False Evidence Appearing Real
Jesus had been teaching the crowds and was weary. Just a day like every other day.
In order to self-isolate, He and His disciples boarded a boat and headed toward the other side of the lake. He was resting in the stern when suddenly something unexpected happened: a violent storm erupted around them, swamping the boat.
Isn’t that exactly what is happening to us today. Our storm is a pandemic, but the resulting emotions and fears are the same.
They feared almost immediate death, while we fear major illness, possible death, a collapse of our economy, a loss of income, etc. So, where did they turn?
Well, Jesus was in the boat with them, wasn’t He? They turned to Him! He calmed the wind and waves and restored peace. Yet these very actions caused even greater fear among the disciples! What power He demonstrated! Even nature obeyed Him!
As we walk through today’s crisis, we can empathize with the disciples who were so fearful. In our current crisis, this time of total abnormality in our society, we can look at the Scripture and say, “Jesus saved them from the storm, and He will do the same for us 2000 years later because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!” The great lesson here is dependent upon how we respond to fear. When the disciples were helpless on their own – they knew where to turn for help.
So what is the way forward for us? Not fear. As followers of Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit within us, who gives us the ability to respond differently.
We are not going to be in fear, but be led by the Spirit. Have you ever wished you could have been part of the crowds of thousands that sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him speak directly to you?
Well, we have a much greater, more intimate experience with Him today because He lives inside of each of us through His Holy Spirit. His heart beats in tandem with ours.
Paul writes to Timothy during times in the early church when new Christians were in fear of losing their jobs, finances, homes, families, and even their lives. He encouraged them to not be timid, but to follow the Holy Spirit who gives them power, love, and self-discipline.
1) Power: This same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in us. God has given us all we need to make it through this storm. When our behavior looks to others like the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control — Jesus wins.
2) Love: The early church did everything needed to reach out in love to each other. They didn’t hoard or forget the needs of others, but forged ahead together to do what love required of them. This is required of us today.
• What does love require of you today?
3) Self-discipline: This means to have soundness of mind and “control of oneself in the face of panic or of passion.”
These are unprecedented times, but we are in this together.
We can spend time in prayer and worship and the Word of God. We can grow in our relationship with our spouses and children.
We can think outside of the box and create a whole new life with family and friends. God has promised not to abandon us – we move forward, not in fear, but in power, love and self-discipline always trusting God with the outcomes.
Be still and know that I am God.
Until next month,
Keith Chandler, Pastor
Journey Christian Church
7708 Van Dyke Rd, Odessa
Services Sunday at 10:00