Jesus said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
– Mark 4:40-41
The exchange in these verses occurs immediately after Jesus calmed the storm that had suddenly risen up on the Sea of Galilee. The storm was so violent that the boat Jesus and the disciples were in was filling with water. Even the fishermen among the disciples were freaking out.
Let’s make sure we have some context. At this point, the disciples had witnessed Jesus healing many people including a paralyzed man and a man with leprosy. They had heard him teach thousands with power and authority. And they had Jesus in the boat with them when the storm came up.
Have you seen God perform miracles in your work and life? Perhaps, like me, you’ve seen God fill your team with people who had skills even beyond what you realized you needed. Maybe you have experienced a dying relationship with a client that was suddenly resurrected. It might have even become stronger than before, and more fruitful for everyone. Maybe you’ve been in the middle of a downturn when an amazing idea came to you that led to a major breakthrough for your business – and you know it was prompted by the Holy Spirit.
Yet, how often do we face difficulties and give into fear? (I know I am guilty of this!)
As I was reflecting on this passage of Scripture, a couple of powerful points stood out to me.
Do not fear.
The Bible tells us not to fear about 365 times throughout Scripture. Fear puts us in fight-or-flight mode. It lights up the limbic system, which robs energy from the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain used for problem solving, but fear causes it to go dim. The limbic system is helpful when we’re faced with life-threatening situations, like a lion or a roaring fire. However, it can lead to tragic results when it’s running the show in the midst of business challenges. I find it fascinating that the disciples became even more terrified after Jesus asked “Why are you afraid?”.
Remember God’s faithfulness.
Do you ever reflect on the times God has been there for you? Several years ago, God led me to a new job that was much more suited to my skills and passions after I lost a job unexpectedly. Ten years ago, God led me to leave everything I knew and move halfway across the country to a place I knew very little about. In the process, God gave me a life beyond anything I could have dreamed. One way to dim the limbic system and light up your ability to think clearly is to remind yourself of all that God has done for you.
Focus on who Jesus is.
If we know deep down that Jesus is the Son of God, that he paid the price for our sins, that he loves us unconditionally and he will never leave us nor forsake us, is there any reason to be afraid? If we are still questioning the power of Christ, we need to study his Word more deeply. When we do, the reality of who he is, what he promises us and just how faithful he is will get into our souls.
Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit, the same power that rose Jesus from the dead, living in us. The next time you are tempted to respond to the storms that you face at work with fear, remember who Jesus is, all that he has done for you, and that he is right there with you. Then, trust that he will help you every time you turn to him.