“Why are you gripped with fear? Where is your faith?”
Then he stood and rebuked the storm,
saying, “Be still!” And instantly
it became perfectly calm.”
Matthew 8:26 The Passion
This question of Jesus to terrified disciples who thought they were about to drown, might be one of the most important questions of Jesus that Christians desperately need to answer today.
I sympathize with those who find it entirely too easy to succumb to fear.
- Some fear COVID in all its mutations, with the additional fear that the variants will never cease… we’ll be masked forever, suspicious of everyone around us and believing this is how our life will end.
- Some of our citizens fear being cancelled by social media leaving them friendless and lonely in the future.
- In their fear of extremism many double down by never wanting to consider another viewpoint than their own. They’re afraid that they might have to admit they had not thought through their ‘theology’ but are afraid to admit it!
- Some fear Russia or North Korea or climate change of they just fear fear itself!
Jesus hit the nail directly on the head when He said their fear was the absence of faith in their lives. We are told in Scripture that faith ‘comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God’ Romans 10:17
Much of the reason for fear’s tightening grip on us is that we don’t know what God has said… about his love for us, his plans for us, his ultimate plan for Satan and his total control over all of life. And we have no excuse for this. Most of us have several Bibles in our homes and it would take reading just one of them to grow the faith we need!
The disciples, too, had heard and seen enough to know by this point in their lives, that having Jesus personally with them was the greatest antidote to fear known to man. So Jesus rebuked both disciples and then the storm itself: “Be still!” He said to the storm and it immediately obeyed Him.
Looking for a calm for the storm of living in these frightening days? Never doubt that The Storm-Calmer lives within you. He has both the words of encouragement you need and the rebuke of the storm swirling around you.
So why are you gripped with fear?
“… for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world.”
I John 4:4 MSG