When we look at the relationship Jesus had with His disciples, we see that one of His primary concerns was for them to grow in faith. What does it mean to mature in faith? It means learning absolute obedience to His Word. It means stepping out in faith, following His plan, and possessing peace in the midst of the storm, even if the circumstances do not make sense.

Read Matthew 8:23-27. Fear struck the disciples’ hearts as a furious storm emerged, heaping wave after wave upon their boat. Panicking, they ran to Jesus, who was asleep. “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” was Jesus’ reply before rebuking the winds and the waves (v. 26).

The disciples would probably have loved for Jesus to stop the storm first and then teach them a lesson. Instead, Jesus chose to demonstrate His power in a moment when they had absolutely no control. He wanted to teach them that faith always conquers fear and nothing is impossible for Him.

Often what we fear is a loss of control—yet it is only in our loss of control and total trust in Christ that we begin to truly grow in our faith. And that is what God is most interested in: the growth of our faith.

Many people are afraid of flying in an airplane despite the overwhelming evidence that plane travel is far safer than traveling by car. Standing on solid ground, we feel in control—but 35,000 feet in the air, we have no control. Our loss of control leads to irrational fear.

Many believers have a difficult time surrendering control to the Lord. Their sense of security is wrapped up in the illusion that they are in control. To compensate, they put their trust in tangible things—their wealth, relationships, or their own abilities—rather than surrendering control to the Lord.

In order to get past the fear of losing control and thus gain an everyday faith, we must treat faith like a muscle, and in order for that muscle to grow, it must be used. Faith must be exercised and acted upon.

Truth will not become operative in our lives until we appropriate it. There is no use in only saying, “I believe it.” Have you acted upon it? Have you taken a step of faith? Have you taken a risk of faith? Confess your trust in the Lord; then, think of a way to demonstrate your trust in Him today.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You are in control in every circumstance. Teach me to step out in obedience even when doing so is uncomfortable or inconvenient. Let my faith be evidenced by my actions, not just my words. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).

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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