Jesus is saying it over and over and over again: “Fear not!”, “Do not worry!”, “Believe in God and believe in Me!”, “Do not be afraid!” His reason for repeating these words to us is that He knows how often we are being tossed around by fear, worries and confusion in our lives..
The stormy waters in our souls may concern all kinds of things, whether from your past, present or perhaps especially in regards to your future. Sometimes it even feels as if your entire life is drowning in this fruitless turmoil of thoughts and emotions. Can anyone relate to what I`m saying?!
This kind of unrest in our souls is exactly why Jesus is telling us over and over that we do not have to be afraid. He knew while walking the earth, and He still knows, that fear, worries and confusion do not do us any good. That is why we need to lift our eyes up to Jesus, God’s goodness and his promises. It can feel like a hard thing to do, but it is surely possible!
The thing is that our emotions follow our thoughts to a large extent. If you turn your heart and mind away from the unbelief, fear and worries about your circumstances, and unto God in faith, trust and rest, – you will find that things change on the inside. This is something you need to do despite how you feel now and contrary to what your experience has been in the past. And as you fix your eyes on Jesus Christ, the stormy waters of your soul quiet down. Here lies an enormous power, and it is released through gazing at Jesus and trusting in God. Do not strive, and do not try to work your way out by human effort, but rest assured by trusting God. – Do not let the storm move you out of the peace of God. Do not fight against the lies and the accusations in your own strength. It will only drain you and wear you out. – Jesus has won the victory for you! And it is a battle you do not need to fight over again against an enemy you can’t overcome in your own strength.
Jesus endured the cross, seeing the joy set before Him
Hebrews 12,1-3 in the bible portrays in a marvelous way how Jesus endured the shame when he was scorned and nailed to the cross to die, because He was seeing the joy that was set before Him!
He was hanging there with world history’s heaviest burden on Him, – but He was seeing something when looking into the future! He saw something that made Him hold on! His gaze was fixed upon the joy that was awaiting Him after his death, resurrection and ascension, – and that’s how He endured the cross!
But what about us?!
How are we to look beyond our stormy circumstances when we often do not know what’s going to happen?! The good news is that we do not have to know, – because Jesus knows! He is the one we believe in. He is the one who is victorious in every way. God will take care of us! That is why we only need to look up to Jesus, who is the finisher and perfecter of our faith.
Hebrews 12,1-2 says: ”.. let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus..”
And this is the key to retaining the peace of our souls: If you look to the storm on the outside, you will have a storm on the inside. But if you look to Jesus and believe Him, the storm on the inside becomes like quiet waters, and then you might find that Jesus is calming your outer storm as well!
As for next time a storm comes your way: Do not allow it to drag you into worries and fear, and entangle you in inner discussions in your mind against lies and accusations. All of this is built on unbelief and is done in human strength, – and it wears you out.
Rather, fix your eyes on Jesus and remain in the peace of God and in simple trust towards Him, even when you do not understand your circumstances. He has promised to provide what you need. He shall lead you. He will protect you. Trust Him and remain in his shalom, and He will take care of your storm!..
A friend of mine once told me: “We need to learn how to celebrate Jesus more and fight less ourselves.” It is in Him and in his finished work and victory we find both rest and salvation in every circumstance. – So fix your eyes on Jesus!..