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Fear or Faith

Pastor Charlie Rousey

Mark 4:35-41

35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

I have spoken with several people over the last few days and many of us feel as if we are on the same boat ride, with this great storm rocking the ship. Just a few days ago, the skies were blue, the sea calm, the wind in our sails. Suddenly, a storm surfaces and begins to fill our ship with water and our lives with fear—any rational person would be fearful.

Last week, our lives were calm. The school was humming along, my family was doing great, and I knew what I was supposed to do when I got out of bed every morning. Then suddenly, I was assigned to take a school of 240 students from a traditional classroom setting to being totally online; my daughters called to tell me their college was closing their campus, and they were unsure what to do, and I had to tell my technologically-challenged wife (and my entire staff!) that she now has to record all of her classes and post them online. And to top it all off, I am now the geometry tutor for my high school junior that is now homeschooling.

As I have allowed fear into my life these last few days, I have heard the words from Mark 4 in my ear, “Why are you so fearful?” I want to answer back, “Any weathered fishermen would be.” Just look at what is happening around us! There were men of great faith on that boat that were also gripped with fear and panic.

What we see in the story is that Jesus was not concerned with the outside circumstances that the men on the boat could not control, but rather, the inward decisions the men made about the storm. Today, I look around me and see the road that lies before me—I will either act in fear where I must control the storm, or faith where He is in control of it. What I do know is the Captain of our ship can be trusted. Even when I don’t understand the route we are taking, I can always trust where He is taking me.

I was supposed to wake up in beautiful Pensacola, Florida, tomorrow and begin my spring break, but like many of you, a storm has rerouted me. I now face a very uncertain week where I will be tempted to look at all the havoc the storm is raging, or I can look to Him who not just controls the storm but can give me peace that He is in control during the midst of the storm. I am uncertain about our future, but I am certain Who controls everything, and I choose to trust in Him.

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