Thursday, 24 March 2022
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I: do not be afraid.” -Matthew 14:27
“Be of good cheer!” “Do not be afraid!” are words people would long to hear in our day—as the prevailing situations around us and in the world do not give us ground for cheer or hope. But the one who knows the One who gave these words of hope will be much comforted.
The disciples of Jesus were in the boat in the middle of the night crossing a rough sea, their boat tossed by the waves, with the winds against them. As Jesus walked on the sea towards the boat, the disciples could not recognize Him and were afraid. It is then He spoke the words: “Be of good cheer! It is I: do not be afraid.”
The disciples had enough reasons to be afraid: it was night; the winds were contrary and hence the sea rough; the boat being tossed by the waves, there was the danger of the boat sinking; their fear was magnified by what they felt was a ghost walking towards them! We too have ample reasons that can cause fright/fear to overwhelm us. We too may feel tossed by adversities, and in dire situations that try to drown us. We find no safety in the world we live in; various circumstances relating to our own lives often pave way for real and imaginary fears! But we have a lesson to learn from how Jesus responded to the fear-stricken disciples.
To the fearful disciples, Jesus gave them:
His Sure Word: “Be of good cheer! Do not be afraid!”- Most often that’s all we need to hear amidst the dismal, discouraging, disheartening words all around us. God’s trustworthy Word has been a source of strength and comfort to many down the ages—it is the same today! It is encouraging to know there are 365 Bible verses on “do not to fear” – each for one day! Take courage with some: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you….” (Isaiah 41:10); Jesus says in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you…. Do not let your hearts be troubled neither let it be afraid.”
His Assured Presence: The assurance of the constant presence of the Lord can give us comfort in fear. Notice Jesus said: “It is I!” If only we would understand WHO HE IS! It is He who is the First and the Last (Rev.1:11) It is He who flung the stars into space and “upholds all things by the word of His power!” (Heb.1:3) It is He the One by whom all things were created, that are in heaven and on earth; In Him all things consist (Col.1:16,17). He is the one who said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you!” (Heb.13:5).
Friend, what situation is overwhelming you that you cannot look beyond it, to see the One who stand taller, with His towering presence speaking His Sure Word to you? Don’t you see that the One who carved you in the palm of His hand has you on His heart always?- He does not take His eye off you and is holding you with His strong hands, lest the sea of trouble swallow you up! Would you cast your cares on Him today and trust your life in His constant care?
Act on it: “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me; he freed me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4 GNT]
Listen: ‘I cast all my cares upon You’