Reaching out to Central New York in the name of Jesus Christ

A Word for Today

Against Freaking Out

Read Matthew 8:18-34

In Matthew chapters 5-7, Jesus makes it clear that God will provide what we need, and so our concern should not be overly focused on our provision.  Jesus calls us to live by faith — He will provide what we need.

In Matthew 8:18-22 Jesus repeats a similar teaching to two men who wanted to follow Jesus, but who were wary to commit to living a life of faith.  Their priorities were on how to provide for themselves and taking care of their families.  Jesus’ priorities were elsewhere.  His were on building the Kingdom of God.  The fact that the record of Jesus’ life has these similar teachings repeated suggests that this is something Jesus taught often.

The person who follows Jesus will have a very different perspective on the proper order of things in their life.   The follower of Jesus puts service to God above all else, even family and self-preservation.  This isn’t a foolish choice, but a choice to live by faith in God’s provision and providence.  This faith in God leads to acceptance.  We will accept the things that happen in our life because we know that God has a plan.

Jesus’s disciples began to freak out when the storm began to rage.  That seems like the natural thing to do, right?  Yet, Jesus rebuked them for it.  Jesus got into the boat with confidence in God’s plan, whereas the disciples did not.  They lacked faith.  The people in the town of Gadarenes also lacked faith.  They saw the power of Christ to intervene in their lives, but they were fixed on the damage it had done and might do to their lifestyle.  They reacted similarly to the disciples, with fear.

It’s a valuable lesson, that faith and fear are at odds.  When we fear we lack faith.  Jesus calls us to be people of faith, not fear.  When our provision, safety, or lifestyle appear in jeopardy, but the Lord is involved, we need not fear.  When we serve the Lord we are in the place that we are in because we are serving Him.

Lord, I will live in faith, not fear.  I trust in Your will and Your providence, because You are good, Lord.  Lead me where You will and I will follow.  I will accept whatever challenges may come as a result, and may my response always give You glory.