Fear or Faith? By Jessica McAllister

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!” Mark 4: 35-41 It’s easy to feel afraid in a time like this. In fact, it is a natural human instinct to turn to fear and anxiety due to what we see, hear and feel. Think about it, the majority of what we are being fed is news and stories that completely revolve around fear. Not only are we being told that there is a deadly disease sweeping the world, but everything we have ever known is being shaken. Have you ever wondered how terrified the disciples were in the boat? They were doing what Jesus told them to do - following him in faithful obedience. I can only imagine the fear that came upon them when a fierce storm surrounded them. In an instant, they had no control over the situation they found themselves in. There they were stuck in this boat, far from any land that brought a sense of comfort and stability, as waves broke relentlessly from every side.

And where was Jesus in this midst of this chaos? He was sleeping! Not just sleeping, the scripture indicates he was sleeping with his head on a cushion. Most likely, he was quite comfortable in a deep peaceful sleep despite what was surrounding him. For many of us, we can relate to this story. All of a sudden, this storm that we are all in feels like it has come out from nowhere as well as has raised questions that we no longer have secure answers to. Will I still have a job? When will I be able to see my family again? Am I going to lose everything? What will life look like moving forward? Sound familiar? “Teacher, don't you care that we are going to drown”? Mark 4:38 The unknown can be a daunting place. It might even feel like Jesus is sleeping during your storm right now. However, Jesus calls us to walk like him. To be the salt and light of the earth to those around us. What did Jesus do? He rebuked the wind and the waves. He declared faith over fear and instructed the disciples to do the same.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have authority to declare the word of God over our circumstances. It doesn’t mean that the storms of life won't come. God never said following him would be easy, but he does tell us “when troubles come your way, consider it pure joy. For you know when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” James 1:2-3 So it begs the question, how will you respond to the storm that is surrounding you and your family?

Jessica McAllister is from Sydney, Australia, she has an incredible story of redemption and is passionate about seeing others come to experience true freedom through Jesus Christ. Her heart is to pray and encourage believers to walk in holiness in every part of their lives.