Do Not Fear
18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going. (NRSV)
According to Dr. Ari Brown, who wrote ‘Baby 411,’ a new-born baby has two fears: loud noise and falling. Some parents here probably noticed that children usually cry or run away when you operated a vacuum cleaner or juice blender. They plug their ears with fingers. They also will cry in fright when setting the baby down vertically too fast.
Psychologists found that these kinds of fears will be developed even after they became adults. The fear of the loud noise becomes the fear of the public criticism and the violence, while the fear of the falling becomes the fear of the failure and the unexpected accidents.
Someone listed 40 most common fears on the internet. That includes fear of flying, public speaking, height, darkness, death, even spiders, flowers, snakes, and dogs. Each person has to overcome these kinds of personal fears in order to live a successful and happy life.
If so, what is the source of the fear?
The Bible tells us the fear came from Adam and Eve when they broke the commandments. After they ate the fruit which God prohibited, they hid behind the olive trees because they were afraid of God. However, the fear did not come from God. That was from Satan. Satan put the fear into their hearts and made them suffer. That is Satan’s tactic against the human.
Actually, the Bible encourages us not to fear of Satan and this world. Someone checked phrases in the Bible and found over 100 of them directly refer to “Do not fear.” Another said, there are 366 times which related to “Do not fear.” That means God encourages us not to fear in everyday life.
Even though the Bible tells us not to fear, we still have to deal with many kinds of fears. Fears from the physical and mental inferior, fears of the social and peer pressure, fears of failure, fear of death, and many more. I think it is a miracle that we can overcome these kinds of fears without the faith in Christ.
Let’s check out the today’s scripture. The disciples were struggling in maneuvering the boat against a strong wind. They were full of fear. When they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near them, they were even more terrified until they heard Jesus, “It is I; do not be afraid” At this, they welcomed Him into the boat and were relieved from the fear.
Can we see how the disciples could overcome the fear? It was possible by trusting Jesus. How about us? When we are in trouble, we usually look for a way to get out of it with our own intelligence and experience. When the situation gets worse, then we become more panic. At this, the believers usually ask Jesus for help, However, sometimes, I totally forgot about the Lord, especially when I am lazy and don’t pray regularly. That’s why it’s very important to keep up our prayer life.
While we trust the Lord, I have noticed some people try to ignore fear and pretend that they have no fear. They put their attention on the pleasure of eating, drinking, and leisure. They look happy and many of us are even jealous of their happiness. But, I am not sure if they can have a true happiness and peace in deep down their heart if they realize that our life does not end in this world.
On the other hand, the Bible leads us to fear God and be humble. In 2 Corinthians 7:1,
Apostle Paul said, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in fear of God.”
Proverbs 19:23 teaches that ‘fearing God’ leads our life to have peace and be untouched by evil. In another word, we should trust the almighty God, Elohim God (God of gods) and His love. When we realized that the great almighty God whom the entire universe has fear supports us, we should not fear for anything.
Fearing God makes Him love us more so that He gave His son to save you. He also promised you that He would be with you always. He loves you and protects you not to fear anything. Do you remember? “Love your God with all your hearts, soul, minds, and strength.” That is the way of ‘fearing God.’ Praise the Lord!
Now, I will give you some tips to overcome the fear.
- Trust the Lord
Hebrews 13:6 says that we should have confidence and believe that “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” What a great comfort in the Lord! Can you proclaim like this?
Do you remember the King David’s prayer in Psalm 55:22? “Cast all your burden upon the Lord and He will take care of you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” If you have the faith like David, then you will be as successful as him. Like David, let’s not forget that our Lord is on our side. Amen.
- Pray with the faith in Christ
In James 5:15, “… the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and God will forgive his sins.” This is the amazing power of prayer. We all know that prayer has the power. Let’s pray every day, “Dear Father God, I praise you and thank you for taking me as your child. I will not fear because you are the Almighty God. Amen.”
- Praise God
In Acts, when the Holy Spirit called Paul and Silas to Phillipi, they were excited. But they ended up in a jail because they cast out a demon. In the prison, they thanked God and pray and sing hymns of praise to God. Then, suddenly a great earthquake came, and the prison doors were opened. It’s good to sing hymns whenever we are encountered with fear or anxiety. Then the fear is gone.
- Read the Word of God
When you want to know the will of God or need wisdom from the Lord, read the Bible. The Bible is the source of the wisdom and has the power because it is the Word of God. It encourages you and gives you comfort. Someone said the Bible is the answer book. When we have any troubles, the Bible gives us answers as long as we trust that as the Word of God.
It’s not easy to have peace in this troubled generation. Let’s love the Lord more so that He loves us more. That is the best way to overcome the fear of this world. Our Lord is with us and promised us that He would be with us until the end of the world. Praise the Lord!!