A Faith Opportunity!

Matthew 8:26- But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” NKJV

It’s interesting how we can be enjoying life one minute, and the next minute something happens that causes fear to raise its head! Such was the case with the disciples of Jesus. The disciples and Jesus were on a busy schedule. A lot was happening in this chapter. First, a leper approached Jesus and asked to be cleansed, and Jesus cleansed him of leprosy. The disciples were witnesses to this miracle!

Next, a centurion came to Jesus on behalf of his servant, who was in terrible pain, asking Jesus to heal his servant. When Jesus agreed to go to his home, the centurion responded:

“Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.

Matthew 8:8-9 NKJV

Just say the word, the centurion told Jesus, and my servant will be healed! Jesus was so impressed with what the man said that He responded He hadn’t seen faith like that in all of Israel! And the servant was healed. Since the disciples were with Jesus when this occurred, they saw what faith looked like!

As the evening continued, Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law and so many others. It was something to see, not something they heard about! And they were greatly amazed. We all would have been just as impressed as the disciples. And yet, when trouble came knocking, fear rose over faith!

Not long after that, maybe it was the next day Jesus got in a boat to travel to the country of the Gergesenes. While they were en route, a great storm arose on the sea:

And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. 

Matthew 8:24 NKJV

Out of nowhere! While they were with Jesus! Doing ministry! And this wasn’t just bad weather, it was a great tempest that caused the waves to dump water in the boat! In the Greek language, the word tempest is “seismos” and it depicts an earthquake. An earthquake in the water that causes huge waves puts me in mind of a tsunami. So this was no ordinary or regular storm that they were experiencing! And it caused fear to grip their hearts!

I went to the doctor recently. Having lived a fairly healthy life without the need for medication has been my privilege. But a few years ago, I started experiencing hypertension. I was not happy when I had to receive medication to regulate it. So when I went to the doctor and she said I was prediabetic, fear wanted to grip my heart! It tried to show me going through dialysis, being on medication for the rest of my life, etc. You know how fear can be!

However, I took captive my thoughts and began to cast down those negative thoughts. My doctor agreed to see me in three months to see how I was doing. I went home and prayed. I have a long mirror in my bedroom where I pray, and on one of my rotations, I stopped in front of my mirror and said something like this:

“Devil, I refuse to wallow in fear. I choose to believe that God is still my Healer and by His stripes, I am healed. Food is not my god! Sugar is not my god! My stomach is not my god and neither will dictate my future. In the name of Jesus, I decree I am healed and I will participate with God in that healing!”

Instead of seeing those test results as something to cause great fear to enter my heart, I saw them as an opportunity for faith. As I stood on the promises of God and drastically reduced my sugar intake, I lost weight. When I returned for my appointment, my A1C was perfect! You may say it was the changes I made! I’ll agree that it was necessary and played a huge part in my healing. But to God be the glory! He gave me the willpower to just say no to the sugar, to increase my exercise, and to make healthier food choices!

How is fear trying to grip your heart? Is it a natural disaster that has happened, like with the disciples, and now you are living in fear? Is it war, persecution, people, sickness, finances, or death that has knocked the wind of faith out of you? Well, you can still turn that fear into an opportunity of faith!

Jesus was in the boat sleeping. He was unconcerned about the turbulence that the boat was experiencing. But the disciples were greatly concerned, and they woke Him up! When they did, they accused Him of not caring. Mark recalled it in this manner:

But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

Mark 4:38 NKJV

He cares a whole lot about what is going on in our lives! And He cared about His disciples! That was fear talking, not genuine disbelief in the care He gave to them! He rebuked the disciples, and then He rebuked the storm:

Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? 

Matthew 8:26 NKJV

Fear causes our faith in God to shrink! You can have strong faith one day, and bad news or happenings can challenge your faith the next day! When we are faced with an opportunity to lay ahold of fear, that is our opportunity to lay ahold of faith! Peter eventually learned how much God cared for him because he wrote:

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7 NKJV

Peter recommended that when things start to happen in our lives to test our faith in God, we should just cast it all on Him because He cares about it, and He cares about us!

No one likes going through trials and tribulations! But since we must go through them because we are not in heaven yet, we must challenge ourselves to see problems as an opportunity to exercise our faith!

I heard someone once say faith that isn’t tested isn’t faith! I’m pretty sure they were paraphrasing Peter’s words when he said:

These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.

1 Peter 1:7-8 TLB

I encourage you today, as I encourage myself, to not let the grip of fear dictate its wishes in your life any longer. When fear rears its ugly head, decide to see your circumstance or situation as an opportunity for faith. Choose faith over fear so that Jesus can look at you at say, “O you of great faith!” Wonderful Jesus!

Published by wonderfuljesus8

I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord as a child. Once, when I was still quite young, I knocked on a lady’s door, but I don’t remember why. What I do remember is her telling me that I was going to be a preacher. When I was in high school I preached my very first message on Job. It lasted for a long time! LOL! By graduation, I knew that I had been called into ministry. My heart’s desire is to see the people of God understand and operate in the Kingdom of God. We really need to know that we serve an awesome and amazingly good God and our adversary the devil has no good thing dwelling in him.

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