The Heart of Fear

I think the scriptures can be absolutely hilarious (please hold your stones and let me explain). In the Gospel accounts, the life of Jesus is so vividly portrayed, and as you read, you come face to face with the God man and stand in complete awe and wonder. What cracks me up at times is the disciples: one, because they are walking with Jesus and yet they say and do some of the funniest things; and two, I often see myself in their responses to Christ, which leaves me then to laugh at myself.

One account that I think of is found in Matthew 8:23-27 where Jesus calms the raging sea. The disciples have been following Jesus long enough to see His great power and attributes that testify of His divinity. Christ has been healing the sick and demonstrating His authority, and yet when we make it to this point on the sea, the disciples STILL don’t seem to grasp whom they are with, which is too comical. They become crippled by fear upon seeing the storm and respond in unbelief rather than faith.

This is the heart of fear: unbelief. Fear looks at the inadequacies in self and draws the conclusion that our personal lack calls for us to not react. This is something we can all relate to, seeing that we are weak and needy sinners and at times refuse to act in faith simply because we are afraid and know we are unfit. Here is where we miss the mark: we allow our insufficiency to blind us to God’s perfect character. If the disciples would have just believed Jesus for who He said He was, they would have responded with a steadfast faith instead of responding in panic and distrust. They would see their weakness and instead of panicking and being self-reliant, they would see the opportunity to humble their anxious hearts before Christ and simply cry for help.

It’s so easy to look at these biblical accounts and see the disciples’ responses and not see how, today, we respond in the very same way. We have experienced God in salvation and know His Word and have tried Him time and time again, yet we still fear and doubt His character in times of trouble. Let’s learn to fight our fears with faith—faith in Christ. Faith in His promises revealed in the Scriptures, faith in His finished work on the cross, and faith in God’s perfect love. This is the love that boldly and intentionally says “I have chosen you and I will be with you forever”; this is the love that casts out all fear. When we realize that nothing can separate us from God’s love, what should we fear? He alone will remain faithful; He alone will be my anchor and will continue to remain.

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