Storms are inevitable.
Fear is a choice.
If you took issue with that statement, then it accomplished its purpose. Now, let me clarify: Though FEELING fear is not a choice in most circumstances, RESPONDING to fear is always a choice. Though seldom an easy one, it is a choice nonetheless. Does this make more sense?
Storms are going to come into our lives. The truth is that God allows storms to come because they ultimately work for our good. Our response to the storms almost always determines the outcome for us.
In today’s Scripture passage, a storm arose on the Sea of Galilee. This body of water is famous for violent storms that came without warning. This one was no exception. Those in the boat with Jesus were terrified–and with good reason. They were seasoned fishermen and knew that their lives were in danger.
They THOUGHT that Jesus did not care. They THOUGHT that he was asleep, unaware of their predicament. They THOUGHT their lives were in danger. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are multiple understandings for us in this event. Though difficult to choose only one, I want to talk for a moment about one that is especially meaningful to me.
- Jesus got into the boat. (He was with them.)
- The intention was to go to the other side of the sea. (He chose the destination.)
- He knew the storm would come. (It was not a random occurrence.)
- It did not catch Him unawares. (This implies that it was His plan.)
The truth is that with Jesus in the boat and the destination (destiny) being His choice, NOTHING natural or supernatural could keep them from reaching the destination/destiny He had chosen.
This is why He asked them, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Jesus understood the natural fear they felt. The fear He addressed, therefore, was about more than waves and wind. For us, it would be expressed as, “Does God care about my life?” “Why did He let this happen?” “Will He rescue me?” “Is He even there?” You can be assured that they felt these things.
Have you felt these things? My hand goes up first! Many people question: “Is it wrong to feel fear?” No, it is not. This is a natural response that we cannot control. Have you ever tried to not feel something you feel? If you have, how did that work for you?
If feeling fear is not the problem, then what is? How we respond to fear IS in our control and is, therefore, the point. This is where most of us fail. And even given this, understand that growing in faith is a process. You will fail and fall at first, until you learn and grow.
So, the important thing here is not that you fail or feel fear, but that you learn from the process, grow stronger, and become better prepared for the next “opportunity”. This, I believe, is why Jesus had the disciples get into a boat that would encounter a violent storm on the way to the destination He set for it.
It is the same with our lives. These things I believe to be true:
- Jesus knows the storms you will face.
- He has determined for you to go through them.
- They will not destroy you but will make you stronger.
- You determine the outcome by your response to each storm.
This is the understanding I mentioned above that is especially meaningful to me: Nothing can keep us from the destiny God has chosen for us—nothing except our choice. This is what you must not doubt.
So, do not doubt that He can get you to where you need to be, when you need to be there, to do what He has for you to do. Storms simply do not have the power to prevent His destiny so long as you fix your faith is His ability.
Today’s Seed™ Scripture and Prayer for Mar. 28, 2023:
Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a terrible storm came up, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” And Jesus answered, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he stood up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm. (Mat 8:23-26 NLT)
Prayer: LORD, I understand how Your followers felt because I have felt that way. Regardless of what I feel, the truth is that You are with me, aware of every moment of my life–even when waves of trouble break in and I feel fear rising. Help me to be secure in my faith and relationship with You such that no matter what storm arises, I know I am safe with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved • http://www.e-min.org
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‘Today’s Seed’ from E-MIN • Mar. 28, 2023
About Randall Vaughn:
With 40+ years as pastor, author, teacher, worship leader, and songwriter, Randall pioneered E-MIN in 1997–one of the earliest online ministries and today the longest operating. His passion is leading people to deeper, genuine relationship with God. He lives in Alabama with his lovely wife, Karen, and their dogs, Hadi and Rayah. He enjoys hiking, exploring new tech, and “prayer walks”.
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One thought on ““Today’s Seed” from E-MIN Mar. 28, 2023”
Hi! This message is so poignant. I have always disliked fear. Shazam was a small child. I still disliked it when four years ago I got six tumours in my head and neck from non-Hodgkin’s.
In the cancer ward, everyone said “you’re in good spirits”, and I said “I have nothing to fear”. All I said was, “I believe in the Lord and he is my guide”.
I tried to keep the other 28 people in good spirits and have them understand that the Lord is your salvation, and life on earth is temporary and is only the place that we grow and learn. Thank you Vaughn.