Have you ever been afraid?
One cannot help but remember back to an event that took place in the Bible. Jesus had been going about preaching and healing many. The disciples who were with Him, recognized that he was a great teacher. They had witnessed many people come to Jesus with sicknesses that He healed. Jesus even healed Peter’s mother-in-law who had been sick. They saw many possessed with devils that Jesus cast out. Yet when these fishermen (who were used to being on the water) were in a ship in the sea and a storm arose, they were afraid. Yet Jesus was asleep in the ship. “25. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:25-27). Even these men who had witnessed Jesus do many great things were afraid in the storm! They did not yet understand just who Jesus was, and that He would take care of them. They had “little faith.”
We can learn many things about the faith that is to be found in a Christian life. Is it good when one relies upon his own ability? “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). Each Christian is to learn to live his faith in Jesus. When we hear of the faith by which Christians are to live, what are we to do? “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13). A Christian must “hold fast” to the things that are to be learned from the Bible. Once we learn these things and begin to live by them, what happens to that Christian life? “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). The righteousness of God is then revealed in that Christian’s life.
Many Christians become afraid at some point. We do not see the preventions God has in place to hold the enemy (or things that cause us to fear) at bay; for these things can come so close and no further than God permits. God only allows some of these things to go so far in the affecting of our lives. He prevents many of these instances from reaching one who stays in the midst of the path God has for that Christian. Often times these occurrences are allowed to be there to test one’s faith (remember Job).
Understand what happens if a Christian becomes fearful and does not move forward in their Christian walk by faith. “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38). God is not pleased when a Christian does not continue forward in their Christian walk but draws back (this means they go into apostasy – forsaking the ways and truths of God’s Word).
Once a Christian understands how to live and walk by faith, what will they have? “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). These things should help every Christian understand the importance of living by faith and not forsaking the teachings found in God’s Word. Why is it important to live by faith? “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).
Have you learned to trust God, not be afraid, and walk by faith?