by Dave Nodar
Why are we afraid? I want to take a moment to speak to you about the fear that is so pervasive in our society: the fear of death, of losing control, of the future and what it holds, of persecution and martyrdom, and of COVID. This fear is all around us, all the time.
In my prayer time one morning, I remembered the words Jesus tells His disciples as the storm rages around their boat in Mark 4:40 “Why are you afraid, have you no faith?” In the middle of a raging storm, Jesus, as calm as can be, asks the disciples, “Why are you afraid?” Well, they had very good reason to be afraid!
It is worth noting that not everyone in the boat was a fisherman, and so they were less used to rough and stormy waters, and would’ve been really afraid. And those who were fishermen and more familiar with stormy seas knew that they were in trouble, and quite likely going to drown! All of these people had different reasons to be afraid.
Meanwhile Jesus is asleep! Jesus, in his union with the Father, is able to peacefully sleep even amidst the storm, the rocking boat, and the terrified yells of those around Him. When the disciples come to wake Him, instead of letting their fear infect Him, His own peace spreads out from Him—a peace that stills the wind and the sea.
Now let us take a look at the mission Jesus was on. At the beginning of this chapter, Jesus told His disciples, “Let us go to the other side.” Later we see that when they get to the other side, Jesus heals a possessed man (Mark 5:1-20). Now we see that this storm is the beginning of the enemy’s preemptive attack, trying to prevent Jesus from reaching the man to heal him.
One of the last things I will say is that we need to recognize that fear is a fiery dart that the enemy uses to distract us and sow distrust in our relationship with God. As Paul says in Ephesians 6, we need to take up the shield of faith. I have personally been praying for greater faith in the Lord’s faithfulness, even when I don’t know what’s going to happen. I encourage you to take a few minutes in prayer, identify your fears, recall who the Father is and who Jesus is, and renounce and repent of the mistrust you have. Then, ask the Lord to give you the grace to trust Him more, praying, “Jesus I believe, help my unbelief.”
“Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”
1 John 4:4b