Matthew 14:25-27 NASB “And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.
Fear is one of the strongest emotions that we have and it can be the motivation behind all sorts of things which are detrimental to our faith in God. It causes us to doubt, it causes us to chase rumours and it can and does diminish our faith and trust in Jesus.
It was fear that consumed Peter when he denied knowing Jesus three times. It was fear that allowed Peter to take his eyes off of Jesus and instead start to focus on the waves. And it was fear of the Jews that was the reasoning behind keeping the door shut, when Jesus appeared in that room to His disciples after His resurrection.
Fear about what will happen next if . . . .
Some one we want to win, doesn’t get elected.
Some freedom we value, we may lose.
Some place we cherish, becomes less than it was.
Everyone of these fears is based upon the here and now and our pending future on this earth, just like Peter and the disciples experienced as noted above.
And what did Jesus tell us to fear? Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:28 NASB “And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
In each and every instance of fear that I have previously identified, the focus has been on the immediate “what happens next” here on earth, versus “what happens next that really matters”. We keep looking at the short term and Jesus keeps telling us to focus on the long term.
And when Jesus told His disciples what would happen at His death and thereafter, He told them that He had foretold them about these things, before they happened, so that when they saw them unfold, they were NOT to become fearful and that in fact, He had already conquered the world. (John 16:33)
These fears that we all have from time to time are all normal and I know that we all experience them. But the teaching that Jesus gives us is NOT to satisfy these fears with our own reasonings of “what will happen next if . . . “, but rather to focus on what Jesus has already done.
There is nothing wrong in being aware of the waves that are around us but that is not where our focus is to be. Being aware of them and then allowing them to take our focus off of Jesus is not one and the same thing.
Jesus knows all about our natural fears. He dealt with them time and time again with His disciples. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says we are to do with those fears in Philippians 4:6-7 NASB
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!