Friday, March 11, 2011

March 12, 2011

"Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid?"  Matthew 8:26

Jesus doesn't ask bad questions does He? He has a knack for getting to the heart of an issue.

How would you answer? The disciples never really answered the question did they?

One of the many differences between Jesus and us is this, when He asks a question - He already knows the answer. He isn't looking for answers, He IS the answer! What He is looking for from you is confession. Confession means "agreeing with God". He wants you to recognize why you need Him and will ask questions to help you come to that recognition.

We DO need to face our fears so we can "faith" our fears. As I meditate on this story I see several causes for fear that you might relate to and may help you give definite answers to God's question, "Why are you afraid?"

Some fears are confidence issues, "Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples."

A lack of confidence can create fear. Misplaced confidence can cause fear.

When you walk out onto a frozen pond you will be fearful if you are not sure of the thickness of the ice. The thicker the ice the more confidence you will have.

The disciples, at least some of them, felt very confident in a boat. They trusted the boat and trusted their ability to sail the boat. AND, the fact that Jesus was in their boat showed He had confidence in their ability to handle a boat. That should have added to their confidence.

But when the storm under minded their confidence they began to fear.

If you are a person who struggles with confidence or if you have placed your confidence in the wrong place or wrong people you will find fear arising in you. However, when you anchor your confidence in God and find your own confidence in Him you will have less fear.

Some fears are caused by control issues, "Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat."

How do you feel when you sense your life is out of control? Fearful, right? Conversely, the feeling of being in control gives confidence and reduces the level of fear.

The disciples had spent much time in boats and were competent boatmen. They were fully in the control of the boat as they launched onto the lake. But the sudden and savage nature of the storm quickly under minded their confidence and the loss of control caused them to fear.

God allows storms in your life to show you how little control you actually have. There is very little in life that you actually control and those few things you can control - your attitude, your emotions, your decisions and your choices - sometimes get neglected. The more control you surrender to Christ the less fear you will face. He will give you power to control the things you  should control.

Confidence and control are two fear factors that need to be based firmly on a foundation of faith in Christ. The more confidence you place in Him and the more control you surrender to Him the less fear you will struggle with.

If you are overcome with fear, take an honest look at where you have placed your confidence. Also, let go of some control and allow God to be Lord of your life.