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fearful child October 11 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Mark 4:35-41; Matthew 8:23-27; Luke 8:22-25; Mark 5:1-20; Matthew 8:28-34; Luke 8:26-39; Mark 5:21-43; Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 8:40-56; Matthew 9:27-34; Mark 6:1-6a; Matthew 13:53-58; John 5:1-15.

Overcoming our Fears

What do people fear? Loss of income? Loss of family? Failure? Sickness? Death? What do we fear? How do we overcome our fears? We will look briefly at several true stories of fear and faith and see what we can learn.

In our first story, Jesus is in a boat with his disciples. Suddenly a tempest arises, producing huge waves that batter it, and they are fearful of drowning. Jesus, however, is asleep on a cushion in the boat. Jesus was practicing Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you,” (NIV). He also fulfilled the prophecy in Psalm 91:9-11:

If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the LORD, who is my [the psalmist's] refuge--then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways, (NIV).

This verse does not in any way imply that we should tempt the LORD by creating disastrous circumstances (Matthew 4:6), or that we should not try to use the abilities and opportunities God has give us to deliver ourselves. However, we should trust the LORD in circumstances beyond our control. Faith in God leads to peace and even sleep.

In story two, Jesus drives out demons in a man and sends them into a herd of pigs. The demon - filled pigs then run insanely over the cliff of a hill, killing them. When the townspeople hear about it, they are amazed at the casting out of demons from the possessed man but are disturbed about the pigs. Perhaps, trusting in Jesus would be costly to their business. Have we had any of the same fears? It is true, trusting in Jesus can be costly, but the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:19 “... my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus,” (NIV). God can replace what we lose; He has riches beyond imagination. We must learn to trust that God is our provider in all circumstances.

Our third story has two scenarios. Jarius a synagogue ruler, has a daughter who was near death, and he pleads with Jesus to come and heal her. He was confident that Jesus could heal her. Hearing reports that she had died, however, he loses confidence. Who would not despair in such a situation? Mark 5:36 says Jesus ignored the report and told the synagogue leader, “don't be afraid; just believe,” (NIV). It is hard to have faith in God in difficult and dark situations. We are all glad for the man who had his daughter raised, but we know it is not always God's will to heal. How do we not falter in our faith in such circumstances? God wants us to trust in him in all circumstances. Either he will heal if it pleases him, or he will somehow else glorify himself and bring healing to those who are left.

On the way to heal Jarius' daughter, a woman, who has some internal bleeding, touches Jesus.

She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment, (Matthew 9:21-22, NIV).

God can heal if it pleases him. Ask him.

Other stories of the two blind men in Matthew 9 and a lame man in John 5 also speak of the necessity of faith to be healed. When we come to God in faith, he is pleased. For those of us who are parents, if our child came to us and asked us to do something for him but did not believe we would or could do it, would we do it for him? It is not likely that we would, for we would be offended. Unbelief is not only an offense to us; it is an offense to God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him,” (NIV). Do we believe that? Do we seek Him? Are our beliefs expressed in what we say and do? James says in his book:

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do, (James 2:17-18, NIV)

Lessons to live by: (Overcoming our Fears)

•  Faith in God leads to peace and even sleep.

•  We must learn to trust that God is our provider in all circumstances.

•  “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him,” (Hebrews 11:6, NIV). (more...)

•  Faith conquers fear and brings peace and confidence that God will work out all things for his glory and our best. Let's trust him. Let us move forward in our confidence in God.

Today's Bible Memory Verses:

Isaiah 26:3-4 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. (NIV)

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

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