“Jesus replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” (Matthew 8:26)
As a pastor, one of the biggest issues I see people in the church struggle with is fear.
Too many Christians live their lives in fear. We think “I can’t do it,” “I’m going to fail,” and “It will only get worse.” These fears are a huge obstacle that undermines a Christian’s faith in God. Fear can be dangerous, contagious, and debilitating. It is no wonder that Jesus speaks so much against fear in the Bible. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus tells us, “Don’t be afraid… Take courage… Do not worry… Do not fear… Don’t let your hearts be troubled… Do not be frightened… Do not be alarmed.”
Jesus does not want us to lead lives of fear. Instead, he wants us to have lives of faith—faith in God and faith in His promises to us in the Bible. Max Lucado writes, “Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that.” (Fearless, page 5).
Some of us are facing big problems in life: health problems, financial problems, relationship problems, problems at work, problems at home. These problems are real and should not be ignored. However, we must remember that our God is bigger than whatever problems we face.
As Christians, we have a God who loves us and died on the cross for us. And God has promised us that he is always with us. If Jesus can rise from the dead and forgive us of all our sins, he can help us to overcome whatever obstacle we face. The question is, are we willing to trust in the Lord and be faithful?
- What types of fears are you facing right now in your life?
- Do you believe that Jesus is more powerful than your fears?
- Take a few minutes to reflect on the many times Jesus teaches us not to be afraid. Read these promises and ask the Lord to help you overcome your fears with faith.
Written by Rev. Richard Chung. Artwork by Carol Li