Teenside Daily Devotional

Read Matthew 8:23-27.

For me, I think the center of this story lies in what Jesus says to his disciples. He said “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Notice that at this point, Jesus had not calmed the storm. He did not rebuke it and then say “See? You guys were scared of nothing. I had everything under control,” as they share a nice hearty laugh together. Jesus asks them in the middle of a great storm, one that even fisherman by trade were fearful of, why they were afraid. Doesn’t that seem odd?

Jesus needed to take this time to do exactly what he had already been doing for crowds of people through speaking: he needed to make a point. When God says “Do not fear,” I have interpreted it to mean not to remain in fear. Which, of course I won’t because what I’m scared of is usually temporary. That’s probably how the disciples interpreted this as well. However, Jesus was asking them why they were afraid, again, in the middle of the storm. We need to remember that Jesus is sometimes in the business of asking rhetorical questions. He didn’t wait for their answer. He knew why they were scared. Yet, his asking implies that they had no good reason to be scared.

Why would Jesus think they have no good reason to be scared? The end of his question gives this away: “O you of little faith.” Jesus knows that fear and trusting in God are in direct conflict with each other. If you give in to fear, then you are choosing not to trust God. And the more you trust God, the easier it becomes not to fear. When he asked his disciples this question, he knew what they were thinking. It was probably “Seriously? We know you just woke up from a nap, but you can definitely see this storm.” Yet, Jesus is trying to show them that God has power over circumstance. He has power over the wind and the sea. Our Creator is sovereign over everything. All we have to do is have the faith to weather the storms. One promise that we can always know to be true is that Jesus will be right alongside us through every single one!

*Take a moment to journal these questions. Write down your thoughts, questions, and concerns. Then date your entry. One of the coolest things is being able to look back and see how God came through for you.*

  1. Our fear is often tied directly to our lack of faith. The initial reaction is human, but what we choose to do with that fear is up to us. Especially now. The world is sitting in the fear of the unknown, much like the disciples were. Because the next steps do not fit within our imagination, we start to panic. We lose sight of who is in the boat with us. Is there anything right now that is causing you to be afraid? Try to dig deep– what is the root of this fear?

  1. Take a moment to really ponder the timing Jesus uses to call His disciples out. Like Caleb said, it was in the middle of chaos. According to our human perspective, it was a very appropriate time to panic. However, Jesus calls His disciples to go deeper, past their human perspective, and into a kingdom perspective. The one who commanded the winds and waves never left the boat. He was there all along. Where is Jesus calling you to see His kingdom perspective in the middle of your storm?

  1. What does it look like to trust God in the middle of your storm? Remember the initial reaction of fear is human, but what we choose to do with it is up to us. How will you choose faith over fear?

Prayer: Spend some time praying about the things you journaled. Ask God to reveal the root of the fear in your life. Pray that you would gain a kingdom perspective in the middle of your storm that would challenge this fear. Thank God for his faithfulness. He never leaves the boat and promises to see us through until the end. Because of this, we can choose to trust Him and have faith over fear.

Song: Anchor- Hillsong

Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/169Fs68hROYRdS362T8D9w
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