When we look at the relationship Jesus had with His disciples, we see that one of His primary concerns was for them to grow in faith. What does it mean to mature in faith? It means learning absolute obedience to His Word. It means stepping out in faith, following His plan, and possessing peace in the midst of the storm, even if the circumstances do not make sense.
Read Matthew 8:23-27. Fear struck the disciples' hearts as a furious storm emerged, heaping wave after wave upon their boat. Panicking, they ran to Jesus, who was asleep. "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" was Jesus' reply before rebuking the winds and the waves (v. 26).
Truth will not become operative in our lives until we appropriate it.
The disciples would probably have loved for Jesus to stop the storm first and then teach them a lesson. Instead, Jesus chose to demonstrate His power in a moment when they had absolutely no control. He wanted to teach them that faith always conquers fear and nothing is impossible for Him.
Often what we fear is a loss of control—yet it is only in our loss of control and total trust in Christ that we begin to truly grow in our faith. And that is what God is most interested in: the growth of our faith.
Many people are afraid of flying in an airplane despite the overwhelming evidence that plane travel is far safer than traveling by car. Standing on solid ground, we feel in control—but 35,000 feet in the air, we have no control. Our loss of control leads to irrational fear.
Many believers have a difficult time surrendering control to the Lord. Their sense of security is wrapped up in the illusion that they are in control. To compensate, they put their trust in tangible things—their wealth, relationships, or their own abilities—rather than surrendering control to the Lord.
In order to get past the fear of losing control and thus gain an everyday faith, we must treat faith like a muscle, and in order for that muscle to grow, it must be used. Faith must be exercised and acted upon.
Truth will not become operative in our lives until we appropriate it. There is no use in only saying, "I believe it." Have you acted upon it? Have you taken a step of faith? Have you taken a risk of faith? Confess your trust in the Lord; then, think of a way to demonstrate your trust in Him today.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You are in control in every circumstance. Teach me to step out in obedience even when doing so is uncomfortable or inconvenient. Let my faith be evidenced by my actions, not just my words. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God" (Psalm 20:7).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Freedom from Fear: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW