Hello, there! I’m Christopher, which you should have known if you saw my cute little green logo. So, let me not distract you from the following post. I hope you like it! I’d love to hear your thoughts after you’re done reading it! Enjoy!
As I mentioned in my last devotion, we can’t be dead Christians. We must come alive and be doing big things for God and making a change in this world.
Doing things for Jesus is never easy. In fact, we will suffer for it. Sometimes those trials will test how faithful we really are to Jesus, but for the most part, it’s to increase our faith. But we can have assurance that God will be with us no matter what whenever those things happen. He’ll be walking with us all of the time.
Yet suffering is tough, Jesus knows what’s best for us. We’ll have to trust him and hold his hand and walk with him. No matter what, trust him. As a loving Father, he knows what he’s doing for you. Don’t worry.
Let us read of a time when Jesus decided to grow his disciples’ faith. “Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowed. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the winds was against it.”
It’s interesting to note that Jesus sent the disciples out into the lake, for Jesus most likely knew that a storm was about to engulf them. But he deliberately sent them out to strengthen their faith in him. So they were in God’s will. Warren Wiserbe said, “We must never judge our security on the basis of the circumstances alone.”
According to Warren Wiserbe, there are two types of storms: storms of correction, which disciplines us, and storms of perfection, which God uses to help us grow. Wiserbe said, “Jonah was in a storm because he disobeyed God and had to be corrected. The disciples were in a storm because they obeyed Christ and had to be perfected.”
No matter what, there is no such thing as “smooth sailing” in our walk with Christ here on earth. Jesus said in John 16:33 that we will have tribulation. It’s because the world hated Jesus, and thus hates it followers.
As we see, the waves are torturing the disciples, and the Bible continues to say, “During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.”
The Romans had divided the night in four sections called watches. So this time would be between 3-6 A.M. So, it’s a dark and stormy night and the disciples are quite afraid. Doubts and fears were probably running through their minds. Maybe they thought this would be their last boat trip. Maybe they wouldn’t see Jesus again or he forgot about them. The last thing on their mind was that he would miraculously intervene.
Another thing is that they didn’t trust that God, or Jesus, would save them from their predicament. The disciples didn’t fully believe in Jesus’ miraculous power yet, even though they just saw him feed five thousand plus people. The disciples didn’t really believe yet that Jesus really cared for them, even though they just saw Jesus care for a bunch of hungry people. This experience would be a constant reminder for them that Jesus does care.
Did you note that the disciples were struggling, and Jesus was coming to them? Wiserbe says, “He may not come at a time we think He should come, because He knows when we need Him most. He waited until . . . all human hope was gone.”
The disciples thought Jesus was a ghost because they weren’t looking for him. Plus, the ocean was thought to have evil spirits, so the disciples were obviously freaked out.
So Jesus has to reassure them that everything’s all right. The Bible says, “But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’
“‘Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.’
“‘Come,” he said.”
Because the disciples were quite freaked out, Jesus said “It is I.” But it could hold a deeper meaning, indicating that he was saying, “It is Yahweh; don’t be afraid.”
And Simon Peter believes it’s him. He wanted to be one who had faith to go to his master and not just sit there. This event would be very beneficial for strengthening this faith in Christ so he can become the Rock of the church.
The Bible continues and says, “Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’”
“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’”
Peter started walking toward Jesus, but then started to look around him and saw the waves and the winds and the storm. He started to lose faith in Jesus and started to sink.
Think about this in real life: you have troubles and Jesus comes to save you. You either can look to Him and start to overcome the storm, or look around you and worry and fret or even think about the world’s solution to the problem. For us to overcome difficulty, we must trust in Jesus. As we saw with Peter, we can never focus on two things at once. We must decide which must be our focus.
“After when they climbed into the boat, the winds died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’”
Did you notice that the waves didn’t die down right away? It died down as soon as they reached the boat. This point shows that Jesus doesn’t take the trial away from us right away. Instead, he will walk us through them. God will never leave us on our own. In addition, Jesus doesn’t just walk with us through the sunny days of our life, but he also walks with us during our stormy days. We can be sure he will help us finish what he started. The trial won’t last forever, but his help and love will.
Various situations we may go through our life may help strengthen us in our walk with Jesus or help prepare us for what’s to come. That latter applies to Peter’s position: this was a stepping stone for him to become the rock, the foundation of the church. Jesus had to test his faith so he would be ready for his ministry ahead of him. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “. . . obedience to Christ does not remove all obstacles to the completion of His will.” We must remember that if we are in God’s will, there still will be tough times ahead of us.
In putting his trust in Jesus, Peter learned how to totally depend on Jesus and not look at the things going on all around him. He was human and he looked around at physical things that were going on. And that didn’t help him. It takes time and effort to rely only on Christ.
As Christians, we are called to step out and do big things for God. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Because the world hates us, we will suffer. And we will have struggles throughout our life. But we can remember that God is with us, guiding us with each and every single step. And we can realize that we can walk through those tough times with him. We can walk on waves with him.
Hello again! I’m so happy you finished reading my post, and, boy, do I hope you liked it!