“You of little faith, why are you so afraid? Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” (Matthew 8:26)
Excerpts herein are from Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest for August 12, The Theology of Rest.
“When we are in fear we can do nothing less than pray to God.” Even though God expects us to come to him in confidence when we pray, “our trust is in God only up to a certain point, and then we go back to the elementary panic prayers of those who do not know God. We get to our wits end, showing that we have not the slightest confidence in Him … He seems to be asleep, and we see nothing but breakers ahead.”
We can relate to Jesus’ disciples also to whom he said “O ye of little faith!”. “What a pang must have shot through the disciples – ‘Missed it again!’”
When there are no storms or crises in my life, I can be on top of the world, but when disappointments or crises come, I must consciously keep my focus on Christ so that I remain steadfast in Him. Otherwise, I succumb to my storms and sink below the waves.
Have you ever ridden a wave? I’ve never surfed, but I’ve watched surfers mount their surfboards and ride the wave. If they are experienced, they will ride the wave all the way into shore; if they are just learning to ride the wave, they will often fall, get back up and try again. Such is the Christian life.
God’s promises are like the crest of the wave. When I trust in God and believe in His promises, God makes it possible for me to stay atop the biggest waves, even though there is a powerhouse of energy under me that can pull me down. In Isaiah 43:2-3 it says “When you go through the sea, I’ll be there with you … for I am the Lord your God.”
Oswald Chambers also stated that “If we have been learning to worship God and to trust in Him, the crisis will reveal that we will go the breaking point and not break in our confidence in Him.” So as a surfer stays tethered to his surfboard at the ankle by a cord so that he does not lose sight of his surfboard, a Christian’s stays tethered by a combination of things so that he does not lose sight of God.
Well, you ask – how can I do that in an awful situation? Here are some points to apply to your life when you incessantly worry about a bad situation, or you can’t fall asleep at night.
- Force yourself to think about God instead of your situation. “Whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
- In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).
- Fellowship with other believers.
- Rejoice always in the Lord (Philippians 4:4)
It’s a battle for your will, but if you force yourself to change how you think about things (Philippians 4:9), “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
Copyright 2017 by Bill Hutzel
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