"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for You are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me." - Psalm 23:4
Have you ever experienced the fear of death? Passengers aboard Air France flight 66 last Saturday must have been very fearful when the A380's engine blew up at 38,000 feet above sea level. Parts of the engine came apart in mid-air over the Atlantic requiring the pilots to declare "May Day" and make an emergency landing in Goose Bay, Canada. Thankfully, they made a safe landing and everyone got off the plane unharmed. But, what if you were faced with such a fearful situation? Or, maybe not the fear of death, but the fear that comes with uncertainty, trials, difficulties and challenges?
Jesus wants to calm the storms of your life. Really? No, not really.
When Jesus told His disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee, He took them through a life-threatening storm that suddenly raged against them and caused them to fear for their life. When He woke from His sleep, He first rebuked them before He rebuked the wind and the waves. He said to the disciples, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" before He commanded the winds and waves to calm down (Matthew 8:26, NIV). When the winds and waves died down immediately, you would expect the disciples to be very relieved and calm. Instead they were more afraid than before, asking themselves, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"
Some preachers will say that Jesus wants to calm the storms of your life. But, I don't think that's the point of this incident and the reason it has been recorded in the Gospels for us. I believe this happened to demonstrate who Jesus really is by His power over nature. It was part of how the disciples realized they were following the Son of God. When God takes us through a difficult and fearful experience, I believe He wants us to have faith in Him instead of fear. And, I believe that He will demonstrate to us something about His character and abilities that will grow our faith and confidence in Him.
When they reached the other side, Jesus also demonstrated His power over demons who had possessed two men and held an entire village captive in fear. As the Son of God, Jesus also has power over the supernatural, spiritual forces of evil. His authority over them has also been delegated to His disciples and the demons are thus subject to us who speak in Jesus' name.
As you follow Jesus, remember that when you are with Him, you walk with the One who has power over all nature and all supernatural forces of evil and darkness. We will always be a threat to the Prince of Darkness because we walk with the Light of the World, and he will do his part to cause us to live in the fear of uncertainty, trouble and death. But, "the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:4, NIV).
Following Jesus means that we are always with the One with all power, authority and strength.
Are you going through something difficult or challenging right now? Does it seem like an uncontrollable storm is raging around you and you are afraid of drowning? God may or may not calm that storm. Through it, He expects you to keep trusting Him and He will soon show you what He is capable of. Remember, there is no room for fear when our faith is in God.