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What to Do When You’re Going Under

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”—Matthew 14:28-31

Whether you are four or forty, there’s nothing like a familiar and confident voice in the dark saying, “I’m here. There’s no reason to be scared.”Regardless of how many times you’ve been in a dark and unpredictable situation, hearing that voice can be the difference between sinking and safety. 

Matthew 14:22-33 describes a night crossing on the Sea of Galilee when the disciples got caught in a storm. Jesus had sent them out in the boat alone. Interestingly, about half of the disciples were fishermen. They knew how dangerous the lake could be. It’s hard to know who was more afraid, those who knew what could happen or those who were wondering what would happen. Either way, there was a boatload of nervous men on the water that night.

As the wind and the waves threatened to take them under, Jesus walked by—on the water! Without a flashlight on board, all they could see was a dim figure making His way through the swells toward the boat. Their fear of the storm may have paled in comparison to their terror over seeing a ghost! The disciples“cried out in fear.But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid’” (vv.26–27).

Peter said to him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (v.28).He apparently concluded, If Jesus says I can walk on water, I can walk on water. As usual, Peter’s mouth and actions were about ten seconds ahead of his brain. But Jesus said,“Come,” and over the side of the boat Peter went. Imagine his wonder when the water held him up—like a kid playing on a waterbed.

Peter was doing so well, “but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me’” (vv.29–30). What went wrong? He took his eyes off the Lord. He forgot the reason he could walk among the waves. And when he did, fear entered his heart, and he started to go under.

Has that ever happen to you? When your eyes were on the Lord, life was good no matter what was going on around you. But the moment you changed your focus to the wind and waves, you began to sink.

Where are your eyes today?

If you’re going under, it may be because you are looking at the waves (of your health or the pitch and roll of your retirement funds). Maybe you’ve been listening to the howling wind (like the voices of doom and gloom constantly heard in our society). Possibly you have been taking your cues from what others are saying and doing instead of keeping your mind stayed on Christ (Isaiah 26:3).

But you can do better. Like Peter, if you get distracted and start to sink, it’s time to call out, “Lord, save me!”

Journal

What storms, winds, and waves in your life are distracting you from looking at Jesus?

What’s usually your first clue that you’ve taken your eyes off the Lord?

Pray

Lord, I don’t want every storm to feel like my first time out on the water. Help me remember all the times You have been faithful. Forgive me when I forget the constant demonstrations of Your care. Forgive the way I’m prone to wander. Forgive me when I am easily distracted. Thank You for being as patient with me as You are faithful to me. Continue to guide me toward greater faithfulness on my part. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God
Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God 

5 CD Series Set - $35.00

What if you believed—truly believed with all confidence that God is with you? How would today go for you if you knew without a doubt that God is in control? What would be different in your life if you were sure God is watching and good? What would you risk if you were certain God is victorious? 

Just how would believing God’s promises change your life?  

Ask the greatest Christian you’ll ever meet if they hold on to God’s promises and they’ll all say yes. Believing that God will do what He promises leads to a great life. The greatest Christian you’ll every meet knows, treasures, and is resting in the promises of God. They cling to these assurances that God gives His people so they can walk by faith while they wait for Him to work.

So what exactly does God promise?  In this topical study of what will always be true, Pastor James MacDonald will explore five great and precious promises that God keeps. Enter into this study with anticipation and faith that the God who makes these promises is faithful and true... always true.