Why Are You So Afraid?
by Peggy Wunschel

Opening

Sing "Fight the Good Fight" (LW 299, TLH 447, LBW 461) or "Be Still, My Soul" (LW 510, TLH 651) or "Jesus, Please Watch Over Us" from The Other Song Book.

Fish photoWeathering the Storm

Seasoned fishermen know what to do when a squall comes up. If they are dozing, the first great gust of wind awakens them and they immediately begin to prepare their boat to weather the storm. Not being seasoned fishermen we can only imagine the scene of men rushing to tie down everything that moves. The waves crash into the boat and heave the wooden vessel upward only to slap it back down on the water. Rolling from side to side as the storm worsens and water floods the boat, tension mounts and fear sets in. The air is filled with the noise of men shouting directions, water crashing, winds gusting, thunder, rain, clanging sails, equipment sliding and banging into the other side. Who could sleep at a time like this?

Read Mark 4:35-41

What was Jesus doing during the storm?

What did the disciples ask Jesus?

How did He answer the disciples' question? (see v. 39)

Then Jesus speaks words that cut to the heart of every believer, Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? (v. 40)

The things that bring fear to our sinful hearts and minds are endless. Are you gripped with fear over an illness, a death, a loss of job, a wayward child, an addiction, a financial problem, a move, a failing marriage? Do these words of Jesus, Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? cut to your heart?

Fear will come upon all of us during our life on earth. Read the following verses to find ways we can respond to our fear and find peace during the storms of life.

Psalm 23:4
Psalm 27:1-3
Isaiah 41:13-14
Luke 1:68-75

The Word as a Weapon

Do your fears involve giving way to temptation? Jesus also was tempted.

Read Matthew 4:1-11.

What did Jesus use as His defense when the devil tried to get Him to sin?

What does this suggest for us?

See Hebrews 4:15-16.

What comfort and resources are mentioned in these verses?

Read John 14:15-20.

Where can we find courage to face our fears?

The Holy Spirit lives within us, giving us inner peace during the storms of life. Because of what Jesus has done for us we can, like Him, "sleep in the boat" while the storm rages.

Does a fear in your life have a strangle hold on you? Write it here as the first step in facing the fear. Then take your fear to the cross of Jesus. Let the Holy Spirit work through God's Word to help you overcome your fear, knowing and believing that God is in control. Then you can "sleep in the boat!"

Closing

Sing "Have No Fear Little Flock" (LW 410, LBW 476 or All God's People Sing 115)

Pray together:

Heavenly Father, You are aware of the fears that attack me. Forgive me when I focus on my fears and problems instead of on You. Help me to draw courage and strength from Your Word to overcome my fears by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, I pray in Your powerful name. Amen.

Peggy Wunschel is a Stephen Ministry leader at Immanuel Lutheran in Schleswig, IA and is currently on the National LWML Gospel Outreach Committee.