“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.””
Matthew 14:27-33 NKJV
Back in my days without Jesus, I routinely launched into ventures with no planning or foreknowledge. I was like a sailor going into uncharted waters, having no idea what I would face our any idea what to do if the worse happens. My mind was filled with a desire for action, conducted my way. My hope was only in me.
As one might expect, I would soon run into contrary winds, and what I had intended to be smooth sailing, soon became anything but. I would find myself horrified at what had become of my venture, and I found myself drowning in a seas of regret.
Reading through Matthew fourteen this morning, I was reminded of how the Lord sometimes places tests into our lives to remind us of our need for Him. Jesus had sent the disciples on ahead in the boat, and would join them. Just prior to this, He had fed the five thousand, and demonstrated His power.
He had ordained contrary winds for his disciples, while He went alone to pray. In the fullness of time, He went walking on the sea to meet them, demonstrating His sovereignty over all creation.
These men were fisherman, and very much aware of the tendencies of the sea, yet they fell into contrary winds, and the waves threatened. In the midst of the tumults came Jesus walking on the water. They could not count on their own abilities and instincts. Fear filled them.
“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.”
Matthew 14:25-26 NKJV
There was a belief that ghosts would appear signaling peril for sailors. They were fearful, until the Lord called out to them. Their faith was still weak, e even though they had just seen the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000.
Bold Peter, seeking a sign, asked if he could step out on the water. He did so, but soon sank when he took His eyes off Jesus.
Brothers snd sisters, let us stay close in the time of testing. There may be times when we feel like we are stuck in a boat, facing contrary winds. Let us remember that the Lord is there, even when we can’t see Him.
Let us walk by faith, reminded of all the times the Lord has delivered us, and live with confidence that He will do it again. In the midst of the most dire of storms, let us keep our eyes on Jesus and not on the circumstances that surround us.
The disciples were fearful until they could see the Lord, and even then they needed proof that it was Him.
May we be people who act on faith, seeking the Lord in time of trouble. Like the disciples, may the storms pass when Jesus is onboard.
Let us also remember that sometimes, the Lord ordains storms to test our faith. He sends us into uncharted waters, unknown to us, but nothing is uncharted to God.
May we proceed through each day confident in the foreknowledge of God, reading His word, that our faith be built up and strong.
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