Monday, October 19, 2009

Where is your Confidence?

What do you need to do to put your confidence and trust in the Lord?

The Disciples got in their boats and headed across the lake to Capernaum. Suddenly, a violent storm came up; they tried to row through the storm and managed to get a few miles off, but the sea got more forceful. Jesus then crossed this raging lake on foot! The Disciples were about half way across when they saw Jesus, walking on top of the water! He was headed right for them and the Disciples did not know what to make of this; they were terrified. Jesus, calling out to them, said, I am here, do not be afraid! It is I. Jesus is telling them about His Deity, literally, the self revelation of God, “I AM,” as the name God used to reveal who He was to Moses. Then Jesus says, don’t be afraid, this is also a promise of God, meaning we have freedom from fear, as our Lord is our partner in life and faith. This also means to keep the faith—keep it going, hang in there—step up and do not give up. This was a great comfort for a people who were thinking of leaving the Church. Our confidence is in Christ and not in situations, so we need to encourage one another not to be afraid, but to put our confidence and trust in the Lord (Deut. 31:6-8; Josh. 1:5; 2 Chron. 15:2; Isa. 10:24; 12:2; Jer. 30:10; Psalm 27:1; 37:28; 56:11; 118:6; Phil. 4:11-12; Heb. 2:15; 4:16; 11:23, 27).

Then the Disciples Were willing to take him!

Once the fears were gone, the Disciples were willing to look to and trust in Jesus. It is a beacon for us so we will understand that we need to remove our fears and frustrations and allow more room for Christ in our boat of life! This is a necessary step of faith that is easy to do when we can see; however, we usually cannot see in a storm. We cannot wait until it clears up; we have to step out and obey His precepts, regardless of the weather or what others say. Do not let doubts and fears adjoin to the storm; see Jesus cut across the storm, so you can see His hand! We must obey with joy (John 2:5)!

We, as Christians, need to know that storms will come; storms always come. Either you are in a storm, coming out of a storm, or in the middle of the eye of a storm—surrounded by a storm, but not seeing it. We all will experience rough times, either because of our disobedience or from the misdeeds of others that affect us. Since most of humanity is interconnected by just two or three degrees of separation, all of our actions and decisions affect one another, either for the good or for the bad. But, even in a storm, He takes us to the shore!

During the tyranny of life’s urgent matters, a great crowd of people converging, asking questions, stress that the Disciples never faced before, and thinking that Jesus left them, they waited and wondered what was going on; where was He? Where could He be? Why was He not helping in this crisis? There had been such a high point, a great happening that could not be explained, an unsolvable problem solved. Yet, a storm came, a great storm of stress and a storm of weather filled with great physical challenge. The Disciples must have wondered what had happened; they may have expected, more and more, a new age and a great Kingdom, yet they went from such a high point to such a low point mentally, spiritually, and physically, both in geography (as in elevation) and in the measures of success in life and ministry. It seems that Jesus sent them from the mountain top experience of joy into a major storm—from fame to threat to danger. Then when all seemed lost, Jesus came; He literally walked on water to them in the midst of a storm that had them stuck in the middle of a lake, perhaps even facing death. We will all face fame and joys; we will also all face threats and perils, and when it seems that no one cares or is looking, Jesus will come. Yet, did he ever leave? No! We have to see that Jesus does not leave or forsake us; He never left. He is here, always here, even when it is hard to see Him. Jesus cuts across life’s obstacles and miraculously intervenes in the storms of life. He is here, and He says to us, “It is I; do not be afraid!” (Isa. 43:1-5)

When are you willing to take Christ in?

Questions to Ponder

1. Jesus reaches out to us; when He does, what do you need to do to respond? How can you better take His lead?

2. Have you noticed in your life that once the fears are gone, it is easier to look and trust in Jesus? Why? How can you better remove your fears and frustrations so you can allow Christ to occupy more in your boat of life?

3. Our confidence is in Christ and not in situations. So, what can you do to encourage others in your life and church to not be afraid, but to put one’s confidence and trust in the Lord?

4. What does it mean to you that you have freedom from fear? How is Jesus your Lord and partner in life and faith?


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