Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“I am continually with You; You do hold my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to honor and glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And I have no delight or desire on earth besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the Rock and firm Strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
“Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rocks and treacherous shoal;
Chart and compass come from Thee –
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.
As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will
When Thou sayest to them, ‘Be still!’
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me!’”
Today’s Study Text:
1. “And He said to them, ‘Why are you timid and afraid, O you of little faith?’”
2. “He said to them, ‘Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith, no firmly, relying trust?’”
3. “And He said to them, ‘Why are ye so fearful? Where is your faith, your trust and confidence in Me – in My veracity and My integrity?’”
“The Farce We Call Fear” Part 18
“Don’t You Trust Me?”
“Oh, may the God of hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope.”
The Message Bible
In reviewing my life, what are some of the things which cause me to be afraid?
Have my fears ever blinded me to the ways in which God has brought me through the problems which have challenged me in the past?
“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence.”
Augustine of Hippo
“Oh, how great peace and quietness would (we) possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all (our) confidence in God.”
Thomas á Kempis
The sea was smooth as glass for as the Bible tells us a calm descended upon the elements and a quiet hush filled the once turbulent air. It was now, in the aftermath of the severe storm that Jesus turned to his dear disciples, those who were closest to Him when He walked the earth, and said, “Why are you so timid and fearful?” In my opinion, Jesus had every right to ask this question. His disciples had been eye-witness to not only the miraculous but also His wondrous love as exemplified every day in His care for them. To then turn and ask their Master, “Don’t You care?” must have wounded Jesus. Just think how you might feel if someone you dearly loved turned to you in a moment of crisis and questioned your concern for them. This personal attack really was an example of the disciples doubting spirit. But rather than demean the disciples for their lack of faith, in kindness and with a gentle response, Jesus asked what some call a penetrating question, “Why are you so afraid?” J.R. Mac Duff reflects on this question with a pointed comment: “Jesus spoke as a faithful Master to His faithless disciples.” However, author Mac Duff doesn’t limit his comments to a group of frightened disciples. Instead, his words are directed to Christ’s children down through time, right to this very day:
“Are any of us thus fearful? Jesus turns to us and says, ‘Won’t you trust Me? Look at Calvary’s Cross! Is that not a pledge and guarantee that I will never leave you nor forsake you? For, a small moment I may appear to have forsaken you, but with great mercies will I gather you – with everlasting kindness will I have mercy upon you!”
The disciple Matthew, writing about the experience of the night on stormy Galilee, reminds us of the tough questions Jesus asked, “Why are you fearful? O ye of little faith?” Today I know those questions could certainly be asked of me for in moments which I consider my world in a perilous position, I’ve even heard the words slip from my lips, “Does Jesus really care about me right now?” It may well be that when fear has a strangle-hold on your life, that you too have been so fearful that your faith in Jesus’ care has slipped away or been weak at best. The poet Christina Rossetti, whose trust in Christ seemed to me unshakeable, penned these beautiful words:
“I live and love not; Lord, it breaks my
heart to love and not to love.
Thou veiled within Thy glory, gone apart
Into Thy shrine which is above,
Dost Thou not love me, Lord, or care
For this mine ill?
‘I love you here or there I will accept thy
broken heart, lie still’
Lord, it was well with me in time gone by
That cometh not again,
When I was fresh and cheerful, who but I?
I fresh, I cheerful; worn with pain
How, out of sight and out of heart;
O Lord, how long?
‘I watch thee as thou art,
I will accept thy fainting heart, be strong!’
Lie still, be strong, today; but, Lord tomorrow.
What of tomorrow, Lord?
Shall there be rest from toil,
Be truce from sorrow,
Be living green upon the sod,
Now but a barren grave to me,
Be joy for sorrow?
‘Did I not die for thee?
Do I not live for thee, leave me tomorrow.’”
Whatever place we find ourselves in today, may we never forget that the Master is with us, and indeed, we have nothing to fear. “The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. Peace is no presumption: we are warranted in enjoying ‘perfect peace’ – a quiet which is deep, and founded on truth, which encompasses all things, and is not broken by any of the ten thousand disturbing causes which otherwise might prevent our rest. ‘Thou wilt keep him (her) in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he (she) trusteth in Thee.’” (Charles H. Spurgeon)
“Trust in yourself and you are
doomed to disappointment.
Trust in your friends and they
will die and leave you.
Trust in money and you may have
it taken away from you.
Trust in reputation and some
slanderous tongues will blast it.
But trust in God and you are never
to be confounded in time or in eternity.”
“The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”
II Samuel 22:31
I wanted to use the words to the song “Trust Jesus” for our affirmation today because it was the evangelist, Dwight Moody, who found the poem penned by Edgar P. Stites in a newspaper. He was so impressed by the text, he passed them on to his song leader, Ira D. Sankey who wrote the tune to the song. Ira Sankey and Dwight Moody worked together for 30 years and together they are linked as one of the world’s greatest evangelistic teams.
“Simply trusting every day,
Trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Brightly doth His Spirit shine
Into this poor heart of mine
While He leads I cannot fall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Trusting Him while life shall last,
Trusting Him till earth be past,
‘Til I hear His final call,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.”
Edgar P. Stites
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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