“Why are you so afraid?” We all struggle with fear. We fear the loss of money, comfort, beauty, control, success, approval, respect, and relationship. But have you ever wondered why you fear? Have you ever wondered why your heart can be so troubled?
- What person(s), circumstances, or situations cause your heart the most worry, anxiety, or fear?
- What do you think Jesus thinks about, or is doing about, those things in your life that cause you fear?
Read The Word: Mark 4:35-41 (ESV)
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Describe this scene with as many details from the passage as you can (time of day, weather, people, etc.).
- In verse 38, the disciples saw Jesus’ behavior during the storm and jumped to a conclusion. What was it? What did they miss? What would have been a better conclusion?
- In what ways can you relate to the disciples in their fear, questions, and faith?
- What are the storms that are raging in your life? What would it look like for Jesus to say to them, “Peace! Be still!”?
- The passage ends with the disciples questioning who Jesus really was (vs. 41). How would knowing more clearly who Jesus was have helped them respond better?
Respond to God
We are often like the disciples. When faced with a difficult circumstance, we react: “Jesus is asleep in my life, and he doesn’t care!” But Jesus challenges us to think about our fear and to consider its cause. Though the storms around us may rage, he can calm the storms in our hearts and minds when we trust that he is all-powerful, that he cares for us, and that the God of the Universe is in the boat with us.
- Praise God that he is in control of this world, of nature, and of your circumstances.
- Thank him that you have nothing to fear because he cares for you and is with you wherever you go.
- Consider Psalm 107:23-29 as you pray and cry out to the Lord in your trouble.