Dont Be Afraid

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Mark‬ ‭6:48-51‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded,”

This story of the disciples in the boat in a storm has really caught my attention the last couple of days. Here they were, out on the water in a storm. And Jesus – the very one who could calm the storm and quiet the raging waves was walking towards them, on the water. And they didn’t even recognise him, they thought he was a ghost!
I think of how often I get myself into a panic, over everyday ‘storms’, or even possible storms. Once you let that feeling of fear or panic get hold, it seems to be a downward spiral from there, doesn’t it?
Verse 50 says The disciples were terrified. The word used here is tarássō ‘Tarasso’ – meaning literally: ‘to set in motion what must remain still.’
Thayer’s Definition
1. to agitate, trouble (a thing, by the movement of its parts to and fro)
* to cause one inward commotion, take away his calmness of mind, disturb his equanimity
* to disquiet, make restless
* to stir up
* to trouble
1. to strike one’s spirit with fear and dread
* to render anxious or distressed
1. to strike one’s spirit with fear and dread
* to render anxious or distressed
* to perplex the mind of one by suggesting scruples or doubts
Recently there was a post that circulated on social media that said that there are 365 Bible verses saying ‘do not be afraid’, one for each day of the year. I did try counting them, but I only got to 179, so I can’t confirm that. But even 179 times is truly amazing! God says to us, repeatedly throughout history and today, ‘Don’t be afraid. Trust me. I am your provider, your healer, your safe haven in the storms of life’

The disciples were anxious and fearful, terrified! They allowed those emotions to be set in motion and take hold of their hearts.
How much drama could we avoid, if we just trust that Jesus is always, always there ‘walking towards us’ in the midst of the storm. He never leaves or forsakes us. When he spoke to that storm and told it to cease, I believe he spoke to the storm raging inside their hearts too.
That’s what Jesus does. We can trust him with our storms!
Another part of this scripture caught my attention: verse 47
“And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And HE SAW THAT THEY WERE MAKING HEADWAY PAINFULLY, FOR THE WIND WAS AGAINST THEM. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea..”
‭‭I love this. Jesus SAW that the wind was against them. He SAW their struggle. And his heart was moved for them. His heart was touched that they were struggling, and he was on his way to rescue them long before they’d even cried out for him.
That’s who our God is. He is not a far off God, indifferent to your struggles. He sees you and everything you are up against. He is VIGILANT in caring for you.
Do not ever, for one moment, believe that God doesn’t see what you’re facing, or care about your circumstances. He never takes his eyes off you!

Here’s just 3 of those hundreds of ‘do not be afraid’ verses 😊
Genesis 50:21 – ‘So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.’ And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
Deuteronomy 31:8 – ‘The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’
Joshua 1:9 – ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be afraid’

Jill McIreavy

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