Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
As Jesus sets sail with His disciples over the Sea of Galilee, a brutal storm whips up, and the boat they’re in starts filling with water. Things are bad, and the disciples start freaking out, so they wake up Jesus (who was knocked out at that point), He saves them by telling the storm to calm down, and it obeys. When they come to the other side, to the region of the Gadarenes, they encounter a man who is filled with a legion of demons, and Jesus casts them out into a nearby herd of pigs that drown themselves. When the Gadarene people see this, they’re terrified and ask Jesus to leave immediately!
Fear is inevitable; as human beings, this side of Heaven, we’re bound to feel afraid. Both the disciples and the Gadarenes experienced fear at Jesus’ power, but the disciples turned to Jesus in their fear and looked to Him all the more, while the Gadarenes allowed their fear to distance them from Him and drive Him away. Both groups reacted in fear, but only the disciples responded in faith. Fear is often a natural reaction in a fallen world like ours, but it doesn’t have to be the way we respond.
As we run the race of faith in this life, fear can be a daunting obstacle in our path when we come across trials and tribulations. But, as citizens of the Kingdom who have Jesus Christ as our Foundation, our fear should cause us to fix our eyes on Him for mercy and grace in time of need, not push Him away. Psalm 103 says that all living things look expectantly to God for their food and provision, otherwise they perish. That should be our stance in times when we’re tempted to give in to fear, looking steadfastly to the Lord in faith, waiting for His faithfulness to come through!
- We have been given a race to run, and it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Throughout the course of this marathon, we’re bound to come across hurdles that we think are gonna be too high, or too challenging for us. Rather than responding in fear, we’re called to stand on the promise of Yeshua’s faithful love, and cling to Him, not forget Him. We’re told not to fear about 365 times in Scripture, so it’s an understatement to say fear isn’t in God’s plan for His people’s lives. Instead of giving Satan a foothold in your mind and heart, choose faith as you run the race and fight the good fight!
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)