Teaching 12: Times of Anxiety and Running on Low Faith...

Times of Anxiety and Running on Low Faith

For the next several posts, we will be looking at some of the miracles of Jesus.

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Here is our passage for the day, from Mark 4.

That day, when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this?" Even the wind and the waves obey him!
- Mark 4:35-41

Jesus says to his disciples, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" Is Jesus suggesting that  when we exhibit fear -- even in the midst of a life threatening danger --  that we are also demonstrating  a lack of faith? From this reading, it certainly seems so.

However, I find it more important to notice this:

Even though the disciples were afraid,
even though they lacked faith, and
even though they were assuming the worst, presuming that they would die...

they still came to Jesus with their great fear and anxiety, including even their criticism towards him,
Jesus still helped them.

Jesus still met their needs. He still helped them. He still calmed them; and He even calmed the storm around them.

Even if we are afraid, very afraid, about a life situation, we can still go to Jesus in prayer with our fears. Our fear does indicate a lack of faith; Jesus himself stated this. However, when we bring our fears to Him, He will still hear us. He will still calm us; and He is still willing to demonstrate control and provide calm in the situation around us. Once we experience this, our faith grows stronger; and the next time we go through one of life's storms, we may react with a higher level of faith. The storms teach us to bring our fears and burdens to God; where He has the opportunity to demonstrate that He can do things only He can do. As the disciples said, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" There are things that only God can do in the midst of whatever fear you are facing!

So we may bring our huge fears with our small faith to Jesus. We may be convicted that our fear reveals our limited faith; however, we are also encouraged that He is willing to help us anyway.

What are some life situations that are currently causing us fear and anxiety about the future? What literal or figurative storms are we facing or fear we may face soon? Are we worried about money or meeting our financial obligations? Are we concerned about an illness, or a recent diagnosis? Have we experienced a loss of relationship, a loss of work, a rejection, or some other loss that has us gripped with fear over the unknown that lies ahead? Are we worried about someone we care about -- their health or their lifestyle? Or perhaps we worry about relationships - losing a relationship, or not ever finding meaningful friendships?

Here is a challenge for us, a challenge that will grow our faith as we depend on God to calm us and guide us through our most fearful and stressful experiences. Let's write down on paper all the things that bring anxiety into our lives. Take three to five minutes, and write down a list of everything that immediately brings fear into our lives.

Next, we will take that list to God in prayer, confessing our anxiety to Him, and asking Him for His peace and His plan in each of those items on our list -- in each of those areas which bring us so much fear.

Here is an example of a specific prayer for each item on this list of fears:

God, I bring my fear to you about __________________.  Help me to recognize that you are in control and that I can trust you. Strengthen my faith and trust in you. Please remove these anxious and fearful feelings from me, and replace them with your peace and a portion of your wisdom. Please also provide me with patience to wait upon your answer and on the unfolding of your plan.


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For a list of all free video teachings and transcripts in this series, go HERE.