Doubt and fear go hand-in-hand
I heard a story about a Master and His crew who decided to sail across a beautiful and tranquil lake to rest at the end of a long day. After pushing away from the shore, the Master fell asleep, entrusting His experienced crew with the task of navigating them to the other side of the lake.
Not long after, the men began to tremble with fear as the skies grew dark and the wind started to howl. A sudden storm emerged from the clouds, churning the waters sending violent waves crashing over the side of the small fishing vessel. Despite being experienced fisherman, their confidence gave way to panic. Clenching onto anything they could find for stability, the crew began to doubt their sleeping Master’s commitment to their safety. In fear and frustration, they cried out to Him, “Save us, we are going to drown!” The Master responded, “Why are you such cowards, such faint-hearts?” Then he stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: “Silence!” The sea became smooth as glass. The men rubbed their eyes, astonished. “What’s going on here? Wind and sea come to heel at his command! (Matthew 8:26-27 MSG)
Jesus Calms the Storm
Tears fill my eyes as I imagine standing with the disciples as Jesus caught them in the act of unbelief. Being afraid of the storm was understandable, but their lack of trust in Jesus was not. Despite seeing Jesus perform miracles earlier that day, the disciples did not believe that His power applied to their situation.
Like the Sea of Galilee: Life on earth can be beautiful and tranquil at times, yet turbulent and frightening at others. Believers and non-believers alike are both susceptible to fear. Unless our strength and confidence are anchored in who we know God to be, we will fold like a cheap suit at the first sign of fear. When we trust God as we should trust Him, there is little room left for fear.
What is my anchor? My source of strength when facing fear?
According to Biblegateway.com, there are 5,467 promises of God in the Bible. Promises that are immutable, just like God’s character. The best way to defend ourselves against fear is to meditate and pray God’s promises back to Him. Using a concordance in your Bible, you can look up scriptures by topic and pick one that is relevant to your specific need. Isaiah 41:10 is a powerful scripture to cling to in any circumstance and has become one of my favorite anchor scriptures.
Isaiah 41:10 (NASB) ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
What does this verse say to me?
This verse is filled with directives followed by promises:
- The first directive in this verse is, do not fear. This command is followed by an assurance that the almighty, omnipotent sovereign God is with us. His Word promises that He will be with us forever. Alongside us for every single step we take.
- Do not anxiously look around you. This is one of the enemies most subtle and successful traps. He gets us to take our focus off of God and fix them on our circumstances. The more we look at our circumstances, the more anxious we become. My circumstances are not my god, He is my God, the only one with authority over my life.
- I will strengthen you and help you; Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. God is saying, look to your right. I am right beside you, and I am going to help you get through this. “Uphold you” is symbolic of God’s willingness to divinely intervene in our circumstances, and situation and He says SURELY (emphasis added) I will uphold you, absolutely! Unquestionably! I am a reliable and faithful God, I will strengthen you, I will help you. Whatever you need, I will do! Reach for me, I am your anchor.
I hope you are enjoying my October blog series on fear. If you missed my earlier posts you can read them by clicking the links below:
Sending love, peace, and happiness to all!