When God’s normal shows up

Published by Jason Shiels on

Read: Mark 4:35-41 – Jesus calms the squall with his worried disciples…..

Key thought: As stress, worry and unexpected outcomes kick in, God provides an opportunity for us to dial into His ‘new normal’.

V40 “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

It’s so interesting that Jesus didn’t ‘sooth’ in this moment. His reaction was strong and prophetic, addressing the underlying sin. Fear isn’t God’ plan for us, no matter how normal it may seem to us it is ‘missing the mark for which we have been created’ – that is: trust, God’s loving kindness, life-giving relationship, and more.

He wanted to address their customary reaction. In other words, what was ‘normal’. Although their response was typical by way of reactions, Jesus was bringing them into a new normal. In fact this was not just a new normal this was “true normal”!

Fear has become so pervasive in the way we live, yes and still seeps into the way I live too. Jesus allowed this squall and all its fearful reactions and he will allow and even send squalls for us too to address what’s really in our foundation. He didn’t give them, nor does he promise us, a bump-free ride in the boat of life! There will be squalls! Indeed, how else can he reveal the distinction of His Kingdom unless His people become different?!

Jesus had been showing his disciples the ways of the Kingdom. He had been working signs and wonders and was not hindered by the impossible. They saw this. They were with Him daily, yet when the UNEXPECTED happened – they triggered, and reverted to a default position:

Teacher don’t you care if we drown?
Why aren’t you afraid and why don’t you do something fast?!!!!!! They projected their fear onto Jesus and the situation! Have you ever done this to people around you due to your own fear or anxiety, I know I have many times!

It’s so common even for Christians to work with a life foundation filled with fear. Fear colours and distorts everything. It brings panic while Jesus is calm in the stern and resting! Jesus actually expected faith even in this moment and he expects faith from his people today too. He wants to bring us into a new normal where fear is far less familiar and normal to us…

So let’s not make peace with fear as our foundation. Let’s not make fear our normal! Fear is no friend no matter how familiar it seems. No matter how constant!

Jesus says fear is not true normal. Faith in God’s faithfulness and plan for us is better by far.

-Fear is not acceptable when we have Jesus in our boat!
-Fear may be our customary response but Jesus came to set us free from everything that the devil and the sinful nature have sown into our lives, such as, fear!
-So if we are full of fear it will be seen in our lifestyle – worry, anxiety, doubt, triggering, projecting etc.

Let’s not make this our normal. Let’s deal with fear and allow faith to secure us in God’s faithfulness, power and love.

God is with us in ‘our boat’ too – how?

His presence – believe this
His providence – his plans are in motion and we can rest in the outcome, He is in control.
His power – it’s easy for Him to overcome the storm we face, yet faith is the fuse to this dunamis (power)
His promises – we need simple child-like faith to trust his promises.

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