Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Matthew 14:22-33 ~

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.

“Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him.

“You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

I love Peter’s personality!  Whenever I read the gospels, I am always drawn to him and that is mostly because I identify with his character.  He was impulsive, readily willing to follow, and fearful.  Those adjectives also describe me at times and this story in particular touches my heart.

It's so easy to say we have faith, and yet, difficult to follow through and show it.  Many times I feel God speaking to me and telling me to step out in faith, and like Peter, I don't hesitate.  I jump right into the water.  I show very little restraint in plunging over the side of the boat and following where the Lord tells me to go.  But also like Peter, I immediately look at the wind and the waves and begin to waver.  I see the obstacles and the "what ifs."  I start to doubt and distrust that I really heard from God.  And that's when I start to sink.  

In the previous verses, the disciples saw Jesus feed more than 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish.  They had seen him perform numerous miracles.  And yet, when they saw him walking on the water they were terrified.  When Peter saw the wind and waves he started to sink beneath the water.

I love Jesus response to Peter.  I can almost hear an exasperated but loving sigh in his voice as he points out Peter's lack of faith.   And so often we act just like Peter.  Why do we doubt the Lord?  Why do we think He won't do what He says?  Why is it so hard for us to step out in faith?

If God has called you to do something, then He will be there seeing you through.  If He is telling you to step out of the boat and walk on the water, keep your eyes on Him.  Don't look at the wind and waves.  Don't look at the obstacles or the reasons it can't happen.  Keep moving forward one step at a time.  Keep your eyes on Him and just keep walking.

I encourage you today to take God at His word.  Trust Him.  Step out in faith.   The wind will stop.  The waves will die down.  You will have peace.