Much in this world causes even the bravest to fear. Frightening scenarios occur around every corner. Our world is full of unrest and uncertainty. The problems facing our nation are unprecedented.
The crisis doesn’t end when we turn off the evening news. The silencing of the outside noise only accentuates the conflict within many homes and individuals. These personal fears wreak havoc to physical, financial, and spiritual life. When fears overwhelm, many Christians fail to rest in God.
When our thoughts focus more on our problem than on God, that problem has become our idol. In spite of words of loyalty to the Master, our primary focus turns from the Savior and fear occupies our heart and mind.
God’s Word tells us how we can be free from fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 declares that God has not given us this spirit of fear. His gifts of power, love and soundness of mind will only occupy a heart that surrenders its fear to Him. This freedom is not the absence of trials but a peace in the midst of the pain.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
No fear is greater than God! We often fail to trust Him because we are ignorant of His power, His character, and His promises. We let fear overwhelm us making us miss the opportunity for God to show Himself strong. In Isaiah 41:10 God says, “Fear not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” God commands us to never fear but to rest in Him!
Jesus taught the disciples important lessons on fear throughout His years of ministry. In Matthew 14, the disciples faced a time of great fear although they were obeying Jesus’ instructions. Jesus had just fed a multitude of people with a boy’s small lunch and sent the disciples across the Sea of Galilee to meet Him on the other side.
These seasoned fishermen were challenged by a violent storm when they reached the middle of the Sea, about three miles out. In the exhaustion of the early morning hours, these weary sailors saw the form of a man walking on the water toward them! They cried out in fear as the unknown form approached them!
The disciples’ panic was answered immediately by the reassuring voice of the Master! “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” These words of comfort were heard over the noise of the storm. Were all the disciples able to hear Jesus’ voice? Were some so overwhelmed by fear that Jesus’ words were lost in the roar of the wind and waves?
We must ask ourselves a similar question. Do we hear the voice of our Savior over the noise of the world around us? Are we so consumed with the constant clamor of society that the Word of God falls on occupied ears?
“When we are resting in Jesus, we can know His peace even in the midst of our storm.”
At least one of the disciples heard Jesus! Peter responded with a request to join Jesus on the water. Jesus bid him, “Come.” Peter’s climb out of the boat, no doubt, was calculated and cautious. While stepping away from the protection of the boat, Peter kept his eyes fixed on Jesus; but, when Peter felt the violent wind and the crashing waves, he became afraid of what he knew! He knew what was happening around him! He knew what the other disciples were seeing. He knew he should not be walking on the water! Peter turned his eyes from Jesus to his circumstances and immediately began to sink.
In spite of his needless fear and doubt, Peter knew that Jesus was ready to help him. When he cried, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately stretched forth His hand and caught him. Peter’s fear was answered with the hand of Jesus! Peter’s faith was exposed by Jesus’ words, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” The storm ceased when Peter and Jesus stepped into the boat together.
Jesus took Peter’s fear and replaced it with peace. Our trials may not resolve as quickly as this storm did; but when we are resting in Jesus, we can know His peace even in the midst of our storm.
Jesus gave these disciples a glimpse of His glory. They had just witnessed three miracles—Jesus walking on the water, Peter walking on the water, and the storm stopping immediately when Jesus’ stepped in the boat. Only in focusing on Jesus, God the Son, can our fears be replaced with praise and worship.
What precious hope this story gives us! No matter what our fears are, God is with us! He replaces our fear with His love, peace, and glory when our focus is fixed on Him.
Written by June Kimmel. This article was published in the Winter 2016 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine. June and her husband David live in Wisconsin. They love spending time with their children and grandchildren.
Thanks for reading!