Mark 4:35-41

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

What is the worst storm you’ve ever been through?

How did the disciples react to this storm? And what did many of them do for a living? (They were fisherman: 1:16-19.) So how strong can we surmise this storm was? (These seaworthy fishermen were accustomed to storms on the Sea of Galilee and this one must have been fierce for them to fear for their lives.) The pillow in the stern was a large bag of sand that was used for ballast to keep the boat steady as the men were working. It was typically covered by a wooden platform that would have provided Jesus with protection from the elements.

Is it possible to be in fear and faith at the same time? No!

Hebrews 2:14-15

14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Fear of death is the ultimate root of all fear. Whatever we are genuinely afraid of at its core, is a fear of something dying; a career, our reputation, our marriage, our relationships. All of it is rooted in the fear of death. That is the kind of fear that causes anxiety and torment. Fear and bondage go hand in hand and Jesus died to set us free from fear. Fear may to your door, but don’t invite it in for supper. Especially don’t invite it to spend the night. Fear will come in and take over. Before long, every decision will be based on fear instead of on your faith in God. “I would obey God, but….” Is an indication that you are making fear based decisions. That is why you cannot walk in fear and in faith. We also cannot walk in love and faith.

I John 4:18

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

“Torment” here is the type of fear that involves terror. Satan is the original terrorist. He would like nothing more than for you to be tormented by fear your entire life instead of walking in love.

Fear will make you do or say things you would not normally say if you had been thinking clearly

It would have been okay to say, “Jesus, save us” or even to wake him and say “Lord, help!” but when we start questioning the character of God, we know we are walking in fear instead of faith. When the disciples said, “Do you not care that we are perishing?” they were solidly in the camp of fear. So, you may ask, are you saying that we should be so fearless that we can play on the freeway and not be afraid? NO! We have to cultivate faith along with wisdom. Please don’t confuse faith versus fear with wisdom versus foolishness. That’s another matter for another lesson.

But what about the consequences? After all, isn’t a little fear a good thing? NO

When God repeats himself we need to take notice. In the Word, God says “fear not” “be not afraid” or words to that effect 365 times. I don’t think that is a coincidence. We have a “do not fear” for every day of the year. I think we should pay attention to something like that, don’t you?

It is a violation of the commandments of Jesus

(Matthew 6:30-34)
30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Fear can ultimately keep us from Heaven
Revelation 21:8 (King James Version)

8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

The word for fearful in the Greek here means to be full of dread. But isn’t a little fear a good thing? Do you see anything on the list in this verse that you would say that about? Really?

Jesus Christ has defeated fear for us! How can we walk in it any longer? In Matthew’s account of this story, we get a glimpse into the mind of someone who was, in all likelihood on his first boat ride. When describing the storm that came up in Matthew 8:24, he uses the Greek word seismos. It is where we get the word seismic, or seismology. The other two times Matthew uses “seismos” it is translated “earthquake”. This was an earth shaking event that “rocked his world’. The other two times Matthew uses seismos is at the crucifixion (Matt. 27:54) and the resurrection (Matt 28:2). It was at the empty tomb where Jesus defeated death, at the cross where He defeated sin, and in our story today, where He defeated fear.
What about the fear of the Lord? Isn’t that a good thing? Of course it is. Proverbs 9:10, as well and many other passages talk about the necessity of the fear of the Lord. But we can see the difference in that type of fear in verse 41. This isn’t terror, this is an awesome realization of who God is and who we are. And we obey our awesome God out of love, reverence an awe that he would first love us and save us from the kingdom of darkness and translate us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
1. The presence of the storm is not the absence of God!
2. You can walk through the valley of the shadow of death, because God is with you.
3. Fear the Lord, and you need fear nothing else.
a. 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

4. Dad’s story from the typhoon. A wonderful thing my father did was to write down his life story years before he died and give copies to each of his children and grandchildren. In the conclusion of those memoirs, he related some things that had made of great impact on his life. One of them was the following:

a. “The second experience has returned to me many times when I have been faced with a seemingly unsolvable problem. I think of the night in the typhoon off of Okinawa. I had fallen asleep in what seemed to be a hopeless situation. The winds exceeded 200 miles per hour, the waves were 80 feet high and the ship was rolling up to 43 degrees, and I was so seasick I had little desire to live! But I awoke to the most beautiful morning I have ever seen, or so it seemed to me. The ocean was calm and blue and sparkling in the early morning sunlight. I was told the storm had passed during the night, and we were sailing back to Buckner Bay. I resolved that from henceforth, though the night be dark, I would always anticipate the beautiful morning to follow. I also decided I could no longer place implicit trust in my knowledge of science, but realized that knowledge of science leads to the Creator of the Universe, and to His will revealed to us in His Word.

5. What are you trusting in? Are you walking in fear and without hope? Are you tormented or terrorized by fear? Jesus has come to give you liberty. If you want to be set free and walk through this valley with Him by your side, come today and be joined together with him in baptism.