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Daily Reading: Genesis 24:52-26:16 ESV, Matthew 8:18-34 ESV, Psalm 10:1-15 ESV, Proverbs 3:7-8 ESV

Daily Verse: “And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” (Matthew 8:26 ESV

OLIGOPISTOS (3640): “Literally, this word means little of faith and is used only by the Lord as a tender rebuke for anxiety (Mt, 6:30, Lk 12:28; or for fear (Mt. 8:26, 14:31, 16:8).”[I]

Jesus rebukes tenderly.

Storm raging, waves slapping, wind howling, the familiar scene of Jesus napping amid chaos, a well-known Bible story, preached often. When the disciples waken the Lord, He rebuked them gently. Why were they fearful when Jesus was with them? In the flesh, on the boat, Jesus was present, yet they feared.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 ESV)

God asks us to believe what we can’t see, assured of Jesus’ presence always. The disciples believed in Jesus because they witnessed the miracles He performed. When turbulence happened, they panicked.   Even with Jesus physically present, their faith wavered. The next time you doubt, give yourself grace, even the disciples questioned.

Give Jesus your anxiety.

When panicked, the disciples knew what to do, wake Jesus. “Pray, not Panic,” a prayer in my book, “Three Word Prayers for Everyday Living,” are the words I use to wake Jesus up in my life. 

Teaching the last class of kid’s tennis of the year, we combined the beginner and intermediate classes for games. In the beginning, chaos ensued. Having just published the book, my assistant asked me what we should pray. My mind went blank; I couldn’t think of a single prayer, then “Pray, not Panic” came to mind, followed quickly by, “Lord, help us.” Within minutes, the class quieted down; all had fun.

Faith means knowing where to turn when life nosedives. Jesus’ presence always remains close:

“For he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 ESV)

Jesus travels with you, whatever the mode of transportation. Just like He was in the boat with the disciples, Jesus journeys with you. If the storm’s raging around you, wake up Jesus. Remember, He has the power to calm the storm or else give you strength to survive it. But if you don’t tap into God’s strength, you won’t access His power.

Choose faith. Pray, not panic. Find God’s calm.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. (p. 177) Thomas Nelson

Check out my new release on Amazon. Learn how I used prayer to control my emotions and develop healthier relationships in my life.

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