January 25, 2017, By Mary Ann Blackburn: In Matthew 14:22-36, Jesus sends the disciples ahead of him across the Sea of Galilee. It tells us the wind and waves pounded the ship they were on. Jesus went to the mountain to pray before walking across the water to join the disciples. They are scared when they see him thinking he is a ghost. We are all feeling the pounding of the winds of change as they blow across our political waters stirring up all kinds of waves of concern in our country. Peter, realizing it is Jesus asks to walk on the water and Jesus tells him to come! We have all been called by Jesus to “Come,” to get out and walk by faith even with the waves of life or politics around us.
It is easy to make the same mistake that Peter did and start looking at those waves instead of looking at Jesus. But as you read the rest of the scripture, you see that, as soon as Peter called out to the Lord, Jesus took his hand and helped Peter. Jesus said, “Your faith is so small! Why did you doubt me?” Would Jesus be saying that to you now? Are you trusting Him through the storms and the trials in your life?
I think it is worth noting that Jesus walked through the storm to the disciples, got into the boat, and then calmed the storm. I really wished the calming the storm part came sooner. I want the waves to stop and my world to be at peace… like now! Unfortunately, that is not how it works. When Peter got out of the boat, the waves were still coming. No wonder he would be tempted to look at them instead of Jesus.
What can we take away from the scriptures about how to walk through our storms with Jesus and His peace? First, we have to see that Jesus, who is referred to as the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6, took time to pray. Are you setting aside time for prayer every morning? Second, you will walk through the storm, but you can’t focus on the waves and trials. You must keep your eyes on Jesus and His word. You also must see that there are times you will start sinking. In those times, call out to Jesus and reach for His hand, because He will be reaching for yours! Lastly, we need to remember that Jesus is never far from us. He is with us and wants us to bring our cares and hurts to Him. The bible says in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
We do need to be in prayer for our country and the leaders, but Jesus tells us we do not need to be afraid. We can trust that our Lord knows and is using this to accomplish His purposes. When I feel stressed, I frequently take Philippians 4:6-7 and use it as my prayer guide to bring my cares to Him so that I can have the peace mentioned in verse 9 of this passage. Have a Blessed week!