“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Why are you frightened? Have you still no faith?’”
Mk 4:40 GNB
Herman Stohr was a professor of political science in Germany in the early part of the twentieth century. His faith in Christ led him to advocate non-violence as a way of solving international problems. He was killed by the Nazi regime on 21st June 1940. The day before his death he wrote to his sister and said, “For me as for others it holds true that Christ has freed us from the fear of death, and that perfect love drives out fear. Perfect love – that is HE. And he may draw us all into this love. And once we stand within it, all suffering must vanish for us, and we shall partake of great joy” (K. Kuhn, Dying We Live, p185).
The life and death of Jesus Christ has inspired many believers down the twenty centuries since. They have faced persecution, being burnt at the stake, thrown to the lions, torture, slow painful deaths in the salt mines of north Africa, being shot by firing squad and many more ways. Christ has given them immense courage and has enabled them to overcome their natural fear of death.
The disciples were afraid even with Christ in the boat on Galilee. And there are many other factors that make disciples today afraid. Dying is one. Ill health is another. Loneliness and aging are others. So are the state of the world and the rise of other religions. Face honestly what your fears are. Bring them to Christ and confess them to him. Ask him for courage to face them and cope with them. Then go forward in quiet confidence and faith in him.
Lord, calm my fears and let me go forward with you and for you.