Faith Over Fear
Matthew 8:23-27 (N IV)
Jesus Calms the Storm
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious
storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was
sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going
26 He replied, “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.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds
and the waves obey him!”
I’m yet to meet a person who has never felt even the smallest momentary flicker
of fear in their life. Everyone has a fear of something. It could be spiders, small
spaces, public speaking, corona virus, flying, – any fear is possible. It’s normal to
feel fear from time to time and sometimes it’s pretty useful to feel afraid – your
body prepares you to either fight or flight. But what about when, instead of fear
lasting a few moments, it unpacks its bags and settles in for the long haul? What
about when it starts to dictate how you live your life?
Fear has the potential to hold us captive and stop us living in the fullness of life
that Christ called us to. Fear came straight in after the fall – Adam told God he
was afraid because he was naked. Yet the Bible is constantly telling us not to be
afraid – 365 times to be exact. God doesn’t want us to live a life of fear – he wants
us to be set free.
I want to look at how we can be set free from living a life of fear and live a life of
fullness. This has been a journey I’ve been on (and still am on) and I’m going to
share some of my own story and look at a story in the Bible to help us unpack
what we should do in the face of fear so that we might be set free.
One of my favorite Bible stories is in Matthew 8, where Jesus is on a boat with his
disciples. After a day’s preaching, Jesus falls asleep, and then a huge unexpected
storm blows up around the boat, and the disciples are terrified. Many of them
were fishermen, they must have sailed in all sorts of conditions, but this storm
scared them, which tells us how extreme it was. They panicked and they woke up
Jesus, yelling ‘We’re all going to die!’ Jesus then asks them the question ‘Why are
They were so focused on the storm that they forgot to look at who they were on
the boat with. The creator – the one who has authority over the whole earth, he
was on board! You would think I was ridiculous if I went to eat at McDonalds and
brought my own food with me. There would be no need. The creator was on the
boat with them in the storm – there was no need to be afraid.
Then he tells the waves to be still and tells the wind to shut up, and the disciples
are left amazed wondering what kind of a man they were sharing a boat with. By
calming the storm, Jesus gives them a glimpse of who he is. The significance of the
storm pales in comparison to the significance of who Jesus is. The problem with
fear is that we focus so much on the fear, and we lose sight of Jesus and what he
has the power to do. This happened in my life and I’m going to share a bit of that
with you now.
Share the story of coworker being out of work due to the tornado. She said that
she has enough Faith that her phone is going to ding where someone is going to
give her money. She didn’t know that I sent her some money.
We have to live our lives in the fullness of freedom that God has called us to.
Galatians 5:1 says ‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then,
and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.’ Sometimes we
are literally a slave to fear. Yet Christ calls us into freedom through his death and
resurrection. We should really want to be set free. We shouldn’t want to live our
lives in this way.
Instead of talking about how big our problem is we need to tell that problem how
big our God is. Don’t you know that Faith and Fear don’t go together?
In the story of Jesus calming the storm, the key moment for me is not when Jesus
calms the storm or when the storm blows up, but the moment where the
disciples go and wake Jesus up. In their hour of need, they turned to the one who
they believed could save them.
Jesus never pushes in. He stayed asleep so the disciples had the choice to wake
him up or not. Revelation 3:20 says this ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that
person, and they with me.’ Jesus isn’t one for pushing in uninvited. He waited for
the disciples to ask. He waits for us to ask. He waits for us to choose him.
After Jesus calms the storm, the disciples aren’t left saying ‘What a terrible storm,’
they are left saying ‘What a man – creation obeys him!’ When we turn to Jesus in
the midst of our storms, our focus shifts from staring at the storm to staring at
God. If we are looking at him, then we aren’t looking at the storm. If we are
overwhelmed by His perfect love, which in 1 John 4 promises to cast out all fear,
then we stop being overwhelmed by the storm. As the song goes ‘Turn your eyes
upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow
strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.’
I have been under the weather since February 17th I wasn’t suddenly healed. But
my focus is no longer on the storm; it was on the God who was with me in it. And
bit by bit I began to recover. I still have my anxious spells, but I know that God is.
with me in the boat, and I make sure that I turn my eyes upon him, rather than
staring out at the storm. It’s in doing that that we can be set free from our fears,
as the troubles around us grow dim in comparison to the glory of the one who
made us, the one who loves us and the one who promises to never leave us. Only
through looking at him can we be set free from fear.
SHave I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be
afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you
A couple of bible scriptures to meditate on:
• If you are worried- Matthew 8:23-27 New International Version (NIV)
23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a
furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.
But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord,
save us! We’re going to drown!”
26He replied, “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.
27The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the
winds and the waves obey him!”
• If you are anxious-Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I
will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The
Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every
situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your
requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all
understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is
admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such
things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or
seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you
• Lack of Faith- Exodus 14:13-14 Moses answered the people, “Do
not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will
bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never
see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
• God is a Provider- Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your
needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
• You are an Overcomer- Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through
him who gives me strength.
• You are never alone- Deuteromy 31:6 Be strong and
courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for
the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor
• You can have peace in the midst of any storm! COVID 19-
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are
steadfast, because they trust in you.
FAITH OVER FEAR
PEACE OVER PANIC
GOD OVER EVERYTHING!!
REMEMBER C.O.V.I.D. -19 MEANS CHRIST OVER VIRUSES AND INFECTIOUS
Faith Over Fear