Today's verses are Mark 6:50,51: "...for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, 'Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.' And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded..." The disciples are on the Sea of Galilee. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a strong wind blew against the boat. The waves surged. The disciples rowed furiously against the wind. Out of nowhere, Jesus comes to them, walking on the water. They think it's a ghost! They cry out in great fear. They are terrified.
With great affection, Jesus tells them to have courage, to take heart. He tells them it is he who has come to them. Then he does something of extraordinary importance to calm their great fear: he gets into the boat with them. Please note this again. To calm their fears, he gets into the boat with them!
Throughout the Bible, God's antidote to fear is always his promised presence. In the beloved Psalm 23, God says that even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, he will be with us, his rod and staff comforting us. In Isaiah 41:10, God says, "Do not be afraid for I am with you. Do not fear for I am your God." Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he said, "Lo, I will be with you always, even to the close of the age."
The moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit enters our heart. He resides within us. Our hearts becomes Christ's home. Moreover, the Scripture teaches us that not only does Jesus live in us, we live in him. That means no matter where we are, or what we are doing, God is with us. This is not momentary. It's an eternal presence, a forever gift.
Do you feel fear today? Are you terrified for some reason? Is there some situation or circumstance that is overwhelming you? If you love Jesus, do not fear. He is coming to you, indeed, he is already in you. During this time of challenge and crisis, he is whispering to you, "Do not fear." He has climbed into your life's boat! He resides in your heart! He is with you!
The antidote to all life's fears is God's promised presence. It's one of the great gifts Jesus gives to those of us who believe in him and have accepted him as Lord and Savior of our lives.