“Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves were swept over the boat.
But Jesus was sleeping.
The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
Then he got up and rebuked the waves, and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this?
Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Thunderous storms often come upon us without warning, much like the storm that came upon the disciples in this passage. They arrive quickly and set into action quickly, barely allowing us much time to think past the emotional reactions we feel to our circumstances. Our knee-jerk reaction, as it were, is to surrender to worry, anxiety, and sometimes fear, when it comes to changes (sometimes even the good ones) in our lives.
But even in the most unpleasant storms, we ought to do as nature does, and obey God at His Word and trust in Him. This is certainly easier said than done! But there are ways of overcoming our fears.
Turn to Jesus
Just like the disciples in the boat, our first step ought to be turning to our Lord – the only one who can save us, from anything. He alone, being God, knows everything, is all-wise, all-knowing, almighty and perfectly good. He alone has our best interests at heart, and brings about things for the good of those who love Him.
Be Bold in Prayer
God already knows what we’re going to pray for before we pray it, and He also knows our situations. If some trial has come upon you, or you’ve given in to some temptation you’ve faced – be honest before God, knowing that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and will cleanse us (1 John 1:9).
Expect God’s Work
Following the trend of boldness, be so bold as to expect God to not only hear your prayer, but answer it – because He will. The disciples in the boat didn’t ask Jesus for help, and then simply cover their eyes, fall asleep or cower in fear – they stayed well aware of the situation, anxiously watching Jesus for any sign of deliverance from their storm. Let us do likewise, and glorify our Lord by trusting in His power in all things.
Praise God, and Continue in Obedience
When you see God’s answers to prayer by the work He does in your life (whether He delivers you from your changed circumstances, or gives you the grace and strength to endure it), you will all the more want to respond with genuine thanks and praise! What a warmth to the heart it brings to see our Heavenly Father’s kindness made so evident in our lives, brought about by prayer and obedience.
I have to remind myself of these truths, daily! Our finite and sinful minds and hearts often lead to disappointing attitudes, thoughts and choices. But, with eagerness and hope, we rely on our great Father to continually conform us to the image of His glorious Son, as we await the day when we will suffer fear and anxiety no more.
I encourage you to be vigilant in prayer, heartfelt in praise and constant in your hope in Christ!