August 12, 2018
“Facing Life’ Adversities with Faith” - Mark 4:35-5:1
Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? [Mark 4:40]
Faith and fear cannot exist together. By definition they are opposites. The one exercised during life’s trials have real consequences in our Christian growth and maturity. Likewise, faith and fear affect others around us either positively or negatively.
The disciples were taught a lesson on faith and fear one evening after spending an entire day astonished by Jesus’ teachings and His many miracles. Upon entering a boat they were slammed by a storm of seismic proportions which caused the disciples to be filled with fear. For this Jesus rebuked them [Heb.12:5-11].
Faith is described in Hebrews 11.1 “as the substance of things hoped for – the evidence of things not seen”. In short, faith is “being certain of what we do not see” and acting upon it. Its object is God and is revealed in His Word. In practical terms it is the confident assurance of our Fathers love for us and His ability to perform all that He has promised to do for us who place their trust in Him [Romans 8:28-39; Hebrews 11:6; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Psalm 23; Matt. 6:33].
Our faith grows and is strengthened by the Word of God [Romans 10:17] as we obey it [James 1:22; 2:20]. God desires us all to grow in our faith.
Fear on the other hand is unbelief and indicates a lack of trust in God. If fear and worry persist they will cripple a believer’s growth and ability to serve effectively. Fear will choke out Gods peace and joy and rob a believer of many blessings.
Our Father is loving and kind. He understands our weaknesses but He requires us to go forward to grow and strengthen our faith in Him through unpleasant circumstances. The simple truth which Scripture bears witness to is that adversity is Gods most effective tool to develop strong faith in a real God who loves you.
God wants you to face fear by exercising faith. Faith in Gods way is the antidote to fear. Marks narrative provides us with insight and principles which the disciples missed but we can glean from to apply when faced with adversity: 1) Faith in God’s Word 2) Faith in God’s Presence 3) Faith in God’s Character 4) Faith in God’s Purpose.