Thursday, November 12, 2020

Are you struggling with a storm in your life?


Photo by Nathan Hurst on Unsplash


Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash


Photo by Erik Hathaway on Unsplash

There is an old seafaring tradition that if the ship sinks the captain should go down with the ship. Now I will be the first to admit that I don’t know much about sailing, but that sounds like the stupidest tradition of which  I have ever heard.  I think jumping into a life boat and living to sail another day would be much better. Many people today are in danger of going down with the ship, and have the type of attitude that says, “Since the ship is going down, I might as well go down with it.” The storm’s of discouragement, despair, and disbelief threaten to sink us, but rather than going down with the ship we must find a life boat because there is nothing noble about a senseless spiritual death. 

In the Bible in Matthew chapter Peter’s example has much to teach us, about how to find this life boat. One night Peter and the other disciples were sailing across the sea of Galilee while Jesus stayed behind to pray. As they were sailing a fierce storm suddenly arose and threatened to sink their ship.  The storm was raging ferociously around the small fishing vessel and by all appearances twelve men were about to be lost at sea. However, something marvellous and miraculous, unexpectedly happened. Jesus approached the boat walking on the water. At first the disciples were frightened by his appearance, but Jesus comforts them by reassuring them that it is Him. Peter is unwilling to simply go down with the ship and wishes to go to his Lord, so he asks Jesus to command him to come to Him on the water. Jesus called Peter to come to Him and Peter stepped out in sheer faith and began to go to the Lord walking on the water.  


When we find ourselves caught in the storms of life that threaten to sink us Jesus will always come to us. However, He is not content to come to us but He also wants us to come to him. He doesn’t want us to go down with the boat and so He calls us out of the boat. How do we respond to the call of Christ? The key is faith. Like Peter, He calls us to step out in an act of faith. This act of faith will always be something that we cannot handle on our own. No secular sailor would advise walking on the water as a solution for getting caught in a fierce storm. The response that Jesus calls for requires both faith and action. Peter had to believe in Jesus, but if he didn’t act on that belief he never would have walked on the water. Like Peter, we must be willing to step out in faith when Christ calls us. 

 

The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall. Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the flimsy enclosures of life that entrap us. Sometimes it is true that we have nothing to fear but fear itself because fear is the absence of faith.   It doesn’t take faith to stay in bed and pull the cover over your head. It does take faith to step out of the boat and into the will of God. Every step we take in life should be an act of faith, not in ourselves or in our abilities, or in our own goodness, but in one who wants to be our God and Saviour.


Are you caught in the storms of life today?  Respond to the call of Christ and remain focused on His deliverance.  Peter boldly stepped out of the boat by faith and began to walk on the water to Jesus. But his triumph quickly turned to tragedy when his focus shifted from the Saviour to the storm and he began to sink. As long as his faith was focused on Christ, Peter was empowered to do the miraculous. But the crashing waves and the howling wind caused him to lose faith by losing focus on Jesus. As soon as Peter realised what was happening he immediately turned his focus back to the Lord as he cried out, “Lord, save me!” In response to this simple prayer Jesus reached out his hand and caught him and saved him from certain drowning and He can do the same for you today if you in faith say, "Lord, save me".


The way of salvation is explained clearly in the following verses from the Bible (Romans 10:8-13)


'But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved".'


Prepared by Messages with Meaning for 542Day

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