52 in 52: Week 4
This past Sunday I got to give the sermon at our Sunday morning church service on Luke 8:22-25. It is the story of Jesus and the disciples in the boat on the Sea of Galillee. Jesus is sleeping in the boat when a storm comes up and freaks out the disciples. They wake Jesus up and he calms the storm and sea and then he asks them straight up, “WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?”
This is a familiar story that I have read and assumed most of the church had heard a bunch of times. But as I studied it during a week when so much turmoil was going on in our world politically and in the lives of people I love around me, it took on a new depth and meaning to me. Instead of just a cheesy story about Jesus calming a storm and simply telling the congregation to let Jesus “calm the storm in their own lives”, it is a story that invites us to really ask ourselves if we are choosing fear or faith when the storms of our own lives come up and threaten to drown us.
There were a few things that really stuck with me as I studied the story. The one thing I will always be remember, though, when I hear any other pastor preach on it, or when it comes up again in my personal readings of the gospels, is the simple truth that JESUS WAS IN THE BOAT during the storm. The disciples were not wrong to be scared. They were watching the waters rise around them, death was actually possible. But they had seen Jesus do so many miracles already in the short time they had known him and known OF him….wasn’t there a possibility that he could do something miraculous in this case?
They just didn’t stop in their fear to consider that.
They didn’t stop in their fear to consider anything. Just death. They let their fear take over. Jesus actually did the unbelievable! He calmed the wind and the water, and it blew their minds. They could never have guessed that would be the way they got out of the situation. But that is faith. They chose fear.
What are you choosing right now?
In the world we live in, in the life you are living, are you paralyzed by fear in your stormy seas?
I love the verse I chose for this week, because it reminds me that we are indeed called to choose faith – to trust in Jesus and follow him, even when the storms come up to drown us. BUT, we are not on our own here. We were not given a spirit of Fear, but God gave us a spirit of POWER and LOVE and SOUND MIND!
2 Tim. 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
We are one step ahead of fear. In us, when we believe and trust in Jesus, we have a spirit of power, love, and sound mind. We need to tap into that in our most scary storms. Choosing faith might not be our first instinct, but if we stop for a second and have this verse hidden in our hearts, we can pull it up, say it out loud, and CLAIM IT for our own in our troubled times.
God knows that the storms are coming or that they are here. He might calm the storm. He might have another plan for us. Either way, it’s ok to be scared, but remember, Jesus is in the boat with you. He has cared for you your whole life. And you have a spirit of POWER, LOVE, and SOUND MIND. He will care for you now, and you can be strong and patient and loving as he does.
I hope you will memorize this verse with me this week and make it your own. Hold on to it as times are confusing and stormy. Stand strong with Jesus and love others even now.
*Remember to come find me every Sunday after church at the Journey to let me know you have this passage hidden in your heart! I have lots of prizes to give away if you can do it. Can’t wait to see what great things God does in you….