Fear, Faith, and You
In Matthew chapter 14 we have a real to life story of faith vs fear, a narrative unfolding in the life of the Apostle Peter, who is so much like the Christian found in you. Peter was in a ship with the other disciples, and that vessel was in a storm-tossed sea. The Bible tells us that there were some ferocious waves and some “contrary” winds (v. 24) during their “assigned by the Savior” (v. 22) sailing venture that day. “Contrary” as in “it’s aiming right at me, against me as an adversary” (James Augustus Strong). Those winds and waves were so powerful in intensity, that their ship was tossed (a word used to describe a distressing struggle, bringing vexation, distress, and grievous pain). And that which was affected those sailors on the outside is exactly the distress and fear in its effect bringing vexation on the inside. But, that’s not all to the story; and it’s a BIG BUT: All the while the storm was raging, Jesus was praying (v. 25), and HE knew the time was come for HIS ICONIC WALK ON THE WATER. It was perfect timing, especially when it was a time for his disciples to receive a “crash course” on faith, happening right after the visual teaching of faith by the Master as he fed the five thousand. You see, the God who feeds us is not limited to the physical needs of man, he desires to feed our soul as well, for our faith to grow. Jesus is teaching us to focus on faith, not fear, on HIM and not on the storm. By the way, this epic account doesn’t end there; there’s more to the story.
It was Peter who not only looked in faith to the Master of the sea and storm, but he desired to close the distance, as Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water. The words of Jesus do say it all, filling Peter with the “where-with-all” to meet up with the Lord “right NOW” in his coming to him, up close and personal. Jesus called out to them: “Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid” (v. 27). That’s all Peter needed for him to look away from the fear, and to ask Jesus to bring his faith alive by a special request: “Bid me come unto thee on the water” (v. 28). “And he said COME” (v. 29). Here’s the interesting truth concerning “fear, faith, and you” - “Come” is in the grammatical imperative mood (a command) in this story, meaning this for us: When we are at times “paralyzed with fear” in our storm, and so weakened therefrom, the Lord tells us “you have to come.” When you do, the One who walks on water will deliver you from that which desires to sink you. That’s exactly what happened to the only one who ever walked on water besides the Lord. In that water-walk, Peter’s faith failed when he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the winds “boisterous, for he was afraid, and beginning to sink” (v. 30). “He cried, Lord save me. And immediately, Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him” (v. 31). There is a powerful truth regarding faith vs. fear written here for you: Whatever is over our head, is under HIS feet! And what a beautiful end to this story, which brings a peaceful culmination to our stormy voyages in life: “And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased” (v, 32). That tells us that Jesus does come into our stormy ship as well, and when HE IS THERE, the winds WILL CEASE. Take heart dear saint of God, remember you are not alone in your storms of life. He’s there with peace to give to you, no matter what, because HE IS YOUR PEACE: “Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means, the Lord be WITH you all” (2 Thessalonians 3:16). Oh, get ready for his perfect timing in your life as he ushers forth the command; “Peace be still!”