What exactly IS fear? Jesus says it is lack of faith.
☆ Fear focuses on circumstances. Faith focuses on the reality of God IN the circumstance.
That’s the key. Can I ask you to keep reading so I an explain? It won’t take long, I promise. 🙂
God – Creator of the universe and our FATHER – is present in every circumstance, working in it for our good and His glory. The eyes of faith seek to see THAT reality and believe it, more than anything happening in this present life.
Even as I type those words I know how naive it can sound to people who have suffered abuse, injustice, or tragic loss. It’s nearly impossible to believe that our good God is present in the moment when unspeakable evil is being done.
But what’s the alternative?
That God was absent? That He didn’t know it was happening? That He was powerless to prevent or stop it? Those options aren’t options at all – or else God isn’t God.
That’s what makes faith such an unnatural/supernatural thing.
Faith looks deeper, it searches for what’s going on behind the scenes of our worst experiences. And it believes that God is gloriously present even when it is unable to see how – not because faith is naive or guilty of “wishful thinking” in spite of very real horrors – but because God PROMISES He is present and active in every nightmare situation of life.
That is what enables fear to give way to faith.
Sometimes throughout life, God graciously pulls back the curtain to SHOW US that He is present and active in every situation and He gives sight to our faith in those moments.
That’s what happened in this biblical story.
The disciples were stressing over a storm and the danger it posed to them. That’s natural. You and I would have been afraid just like they were.
But Jesus slept. He not only SAW the reality of God’s presence, He WAS the presence of God in that terrifying moment. He knew and believed that while the disciples didn’t – yet.
And STOP for a moment to notice their difference in responses to the storm as a result of their belief or lack of it.
And when Jesus was shaken from His sleep by the hands of fearful disciples, He graciously gave them a peek behind the curtain of the situation by commanding the weather into a state of peacefulness.
It was astounding to them. It was unthinkable, yet true. God actually WAS present in the midst of their terror. In fact, He was closer than they realized.
I get that painful, horrible, unthinkably evil experiences make belief hard. But I also get the fact that God Himself – who does not lie – promises that He is present and actively working for our good in those times (Romans 8:28). And here, Jesus graciously shows us how true it is through putting us into the boat with His disciples.
The kind of faith Jesus is encouraging BELIEVES and trusts that He is good and present even when it isn’t visibly apparent. Even when the circumstance is a storm that threatens to overwhelm us in every way.