Have you ever felt as if you were wandering alone in the dark, not knowing what disasters were waiting for you in the shadows or when light would ever shine again? The disciples encountered a similar experience with the treacherous sea storm in Mark 4:35-41. Even though they had Jesus at their side, they let their circumstances drive them to fear.

The storm set in suddenly. Not only did the disciples face the dangers of the rough waters, but they were surrounded by darkness as well. There were no life jackets. There were no lifeboats. They felt they were at the mercy of the great storm.

In a panic, they called for Jesus, crying, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38). Jesus got up and silenced the storm with a simple rebuke: “Quiet! Be still!” (v. 39). Then He asked the disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (v. 40). Through this traumatic event, the disciples plainly encountered the divinity of Jesus, which led them to place their fear and awe rightly in the one who is sovereign even over the wind and waves.

Many times, we want God to fix our problems instantly. We want the raging waters around us to cease immediately. Yet, sometimes God has a word for us. He wants us to deepen our faith and to grow in Him—to see Him with fresh eyes. He wants us to follow in faith—no matter how dark our circumstances seem.

Once Jesus stilled the storm, He informed the disciples that their fears were great and their faith was little. The relationship between faith and fear is like a seesaw. When one is up, the other is down. So when we allow fear to rise, our faith will decline. But the opposite is true as well. When we increase our faith, fears will fail, and we will soar in reverent awe of the majestic, omnipotent Creator, who loves us.

Prayer: God, in the midst of this storm, help me to grasp what You want to teach me. Help my faith to grow. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series Freedom from Fear: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.



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