Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. 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 wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14.22-27 NIV)
In that last verse, Jesus literally said, “Be having courage; I Am; be not fearing.”
In these few words spoken to the disciples, the Lord Jesus speaks to us today. His faith-filled Word breathes new life into dying hope; imbues hearts with encouragement; and bolsters resolve even in the face of overwhelming odds.
Jesus Christ is saying to you today, “Live life having courage.” Live your life with an attitude of confidence. Walk, talk and live with your heart filled with cheer, joy, gladness, and rejoicing.
In the same sentence in which the Lord instructs to have courage, He also commands not to live in fear.
From a distance, Jesus tells His boat-dependent disciples – along with you and me, “Don’t live a life of hesitancy. Don’t cower in constant dread and apprehension. Don’t tremble in perpetual dismay, wringing your hands, watching the clock, fearing the worst, and wallowing in self-pity.”
You might ask, “Why should I walk in faith? When my world is crumbling around me, when I face overwhelming odds, when I see no way out, no light at the end of the tunnel, what plausible reason do I have to not be afraid? What possible reason do I have not to believe I will sink?”
Jesus gives the answer in two Greek words found in the middle of His brief sentence to the disciples in the boat. Jesus said, “I Am.”
In the push-and-pull battles of life; in the many struggles with the world, the flesh and the devil; in the difficult choices that must be made, there is one utter, absolute, unchanging, immutable constant: our God, the self-existent One!
Peter trusted Jesus enough to leave the “safety” of the boat and to go over the side. He trusted Jesus enough to begin walking on the water.
But Peter failed to keep his eyes affixed on the Lord. As he began to sink, Peter cried out to Jesus who immediately took him by the hand and asked, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Literally, “you scant-of-faith one. Why did you hesitate?” In other words, “Why have you scarcely applied your faith in Me, while you have increased your faith in the storm?”
Stop gazing at the circumstances that come your way. Shift the focus of your eyes, your mind, your heart off of life’s storms and look to Jesus who calms every storm, dries every tear, overcomes every fear, heals every heartache, forgives, redeems, loves and fills every life yielded to Him.