One of the things that has fascinated me since I was a new Christian is the story of Peter and how He walked on water.
I had always, even before I became a Christian, knew that Jesus walked on water, but never a second person, so I was very amazed and encouraged when I learned of Peter in Matthew 14:22-33.
We see in verse 29,
“Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus”.
This was in the middle of a violent storm and all of the disciples were scared. Then appeared Jesus. Jesus quickly said,
“Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid”.
Jesus tells us so many times in the bible to not fear, or don’t be afraid but I have to admit, sometimes it takes a whack over the head to remember this!
There are a couple of things out of this scripture that I wanted to talk with you about today.
Has God taken you through storms?
Sometimes storms are necessary. According to weather experts, storms are a great way for the atmosphere to release energy and keep the Earth in balance. It might feel like for some of us at the moment, we are facing one of the most challenging storms ever – especially globally.
If you notice a little before verse 22, Jesus actually put the disciples in the boat, just like Jesus sometimes puts us in uncomfortable situations, on purpose, for our growth and development.
“As soon as the meal was finished, He insisted that the disciples get in the boat”.
What was it that Jesus wanted to do? What was it that Jesus wanted to show them?
God has certainly taken me through some storms and when this happens, my reaction is to bargain and start offering things!
“Lord if you get me out of this, I promise I will ….”; “Lord if you could just make this happen …”
Have you done the same?
Jesus put them in the boat as a test of faith. He wanted to see what they would do and whether they had the faith to walk out on the water with Him.
God is not contingent, God does not do things just to “see” what happens, There is a plan and a purpose for everything.
When we go through the storms and the trials, we often think we hear or have understood something incorrectly. We often think “Is that really you Lord because I didn’t sign up for this/that!” and we question that small voice – and think to ourselves “Well that can’t be God because He wouldn’t ask me to do this!” When in true fact, it is God seeing if you trust in Him, believe in Him and have the faith he has called you to have – turning fear to relief and revelation.
That’s my first point – God will put us in the storm.
The second is the power of “IF”.
“If you are the son of God”
“If it is you …”
Why do we ask this? Is it a protective measure?
We ask “if” because we are afraid – afraid to get it wrong, afraid that we can’t do it and need someone else to reassure us that it is okay.
Sometimes we need more than one word because we are so complex. For example, Peter asked for confirmation “If you are …” and the Lord says “Come”.
I think Peter wanted a little bit more than that! He wanted a “Yes Peter, I promise it will be OK, I have you. Just walk to me”.
And I get it! I want some encouragement from time to time and I want someone to say it’s going to be okay.
God is simple. God is direct. He is not a details God. He is the God of direction and maybe we need to ask Him for direction?
Peter walked on water because He believed. He had the faith to put his trust in our loving God. He had it!
Then it was gone.
Peter let his situation tell him “This is impossible. This isn’t happening! This can’t be done!”
God enables us but we always take over. It’s like we let God be our Plan B in case His Plan A doesn’t work. Like we have that security to say, “Ok well, I’m going to trust you until I feel you can’t or you’re going to let me fall, and then I’ll come back in”.
This is what Peter did. BUT he did walk on water.
I feel for Peter. I can relate and am encouraged by him. Peter gets things wrong and he is a representation of someone who is trying but then gets in his own way, and I can certainly attest to that. He says “No way would I throw you under the bus Jesus” but yet he did.
I’m not as bold as I would like to be. I am not a quick thinker. I need some time!
But Peter went on to preach the word to thousands and thousands and bought so many to God – and that is what I hold onto when I mess up. When I think – “you should have listened!!” or at the end of a situation have that light bulb moment when you say “Ohhhhh that’s what that was!”
Peter messes up, he doesn’t get it right, he had all the faith, but then it went … God knew it and still he wasn’t finished with him! He’s not finished with me, and He isn’t finished with you!
He’s not finished with you even if you are comfortable! God hasn’t bought you this far to just keep you comfortable. The word says we would have storms! And it takes a little faith or a lot of faith, but what if the harder the storm the greater the revelation?
We all know the opposite of faith is fear. Fear – forget everything and run or forget everything and rise. It’s your choice.
Where are you?
Sometimes I get so caught up in the test, I forget about the lesson. The test is the details, and if you know me I tend to get stuck there a lot of the time, but lift your eyes to the lesson.
Jesus told Peter to come. He hesitated. Even when he lost his faith and cried out to Jesus, he immediately was saved. And that’s what our Jesus does. He helps us when we struggle.
There is a site in Israel on Mount Sinai where they believe that Jesus went to pray before he was captured. This guide takes people up to the top of the mountain and shows them the very ground Jesus underwent his biggest storm.
What’s interesting about this is from this mountain when you look down, you can see where the disciples would have been.
Jesus would have been watching them sleep, even though they thought they were alone, Jesus was watching. He sees us even when we think he isn’t there.
And even when we don’t think we have the strength to move through and get through the storm, and we think our legs and body will fail … what can we do?
We can use our words and cry out to God just like Peter did. “Master, save me!”
Get your mind on His grace, get your mind on Him. Our faith is not measured by someone else’s faith, it is measured by grace.
What if I fall?
What if He catches you.
What if I fail?
What if you succeed.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.
You are not drowning, You are not alone.
It may feel like that from time to time, but God is there and He is asking YOU to press in.
Press into Him and be encouraged.
Press into Him and feel love and grace like you never have before.