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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Why Are You Afraid?

Isn't that an interesting question? The disciples are in a boat that is about to sink. They have done all they can to get the boat to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Storms can come up suddenly on this sea and even though it isn't very far across, people can easily drown trying to make it to the shore. The boat is taking water. It will sink momentarily. They wake Jesus and ask Him to save them. Haven't they done what they were supposed to do?

But Jesus rebukes them. He asks them why they are afraid. Of course, this question does not make any sense unless you know who Jesus is.

Maybe you are afraid. It could be that you have been told that your illness is terminal. It maybe that you are afraid that you won't be able to support yourself in retirement. It may be that you are about to go through a divorce and you are afraid for your future. It may be that your children are far away from the Lord and you fear for the consequences their lifestyles will bring. It doesn't matter why you are afraid. You must bring your mind and spirit to realize the reality of who the Lord is.

The disciples forgot this. Thus, they were afraid.

What did they forget?

They forgot who was with them. Sure, they should have rowed and done everything they could to get to the shore but when the time came, they simply should have asked Him to save them without fear. He was right there in the boat with them.

Don't miss this point. Jesus is right there in the boat with you too.  You do not need to be afraid.

The disciples forgot that He loved them. There is nothing that He wouldn't do for them. It didn't matter that they were afraid for He would save them. He would do what the needed. The didn't need to be afraid to get Him to act on their behalf.

Jesus loves you just as much as He loved those disciples. He will withhold no good thing from you. You do not need to be afraid.

The disciples forgot who He really is. They had seen Him heal but they were amazed that the wind and the sea obeyed Him. They did not realize His power. They did not realize His ability to change that which everyone else would call reality. Sure, things were bad but never so bad that Jesus couldn't change them. He stopped the waves and the wind with His words.

Jesus still commands the elements of the world. He can stop the cancer and heal the divorce scars. He can bring home your children and provide for you financially. He can intervene wnywhere it is necessary for you and change the things which have been said to be unchangable. You do not need to be afraid.

Can it be that Jesus will let you go through some hard times? For sure. Believers have been allowed to go through hard times. But they have never had to go through them alone, without His love and without His power holding things just so that something good happens from the evil believers have had to endure.

Could it be that He will let you die from your illness? Well, sometimes it appears like believers have died but I know that they are more alive than ever when He has come to take them home with Him. They are completely healed in an instant. But, still, you do not need to be afraid for He will come for you and take you with Him. It is the safest trip you will ever take.

So, I encourage you to pray. Realize that He is with you, He loves you and He has the power to change anything.

May the presence of Jesus so overwhelm you that there is no room for fear.

Matthew 8:26-27 (ESV) 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV) 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

2 comments: said...

Is God with a believer always?

In Matt 28:19-20, Jesus said that He would be with His disciples always until the end of age. Now was there condition(s) attached with this promise?  The disciples were asked to do the Great Commission work.  Is it only when we do the Great Commission, that Jesus would be with us always? There are those interpreted it so, and there are those who view there were 2 aspects mentioned by Jesus, one, His disciples were to do the Great Commission work; and two, Jesus promised to be with His disciples always until the end of age, with the latter not conditioned on the former.

Heb 13:5 said that God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you". This statement obviously implied that God would be with the "you". This statement was a quote from Joshua 1:5, and so, the "you" was referring to Joshua.  This statement was in Deu 31:6. Here, in this Deu 31:6 verse, it was Moses saying it to Joshua. Joshua was picked by the Lord to replace Moses as the leader of the Israelites, to enter into the Promised Land (Moses did not enter the Promised Land; It was Joshua who led them in; do you know that?). In fact, Joshua 1:5 had also this statement, "as I was with Moses, so will I be with you". So, again, we can conclude there is a saying by God that He will be with His disciples always. Now, again, the question is, was there condition(s) to the promise? Again, here, there was the thing that Joshua was to do - "you will lead these people to inherit the land I sworn to their ancestors to give them", said God.

So, is the promise of Him be with us, with condition?

There is yet another such statement; it is found in 1 Ch 28:20. This time, it was King David saying it to his son, Solomon. And, again, there was a thing that Solomon was to do, and that was to build the temple for God. I believe, like in the Book of Hebrews to link Heb 13:5 to Deu 31:6 (NIV footnote), we can link this "I would be with you" to 1 Ch 28:20, even though it was David speaking to Solomon, for we know from Scripture that it was the Lord who had said that Solomon was to build the Temple.

So, again, Is there a condition to the promise, "I will be with you, always"?

I will view the subject this way:
1. Every believer has the Holy Spirit indwelling him, in that sense, God is always with you, a believer.
2. When you are on His assignment, you are not on your own; He is with you.
3. "Walk where God walks"; there are varied ways, this is expressed. And it included these: abide in God; dwell in the shelter of the Most High (Ps 91); travel on the Way or Highway of Holiness (Isaiah 35:8-10); stay in the light (and get back in, when strayed); seek His kingdom and His righteousness; living out the Kingdom life; be of right living; have the fear of the Lord as defined in Pro 8:13; live in obedience to God.  Now, allow me to write a little more on this point:

Cont... said...

Cont. From above

I am not saying, for example, the moment you stabbed your colleague in the back, and that is bad thing to do, God is no longer with you anymore, but you and I got to know God cannot be joining us in our unrighteousness.  I mean if you and I are stubbornly without the fear of the Lord, engaging in wickedness or evil, we cannot expect God to be co-partnering us in evil and sins. I know the Word said that we are not given a spirit of timidity, but please, there is a role of us having emotion, like fear or sorrow, etc. If you are still offending His holiness, your conscience is not wrong to give you the fear of His possible wrath.  When that offence is lifted, then, yes, there ought not be any more fear, and you should not fear (you sin, you ask for forgiveness).

The exposition on Heb 13:5, should normally be more complete, when v6 is included.  When we look fully at the text of Heb 13:5-6, we realize, that like the earlier accounts of "I will be with you, always", there were conditions expressed there, in v5, and v6 expressed there was no need of fear.  What was the conditions in v5? It said to keep our lives free from the love of money, and to be contented with what we have. Scripture said, the love of money is the root of all kind of evil; and Scripture also said, we cannot love both money and God. We can say that, the call or condition is that we are to love God, not to love money at all; love God and be contented with what we have, is another way of saying be of "godliness with contentment".  When we are so, God will not leave us, or forsake us. We can then, as expressed in v6 of Heb 13, be of confidence that the Lord will be our Helper, and we are without fear; what can mere men do to us!  This v6 was quoted from Ps 118:6-7, words of King David, a man who was rich, but not because he loved money, a man who was godly and contented with God's timing; he could have acted against King Saul and overthrown him, but he harmed NOT, King Saul.

Simply, it is to do the right thing in the eyes of God, always, and you need not be afraid, even when you die, like the case of Stephen who was stoned (God was still with him; God gave him a vision of assurance in his affliction and death).  When it is not your time to go, you cannot even be killed, like the case of 3 friends of Daniel who were thrown into a furnace, heated up 7x the usual, and did not die; instead experienced the Lord with them in the furnace.

Even if we die, Jesus, said, in John 14:1-3; He would come for us, to bring us to the place, He has prepared for us all, in Heaven.  Be bold and courageous as you live a righteous life.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions