Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV Here are some distinguishing marks of a spirit-filled life—joy, prayer, and thanksgiving. Notice Paul has already been speaking about love: “Hold them in the highest regard...
Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side [of the lake] while he dismissed the crowd. Matthew 14:22
We are told here that Jesus “made” the disciples get into the boat. That is very significant. Jesus made them do this. He put them in a situation that would turn out to be very frightening. Presumably they wanted to stay with Jesus while he dismissed the crowds, but he said, “No, I want you to go on your own to the other side of the lake.”
Remember, the disciples had already been in a storm on the lake when Jesus was with them. The important thing about this story is that Jesus put the disciples in a situation where they would face a storm without his visible presence. That’s how it is for us today.
Jesus was saying to the disciples, “You have learned to trust me when I am physically with you in the boat. Now I want you to learn to trust me when you cannot see me.”
Nothing is more debilitating than the power of fear. What we have here is one of the Bible’s great stories on overcoming fear.
Can you think of a recent situation when you were debilitated by the power of fear? Do you think it is possible to learn to trust Jesus in these kinds of situations?