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The presence of Jesus: The antidote to fear and doubt

Mar 7, 2012, 3:08 PM | Article By: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

The tempest raged and the courage of Jesus’ disciples began to wane. Jesus, their master, had taken time off to pray - after dispatching the crowd. So He was not there with them, unfortunately. They must have been thinking what would become of us – abandoned to our fate at each encounter with the surging waves.

Jesus had told them to go to the other side, ahead of Him – as He had intended to join them later. Now they were in deep trouble and He was nowhere to be found. Haven’t we oftentimes been led to think this way? When the lofty problems in life show up or seem to get the upper hand; when things begin to grow sour and the Lord does not show up with His mighty right hand on time, don’t we panic? We cease to be ourselves alone in the boxing ring with punches flying from all angles as our opponent, the devil, seeks relentlessly to snuff the life out of us.

Whilst that may look like legimate fear, it was baseless. Jesus had asked them to go ahead of Him, meaning that He would join them later. In the worst of circumstances, why should the boat capsize if they were to meet? The One who created nature – the omniscient and all-powerful One - how could He abandon His disciples to die this way? What had become of their knowledge of Scripture? “… and call upon me in the time of trouble; and I will deliver you, and you will honour me.” Psalm 50:15. When we look at our circumstances and not at the One in whom we believe, they can easily get the better of us.

As the disciples languished over their fate, Jesus appeared on the scene walking on water. It was late into the night; tired and desperate they thought for a second they were seeing a ghost. They were frightened. Providential help comes and it is so overwhelming; we lose heart and faith at the same time. It would take Jesus’ comforting words: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Mark 6:50 for things to return to normal.

Whatever situation, dear reader, you may find yourself in and Jesus appears on the scene, take good courage, because He will attend to your case. He will calm the storm that is responsible for the circumstances in your life. He will bring you comfort and relief from all your troubles. It would be as if He was saying to His disciples: needless to fear, I am with you now; I will take charge.

I am not certain every one of them took Him at His word. However, it was not long after that Jesus manifested His power over matter, over His creation. As He entered the boat to join His brow-beaten disciples, the wind ceased. Did you get that? He did not utter a word; He only set His feet firmly in the boat and ever obstacle, every hindrance bowed. So will it be with you and me when Jesus enters our boat especially when it is at the point of capsizing. The situation will be redressed, and things will resume their normal turn. Our boat will rock no more.

Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, had been dead four days before Jesus – a family friend - turned up. Both Martha and Mary at different instances, in veiled protest, murmured: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died…” John 11:21. In other words, they feared that not much could have been done at that stage, because in the words of Mary the corpse had begun to decay, to rot. Well, who had the final say? Jesus allayed their fears in these words: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe?” In a way, He was saying, I am the giver of life to dead things – gone beyond repair.

What is it that is labelled dead in your life or surroundings that you consider irrecoverable and that you have settled to live with? Give it to Jesus and He will speak life into it with resurrection power. Where you see a dead end Jesus sees an opportunity to resurrect it. You need only believe that the God that trod this earth in human form can restore what death has deprived you of.

Imagine the look in the eyes of the disciples at the sudden arrest of the tempest when Jesus joined them in the boat. What’s happening here, they must have wondered? “Who is this man? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him.” Luke 8:25 That was their reaction in an other boat incident, after they had woken Him up from His sleep fearing that the boat was going to capsize. Any negative force or power that is making attempts to bring an end to your life prematurely will be dismissed and brought to naught - in Jesus’ name. Why? Any time Jesus is in your boat, you will smile at the storm. You will have nothing to fear, no giant-size obstacles will frighten you because Jesus will bring it down to size - at His word.

In both accounts, you will observe that the presence of Jesus in the boat and at the graveyard made the difference. The presence of Jesus in our lives is crucial for restoration, stabilisation and victory. Where Jesus is, His spirit resides there also. Nothing on this earth is more powerful than He is, because God has exalted Him and given Him a name above any other name. At His name, “Every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:11.

What wind of doctrine is blowing you offshore, and adrift? Who or what is conducting your life? What has taken centre stage in your operations? Put a stop to it now! Look no further. Accept Jesus now: Invite Him into the boat of your life as you sail through these stormy years and He would make a difference. It will be at no charge, no sacrifices, no rituals. There would be no prayers to offer. For your salvation all that is required of you is: only believe!