I enjoy a summer storm. Well…sort of. I enjoy it from the safety of my front porch or back deck or comfortable in my favorite chair with a cotton quilt and a good book. I enjoy watching those summer lightning storms from a place of safety. I’m not so crazy about the idea of riding out a storm in a boat or exposed to the elements. Those movies about boats battling a raging storm in the ocean waters are not my kind of fun! This is exactly where we find a group of men in our passage today—in a boat, in a raging storm with gusty winds, feeling fearful.
Read: Matthew 8:23-27.
But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was a great calm. —Matthew 8:26
Did you notice how Jesus addresses his disciples in this passage —”you of little faith”? Fear is the opposite of faith. Faith is trusting and believing God, taking Him at His Word and walking in the power of His presence moment by moment. Yet, I often find myself fretting and fearful instead of turning to and trusting God with my concerns and fears. I want to be a woman who trusts and believes God and takes Him at His Word in all things.
I have seen and experienced His faithfulness and trustworthiness in my life, confirmed time and again through the years. Yet I still find myself fearful and fretting at times. When I feel that fear rising in me, it’s a cue for me to turn to God. To confess that my fear is a lack of trust and to pray and praise Him. It always calms my fear and floods my soul with a peace that only Jesus can provide.It has become a practice in my life, because I know that fear will tempt me once again to look to my circumstances instead of my God. But when it does, I just repeat the process.
This is one reason the study of God’s attributes—making it a daily practice to acknowledge who HE IS and then praise Him—is so important in our lives. Fear and those obstacles that are looming large in our sight shrink when we make much of God by rehearsing who He is and what He has done, giving Him praise,
Now the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him —those who depend on HIs faithful love. To deliver them from death and to keep from alive in famine. —Psalm 33:18-19
Read through Psalm 33 dividing it up into the sections listed below. At the end of each section, pause and respond with prayers of praise and adoration to God for who He is.
Read Psalm 33:1-5 — Pause and praise!
Read Psalm 33:6-11 — Pause and praise!
Read Psalm 33:12-22 — Pause and praise!
What fears and fretfulness are you experiencing today? Stop and confess your fear. Rehearse who God is, and then spend some time praising Him. He will rebuke the winds and waves of fear that are washing over you and flood you with His peace and joy. Spend some time reflecting on the verses from today and on the fact that God greater than our fears and with us in the storms of life.
It’s my prayer that through this series we will, “from the rising of the sun to its setting”, focus on our amazing God. We’ll take the Word for the day and think about it, ponder it, pray it and practice it. We’ll allow it to really SOAK into our hearts and lives. And then we’ll SHINE — boast, rave, praise and celebrate God’s presence in our lives, reflecting Jesus to those around us.
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com