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It is natural for us to experience fear. We don’t know the future. Events surprise us. Something might threaten our health, employment or family. Therefore, when this happens we may experience fear. Questions may race through our minds like “What if I lose my job? What will we do as a family? What is my child’s health outlook? How long does my parent have to live?

When we experience fear, it is important to focus our thoughts on God as we face them. Consider the account of Jesus in Mark 4:35-41 for example. He and the disciples get into a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. A great windstorm rises up and large waves break over the edge of the boat. It takes on water. Some of the disciples were experienced fishermen. They would have encountered storms on the lake before. Yet this one seemed different and they perceived a grave threat to their lives. On top of all this, Jesus is sleeping! They can’t understand how he could sleep through such a storm. So they wake him up and say, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

Jesus does not immediately answer. Instead, he “rebukes the wind” and speaks to the sea. “Peace! Be still!” The wind ceases. There was a “great calm.” We might expect Jesus to say, “There you go. Hope that makes you all feel better.”

Instead, he says, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” It seems Jesus expected a higher degree of faith from the disciples. They concluded the storm would sink and kill them. Jesus responds as if that was not even in the realm of possibility. Why would he think that? This was a serious storm. The boat did take on water. We don’t hear of any potential break up of the storm. Yet Jesus points to something beyond the storm.

He called them to carry out a mission. He would certainly see them through it. So a storm on the sea could not derail this mission. Yet they acted as if the storm would overpower Jesus and derail all His plans. We would have concluded the same. Yet He demonstrates His authority over the wind and the waves. Not even a violent storm could prevent Him from accomplishing His will through the disciples.

I once heard someone say, “The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.” You might be on a missionary outpost surrounded by a threatening mob; you might wonder about the your job in 2021; you might question whether you can make it through this pandemic. Yet the Lord knows the number of our days. Until our time comes, nothing can stop His plan or purposes for us.

If you’re experiencing fear today, look at the Lord with the power to calm a violent storm by His word. Let this renew your faith in Him.

“Lord, much threatens us in our world today. Yet, You constantly walk with us and watch over us. Help us to live by faith and not fear today and into 2021.”