who is greater than fear.
Numerous times God says for us not to fear. Physicians tell us that fear is a killer. It saps strength, stagnates growth. Effects our usefulness to the Lord. Causes stress and all the physical problems that go with it-even death.
God desires us to depend on Him in all circumstances. Whether He miraculously delivers us or not, our faith will glorify God.
Someone once noted that we should stitch wings on our fears by making them prayers and supplications with thanksgiving, and in so doing it will glorify God.
In God's Grace,