But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:30-31.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:
Jesus told you, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Be prepared that while you are still in the world, you will have tribulation, but in Jesus you can have peace. How? You have been made right with Me in Him—He has reconciled you to Me and made peace between us by the blood of His Cross and I have given you eternal life in Him. He is My gift of perfect shalom to you and He has made you holy and blameless without reproach before Me by bearing all your sins and the punishment due them in His own flesh. He gave you His peace, the peace of the righteous, so do not let your hearts be troubled, do not let them be afraid. And that takes faith. Say unto Me, “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust!” Psalm 91:2.
You may be wondering how you can have peace in tribulation but it really just depends on your confidence in Me. My apostle Paul describes tribulations for you of the type he had and yet he overflowed with joy and peace and labeled them as “momentary light afflictions,” “Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?” 2 Corinthians 11:24-29. And his conclusion, “You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it.” 2 Timothy 3:11. I delivered him out of them all. I have hold of your hand.
Days of Heaven on earth can be in the midst of tribulation. David sang, “Even though I walk through the dark valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and lovingkindness pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for length of days.” Psalm 23:4-6.
There are problems in this life, those from within and those from without. Those caused by you and those caused by others. The perfect man is the one who controls his tongue through all these and keeps speaking the result in My Word from beginning to end.
You need to become water walkers in the midst of the storm. And that is today’s miracle that we will discuss for bringing the Kingdom near you.
This miracle happens immediately after the feeding of over five thousand people with the multiplication of five loaves and two fish until they were fully satisfied, leaving twelve basketfuls of leftovers because of the abundance that came out of the lack. Jesus then withdrew to the mountain to pray alone after He had commanded the disciples to get in the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side of the lake. This miracle is recorded in the gospels of Mathew, Mark, and John, but the one who entered most of the details of what took place is Matthew.
So immediately after the people had eaten and the leftover fragments had been gathered into baskets Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. Matthew 14:22; Mark 6:45. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. Matthew 14:23; Mark 6:46. And John adds another detail about the crowds that had eaten the loaves and fish, “So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.” John 6:15.
Jesus spent time with Me. He had taught, preached, and cured people all day and then fed them with the miracle of the loaves and the fish. And remember that He originally went over to there to find rest and seclusion with His disciples after John’s beheading by Herod and the disciples returning from their apostolic mission to preach and heal. Now He withdrew in a time of prayer with Me. But He was mindful of His disciples even there.
The sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. John 6:18. As the evening advanced, the disciples’ boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. Matthew 14:24. Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night Jesus came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. Mark 6:48; Matthew 14:25. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, I AM; do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:26-27; Mark 6:49-50; John 6:20.
And then the disciple Peter, the fisherman who had left his business to follow Jesus, Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Matthew 14:28. He knew that it was impossible to walk on water, in all his years as a fisherman he had not done so or seen anyone else do so, but he saw Jesus was doing it so he wanted to experience it as well. And since it was really Jesus, He responded to Peter’s request and simply said, “Come!” Matthew 14:29. And that command carried the power in it to give Peter the ability to do so when he obeyed it. And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14:29. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:30-31. When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” Matthew 14:32-33. And Mark adds, “Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished, for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.” Mark 6:51-52. And John adds another miracle of time and distance, “So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.” John 6:21.
What took place was a change in the movement of the molecules in the water. This is similar to when I parted the Red Sea for Moses. The molecules in water, depending on how tightly together they are packed can form a gas, a liquid or a solid but it is always the same molecules that make up the substance of water, two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom form a water molecule. Jesus spoke to them so they tightly packed as He walked on the surface of the water and He did the same for that under the feet of Peter.
Peter however did not continue in the faith to hold that connection together. When he got out of agreement with Jesus by looking around at the temporal and seeing storm winds, he stepped off the firm ground of faith into fear and that put him out to the edges of the continuum where the water was flowing loosely as it normally would. He took his eyes off Jesus the author and perfector of his faith and put them on the physical circumstances and that caused him to sink.
Peter became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Which is one of the best and shortest prayers you can say to Me in trouble. Also, “Please help me,” is an excellent choice. I am your Savior and I am your Helper. And Jesus responded quickly. “Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:30-31.
He started out well but seeing the circumstances he drew back. “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.” Hebrews 10:35-39 – Hebrews 11:1-2. “Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4-5. And how do you do that? “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:5-7. And that is how to humbly live by faith. You have no anxiety about anything that comes against you or from within you but cast all the care on Me in prayer, coming confidently with your High Priest Jesus to My throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace just when you need it. And in his letter right after he tells you to cast your care on Me because I care for you, he adds for you to stay sober and alert to the devil’s tactics and resist Him. And you resist fear, anxiety, and troubled emotions by casting all the care on Me in prayer before My throne and then just doing whatever I tell you and casting out demons and taking your every though captive to the obedience of Christ.
Jesus reached out and took Peter by the hand and lifted him up out of the sea to walk with Him into the boat. “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24. For there is no snatching out of My hand. “If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.” Psalm 139:9-10. I have grasped you by the hand. “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you.” Isaiah 42:6.
You may be in a situation today, caused by you or others, where you are in fear and are being tossed about by the waves but cast your cares on Me and let Me pull you up out of the waters and put you in a beautiful open space. Let Me put you safe in My boat, as I did Noah in the ark. And the storm will stop and I will take you quickly to the other side, just as I did in this miracle of Jesus for Peter.
And a wonderful surprise awaited them when they landed on the other side, both Matthew and Mark recount what took place. “When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.” Matthew 14:34. Now if you recall from these Life Lessons, the miracle of the healing of the man with the demons (Legion) and the pigs took place in the Gennesaret and the people had rejected Jesus and asked him to leave. But Jesus had sent the once possessed “madman of Gadara” to the ten cities to preach in all the land of Gennesaret. And he did an amazing work of evangelization. For “when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick; and they implored Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured.” Matthew 14:35-36. And Mark writes the more of the same, “When they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore. When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to [ab]the place they heard He was. Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.” Mark 6:53-56. Yes, one previously demon possessed man who had been made whole and in his right mind by Jesus had converted the whole area to Jesus by his testimony of all Jesus had done for him. They no longer asked Jesus to leave, but begged Him to stay. What makes you think your testimony of all Jesus has done for you won’t change your whole nation? And with social media, perhaps the whole world?
I love you. Just call to Me and I answer you. Peter asked to walk on water and Jesus called him and he did, but he lost his miracle by doubt and fear. Hang on to all I give you and don’t back off. When I heal you, do not let the devil pull you back into your sickness or pain by fear when he tries to put it on you again. Demons try to return to the place from which they were cast out. Be aware of that and do not draw back. Live by faith and faith alone. Just keep running confidently to My throne of grace and casting your cares to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. I have seated you there in Christ already you might as well occupy your beautiful place of peace. Jesus is watching over you and will come to your aid even if He has to walk on the water to get to you in the storm.