What are you afraid of? Some people act like they're not afraid of anything. Some act like they're afraid of everything. In fact, there seems to be a name for almost every kind of fear imaginable. The list below contains just a few:
Acrophobia: the fear of heights
Agoraphobia: the fear of open spaces
Arachnophobia: the fear of spiders
Claustrophobia: the fear of small, closed-in spaces
Hydrophobia: the fear of water
Mysophobia: the fear of dirt or germs
Nyctophobia: the fear of darkness
Ochlophobia: the fear of crowds
Schoolphobia: fear of school
Triskaidekaphobia: the fear of the number 13 (oh no, there it is!)
You probably never knew there were so many things to be afraid of, did you? There's even phobiaphobia, the fear of fear itself!
Everybody's afraid sometimes. But being self-controlled means learning to control your worries and fears instead of letting them control you. That's easier said than done, of course, but that's what God desires for us. And that's what he's able to do for us.
Jesus can calm your heart and mind, just as he was able to calm the raging Sea of Galilee (see Mark 4:35-41). He is able to quiet your fears and relieve your worries, just as he soothed the disciples fears that night long ago. The psalmist knew the secret of controlling worry and fear, which is why he wrote, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you" (Psalm 56:3, NIV).
That's the secret. Let the presence of God control your fear ... instead of letting your fear control you.
REFLECT: How did Jesus' disciples (in today's Bible reading) respond to their fears? How did they respond after Jesus calmed the sea? Are you ever afraid? If so, when are you most afraid? Which do you think is better: to control your fears or be controlled by your fears? Why? How do you think you can control your fears?
PRAY: "Lord, sometimes I'm afraid or worried, especially when...
Please teach me to let your presence and power control my fears instead of letting them control me."