Truth for the Journey: Why are You Afraid?

Last night, I woke several times with concerns for various people and situations.  As my mind wandered the halls of worry and fear, the Holy Spirit repeatedly reminded me of Jesus’ words that I read yesterday in Mark 4.

In Mark 4:35-41, the sky over the Sea of Galilee had become dark and stormy.  Clouds gathered, winds blew, and the sea began to rage.  The disciples’ fishing boat was no match for the power of the tumult.  Fear gripped the men on board, and they were frightened for their very lives.  Their end seemed sure.

Quite peacefully, Jesus slept in the boat.  As a reminder of His humanity, we find Him exhausted after days of rigorous ministry.  The storm did not wake Him, but the cries of His disciples rose Him from His slumber. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” they cried.

Without fanfare, Jesus turned to the sea and wind and commanded them with the simple words, “Hush, be still.”  They obeyed.  Then turning to His disciples, He asked a most poignant question,

“Why are you afraid?  Do you still have no faith?”

For many days, these men had been watching Jesus’ every move and listening to His every word. They had seen Him perform miraculous wonders. They had heard Him teach with unmatched authority.  And yet, in their moment of need, their faith was trumped by fear.

And now, as their boat gently rocked on a sleepy sea below a smiling sky, they stared at Jesus with amazement.  They quietly asked one another, “Who is this that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

We know who Jesus is.  In His Word, we have read of His humanity and deity, His words and works, and His suffering and glory.  In our own lives, we have experienced His salvation, presence, provisions, and blessings—both physical and spiritual.  Because of what we have seen and heard, we declare with Peter that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).  How is it that we know all this, and yet at times we can become so afraid?  How is it that we choose to fear instead of trusting Jesus, that He—in the fullness of His power, wisdom, and goodness—will care for all of our concerns?

Is this convicting?  Yes.  Is it condemning? No.  For the same God who spoke, “Why are you afraid?  Do you still have no faith?” is the same God who promised, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).  Jesus was patient with His disciples.  He understood their place of weakness, but that is not where He left them.  By His grace, He grew their faith.

Jesus is patient with our lack of faith, too.  He graciously proves His care for us over and over again.  Our seas of concern and worry present no challenge to the Lord of heaven and earth.

And in that I rest.

3 thoughts on “Truth for the Journey: Why are You Afraid?

  1. This is so true, my friend. And what is even more remarkable is that even though Jesus knew that Judas would betray him, that Peter would deny him and that the rest of the disciples would scatter, our Lord offered them the gospel in the last supper. He is so gracious in this way even to us. Thank you for sharing. I think about you lots! 🙂


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