The Gospel of Matthew: Fear in Life’s Storms.

23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:23–27 (ESV)

While in the midst of a ferocious storm on the Sea of Galilee, the disciple woke Jesus and continuously said, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” The disciples commanded Jesus to rescue them from dying. This statement is significant when you consider that at least four of Jesus’ disciples (Peter, Andrew, James and John) were professional fishermen (Mark 1:16-20). They were used to sailing on this lake and probably experienced such sudden storms. If so, this indicates the ferociousness of the gale.

The disciples were focused, understandably so, upon the storm. Their own efforts to combat their circumstances proved futile. In desperation they came to Jesus as a last resort.

Before we judge the disciple too harshly, what about us? What is our immediate reaction to the storms in our lives? Do we go to the Lord in prayer as a first strike, or, when all else fails, as a last resort? The Lord is as close to us in proximity as He was to the disciples in the boat.

Psalm 107:23–32 (ESV) is a pertinent text in considering this scene with Jesus and His disciples. It says, 23 Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; 24 they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep. 25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. 26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; 27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 29 He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. 31 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.”

The LORD of Psalm 107 was the same LORD who was in the boat with His disciples. He is the same LORD who is with us in all of our circumstances of life.

What was Jesus’ response to His disciples? Jesus asked them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” The disciples called Jesus Lord, but they did not evident trust in, commitment to or a dependence upon Him. Our talk of faith is cheap when our walk of faith contradicts what we say.

“Why are you afraid is a valid question. After all, they did just call Jesus ‘Lord.’ They seem to think He can save them—they just told Him to do so, in fact. And they have witnessed His power on a consistent basis: healing the sick, casting out demons, with nothing more than His will, His word,” explains commentator Daniel M. Doriani.

So, they ought to be hopeful. On the other hand, they have never seen Jesus solve a problem like this before. Why are they afraid? Because the situation is out of their control. Because they foresee their death.”

Have you ever faced the storm of death? Have you considered your own mortality when encountering difficulties and illness in this life? Consider the words written on a plaque in my office; “Don’t tell God how big your storm is. Tell your storm how big God is.”

Have a blessed day in the Lord. The Lord is with us; even when you’re scared in the mist of stormy weather.

Soli deo Gloria!

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