through His Word
Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life
A New Blog Series on the Gospel of Mark
by Katy Kauffman
It was pouring outside my car and inside. I drove home forty-five minutes in the rain, as tears fell freely down my face. I didn’t want to go home, but I had to sleep. Fear gripped my heart that something bad was going to happen again, and I didn’t want to leave the hospital.
Before I left my loved ones in the hospital overnight, I stood in front of the Coke machine, asking God for something. Some kind of peace. Some kind of assurance that if I went home, everything would be okay. “He’s in safe hands,” came the soft answer. Even with that, I let the bottled up emotions spill out on my trek home.
Has there ever been a time that God reassured you and yet fear still gripped your heart? The disciples had reason to know that Jesus could calm their storm, but they cried out in fear, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38 NKJV*). Do You not care? Do You not see what’s going on? When we’re caught in the middle of a raging storm, we wonder whether God sees what we’re going through. When we don’t see an immediate rescue, we question whether He really does care.
Jesus’ first reaction wasn’t to scold the disciples, but the sea. He stood up in the boat and rebuked the fear-causing waters, “Peace, be still!” (Mark 4:39). In essence, He said, “Hush!” The phrase be still means to “make speechless, reduce to silence.”1 Not only did He silence the wind and the waves, but He silenced their fears. The Creator of the sea silenced its rampage and quieted the disciples’ inner turmoil. Their fear transformed to awe as they wondered who this Man was that even the wind and the sea obeyed Him.
Just like us, the disciples had reason to trust Jesus through their storm. They had seen Him cast out demons and heal sicknesses. They had heard Him teach with authority and power. They had reason to know He could handle something ominous, but fear blocked their faith.
When fear threatens to rage louder than your faith in God, turn to Jesus for help. Remember His storm-calming power and depend on Him to use His power to help you. “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). Jesus’ gentle prodding shows us that He’s faithful to help us know what’s He capable of. We can count on Him by remembering what His word says about Him. We can depend on Him for a present victory because we’ve seen Him win past battles. If we are new to the Christian life, we can build a history with Him by taking the Bible’s promises to heart and depending on them. Jesus is strong enough to handle any storm, calm any turmoil, and bring good out of any suffering.
I saw God take care of my family, and more often than not, faith now quiets fear. From time to time, I wonder, “What if?” What if something bad happens? What if this or what if that? I trust God that He will be there for us no matter what happens in life, and I want to see what good He can work out of any situation. When fears make us question God’s goodness and provision, we can silence those questions with faith. The following verses work well as fear-silencers and faith-builders:
- “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).
- “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
- “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4).
- “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
- “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:28-29).
Silence fear with the truth. To overcome life’s challenges, fill your heart with the promises of God. Answer fear with faith by depending on Jesus and seeking Him. May His power rescue you in the storms and sustain you when all is quiet.
1 Larry Pierce, The Online Bible, CD-ROM (Winterbourne, Ontario: Larry Pierce, 2007), Mark 4:39.
*All Scripture is taken from the NKJV.
© Copyright 2018 by Katy Kauffman
Check out our first post in this new series on the gospel of Mark. See “Jesus Can Make Your Giants Fall” to discover 10 reasons from Mark Chapter 1 that Jesus can handle the obstacles of life.
Subscribers, comment here.fear, obstacles, challenges, faith, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Silencing the Questions of Fear, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies