Dear Friends;
During these timed of uncertainty and anxiety, I am reminded of the narrative of Jesus calming the sea.  Here it is:
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.  And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.  And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing."  And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?" (Matthew 8:23-27 ESV).  
We think about the disciples hanging out with Jesus on a boat when a life-threatening storm erupts on the water. They’re unprepared to face it and, panicking, realize they might die. The entire time this is happening, Jesus is sleeping peacefully.  After begging Jesus to do something, He calms the storm… But not before asking them, “Why are you afraid?”  Jesus’ gentle rebuke over the disciple’s lack of faith wasn’t because they didn’t believe Jesus could save them from the storm, but because they struggled to believe He would see them through it.
When we find ourselves in storms we can’t control, how do we respond with faith?  Here are three encouraging truths for us to remember:
  1. Jesus has power over every storm.  If the wind and the waves don’t concern Him, then they should not frighten us.  We might not be able to change our situation, but we can choose to faithfully trust God in the middle of it.  When I’m afraid, I put my trust in You (Psalm 56:3). 
  2.  Fixing our eyes on Jesus leads to peace.  Are we looking at the size of the storm, or turning towards the One Who can calm it?  It is only by focusing on God, Who knows every outcome, that we can navigate any situation with His wisdom and peace.  Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). 
  3. Jesus is always in our boat.  It’s easy to focus on our fears when we can’t control our future.  But, thankfully, Jesus knows our future, and He is always by our side.  And He calls us to live by faith, not by sight.  St. Paul affirms, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
As always, if there is a need please let me know by cell, 412-721-5716, or by email, I pray that you all will remain well and that your hearts and minds would be comforted by the words of our Savior.
Alive in Christ!
Pastor Bill+

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