Freedom From Worry: Keeping Your Eyes on Jesus

by Jack Wellman on September 1, 2011 · Print Print · Email Email

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee

What is the most frequent topic Jesus spoke about during His ministry?  What was the number one thing that He addressed more than anything?  Was it heaven, was it hell, maybe it was sin?  No, the number one thing Jesus spoke about to his disciples and to us is that of worry.  We are more like the disciples than we might care to think.  Remember the storm on the Sea of Galilee?  The men were experienced fishermen.  They had seen many storms during their lifetime.  They knew that storms could suddenly come up unexpectedly and that they were dangerous and in some cases, life threatening.  Suddenly and without warning, a fierce storm arose and the waves began crashing over their boat and they thought that they were all going to drown.  But this storm was the worst that they had ever seen. Yet at the end of the boat or the stern, there was Jesus fast asleep.  They thought how could he sleep when they were about to perish in the storm?  They were out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee and there was no way that they could swim back to shore.

Matthew 8:24-27 describes the event: “Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”  He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Just before this event, the disciples had seen Jesus heal a paralyzed and suffering Centurion’s servant from a distance, seen Him cure a man of leprosy, cast out many demons from several people, and healed Peter’s mother-in-law.  Already they were terrified and worried that they were about to perish.  Yet Jesus is fast asleep at the stern of the boat.  The stern is the area of the ship where the boat is steered which indicates that he was in control of where that boat was going.  When they woke Jesus up, He then rebuked the storm including the winds and the waves and immediately it was calm.  During the fierce storms on the Sea of Galilee, often it took hours for the wind and waves to calm, yet at Jesus’ command, at that split second, all was calm.  Jesus rebuked the disciples too for their lack of faith.  And the disciples were terrified because they had not imagined that someone could make even the winds and waves obey Him.  The disciples had taken their eyes off of Jesus and were looking only at their circumstances.

Jesus Walks on Water, Peter Sinks

In Matthew 14, Jesus walked on water and Peter thought, hey if Jesus could do it, perhaps he could too but there was yet another storm with winds and waves and the little boat was being tossed about.  Read what happened in Matthew 14:22-32:

“Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.  After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.  Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It isI.Don’t be afraid.”  “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Once again, the disciples and Peter in particular, had doubts to Jesus’ ability.  Peter walked on water; truly a miracle but it only happened when Peter kept his eyes on Jesus.  The moment Peter looked at the circumstances; the winds, the waves, and the water, he began to sink and had to cry out to Jesus.  The lesson is that when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus he began to have doubts and he let circumstances terrify him.  But when he kept his focus on Jesus, he could do miraculous things.

Freedom From Worry

When we keep our eyes on Jesus we have nothing to worry about for He knows our every need.  During such times of uncertainty like job losses, home mortgage failures, stock market drops, recessions, droughts, floods, and sickness, Jesus is never caught off guard or caught by surprise.  He knows humans propensity to worry about things.  When we worry about the future we are borrowing trouble from tomorrow and ruining today.  Remember that I said Jesus spoke more about worry than heaven, hell, or sin than anything else?  It is because He knew that we look more at our circumstances than we look at Him.  But when we keep our eyes of Jesus, we know that we can depend upon Him for He is the God of nature, natural events, and yes, our circumstances too.   Matthew 6:25-35 should give us all the reassurance we need to know that He is always in control no matter what things look like.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Tomorrow is what keeps people awake at night.  We just can’t turn it off sometimes because we are simply not keeping our eyes of Jesus.  This may be because we are trusting in our own resources, our own money, and our own portfolio.  But there is no one who has more resources that the God of the universe.  Psalm 50:10 should remind us of Who has the most resources of all: “for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.”  When Jesus said in John 3:16b that “whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” the word “believe” means to trust upon, to rely on, to depend upon.  That’s what “believe in” means.  He has said that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5) and will never, ever caste us away (John 6:37), we must believe Him at His word.  The strength of your faith is only as strong as the object of your faith and since Jesus is God and God can not lie, He will not leave you orphans (John 14:8).

If you are not a believer, you have reason to worry.  You are cut off from God and Jesus can not help you at all.  So if you are concerned about today, tomorrow, and your eternal future, then here is the solution in which you can keep your eyes fixed and set upon Jesus for all eternity and have Him remain with you forever:

HOW TO RECEIVE & KNOW YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

Admit – that you are a sinner and in need of a Savior (Rom 6:23)

Abandon – your self-effort and realize that you can not be saved by your own works or efforts (Acts 16:31)

Accept freely Christ’s payment for your sins as required of the Father (John 3:16)

Acknowledge Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior (Acts 4:12)

If you have just received Jesus go to the link that says “Contact“ and please let us know so we can tell you what is next for you or how to begin reading the Bible.  We will celebrate with you as the angels rejoice over one sinner that is saved.  Let us rejoice with you.  And you can share this article or this four-step decision with others who need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.  How they can be saved for eternity and from all their worries.  Now you can rest assured and keep your eyes on Jesus.  I suggest that you now join a Bible-believing, Christ-centered church, or call 1-888-NeedHim (633-3446) for follow up questions about salvation that is only available through Jesus Christ.

www.youtube.com- “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” Alan Jackson



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