Temporal Fear Inspires Eternal Faith
So they left the crowd and took Him along since He was already in the boat. And other boats were with Him. A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?” He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “˜Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Then He said to them, “˜Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:36-40
Another time God exclaims, “Peace! Be Still! Know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.” (Psalm 46:10) All of creation should cease all the fussing and feuding, and know God alone is in control. Sometimes, He calms the storm around us, and sometimes, He calms the storm that stirs within us. But wherever or whenever He chooses to act, “peace”and “calm” will follow for those who trust in Him. But then, sometimes, we allow our feelings of depression to overwhelm us when we fail to trust Him.
Yet, failure happens. Our lives will experience failure. Failure reveals a life maturing and growing in a world that desires to challenge our life of faith. Christ declares, “Patience and humility in adversities are more pleasing to me than our comfort and devotion when things are going well.” But,the truth reveals that we are courageous enough as long as nothing too challenging comes our way. We seem to be able to give good counsel and can encourage others with our words, but when trouble comes suddenly upon our lives, knocking on our door, we fail in living out the same counsel and strength.
Consider likewise, our great weaknesses often are found in the small details of our daily walk. We should know that when trying times happen, they are for our own good. Christ calls upon us to: “endure cheerfully, at least patiently.” We should restrain ourselves and let no improper words to pass our lips that will offend others like us who are seeking to endure patiently. How we handle our trying times should counsel and encourage others better than any words we could share.
When the real “storms” rise up and become a real threat, our demeanor should depict our belief that the storms will pass and be calmed, and any inward grief will be sweetened by His grace revealed in our life. Because we confess our confidence in what the Lord declared: “I yet live and I am ready to help you and give you greater comfort than before, if you put your trust in Me and call devoutly upon Me.”
Christ inspires us by His Word to learn how to be more patient and prepare ourselves for greater endurance through His provision and power. His Word reveals all is never lost even though affliction and grief tempts us to fear. Remember, we are flesh, not God. We are human beings, not yet heavenly beings not of this world. Fear is always temporal, faith is eternal.
My prayer today: O Lord, how blessed are your words. They are sweeter to my mouth than honey and even the honeycomb. What would I fair in my times of great tribulations and needs, if you did not comfort me with your holy words? But what does it matter how much or what I suffer, so long as in the end I reach the haven of rest you alone provide? Grant me a good end – grant me a happy passage out of this world through all the remaining days you have prepared for me to experience. Remember me, O my God, and guide me in the right way of Your Kingdom. And Lord God, grant my family the gift of your grace to share the glory of the victory you have prepared for me, as they have shared and been impacted by the effects of the great tribulations that I am facing as well. As you are my Heavenly Father, grant me to be the father they desire and expect, and may they see you through me. Amen.
For additional reading: Isaiah 41:10; 1 Chron 5:20; Ps 4:3, 16:1; Isa 55:6; Rom 10:12-13; Isa 14:12; Gen 3; Ps 19:9-10, 119:103; Prov 16:24; Heb 7:17-20