Have you noticed in these last few years that it’s really easy to offend people? Just hint at something politically incorrect and you get slammed with accusations. When public figures are constantly being forced to apologize so their careers don’t go down the toilet, it’s refreshing to hear someone stand up and speak out about an important issue and tell the honest truth, even if it offends—especially about the things of God.
Jesus was love, compassion and understanding, and never went out of His way to stir up trouble. But because His love was so real and so practical, trouble was stirred up anyway. Real love offends, because real love wants you to see what your physical eyes can’t. Real love has real enemies, and that’s where the trouble comes in.
Jesus was on a boat that was being whipped by wind and high waves in the middle of a dangerous squall on the Sea of Galilee. His disciples were panicking for their lives, and He was asleep through it all. When they woke Him in desperation, He asked them why they were so afraid. Honestly, doesn’t that question seem absurd? Uncalled for? Fortunately the disciples were humble enough to embrace that rebuke and learn from it. Jesus had been opening a window into heaven every day that He walked with them. He wanted them to see what their physical eyes couldn’t, so every miracle and every revelation was geared towards training them to live by the Spirit. His question wasn’t meant to offend, it was meant to make them remember all they had learned.
Jesus is still asking us today why we are so fearful. And before we start complaining about God’s insensitivity, remember that He challenges us as a means of forcing our fears to submit to His word, because He loves us. He. Will. Save.
This is our fight. To see that there is a spiritual world more real than the physical one we see and touch. He is Lord over both worlds, and the decisions we make based on what we know is true in the spiritual world, will have a direct and immediate effect on the physical. That effect may not be seen immediately, as with the fig tree that Jesus cursed, but it’s still happening. Jesus actually expected His disciples to calmly ride out the storm in the knowledge that it could never harm them because He was in their boat.
God is actually expecting you to calmly trust in Him, even to the point of praising Him for answers to prayer that you haven’t even seen a hint of yet. He wants you to visualize your life and your loved ones’ lives as safe in His hands and untouchable to the devil, and then stand on that truth as if you could see it right in front of you. This is not wishful thinking, but a battle against the spirit of fear. If it seems absurd, it’s because you aren’t in the practice of doing this. None of us are as good at it as we should be, but it’s worth embracing the challenge.
Why are you fearful, you of little faith? (Matthew 8:26 HCSB)