Faith Overpowers Fear
Peter and Jesus walked hand in hand upon the water. They climbed into the boat as the wind howled and waves slammed against the hull. Peter overcame fear by placing all his faith in Jesus. Perhaps his faith inspired the rest of the disciples. Suddenly the disciples’ faith overpowered their fear and worship arose. The fruit of faith was worship. The fruit of worship was revelation: “Truly, You are the Son of God.”
Faith creates fruit. Fear kills fruit. Jesus explained this in the parable of the sower and the seed. “The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the Word, but the worries of this life…choke the Word, making it unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22) Worries and fears are like thorns threatening to encircle and destroy. These thorns are only overpowered by faith. Though fear may come, faith will overcome.
A church planting team in the Philippines could have been choked by fear and their work destroyed. They had chosen a poor, crime-ridden community for their evangelistic Bible stories. This was the place where many unreached tribal people settled as they came from the surrounding mountains. The team knew the dangers but believed God wanted to bring transformation to the people and their community.
One terrible morning a young married couple was unusually late to the team meeting. Two coworkers were sent to their house to remind them of the meeting. Something was wrong—there was blood at the doorway. Opening the door, they discovered the couple had been brutally murdered. Shock, horror, sorrow, mourning, pain, and defeat were only a fraction of what they all faced through this intense storm.
Like Peter, they cried to Jesus. Before long, YWAMers and churches across the world cried out too. This church-planting team chose not to allow fear to paralyze. Taking Jesus by the hand, the team walked through a time of healing. Eventually, two members of the team agreed to go back into the community and restart the Bible stories.
As they walked down the road, one turned to the other, saying, “I’m afraid.” His friend answered, “Me too.” Yet they continued walking.
Melchor, a young tribal man watched with surprise from a distance. Until now, he had been resisting the message of the Gospel. “What courage. What faith,” he thought. Their example penetrated his heart and he too reached out to Jesus. In the years ahead, Melchor became a wonderfully fruitful, pioneer church planter among an unreached tribe. Once, as I visited him in the rice-terraced mountains, Melchor joyfully told me of the day he baptized 50 families in a river.
Overcoming worry and fear is key to bearing supernatural fruit, even “a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.” (Matt 13:23)
Personal questions to consider:
1. There are “worries of this life.” What are your worries?
2. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus commands three times, “Do not worry…do not worry…do not worry….” What do you do to obey His command to not worry?
Pray for the frontline workers to:
1. List any “worries of life” which are troubling them.
2. Obey Jesus, stop worrying, and bring their burdens to Him. That their example of faith will inspire those who see their lives.