Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: We need to keep our focus

Don’t Lose Your Focus

Matthew 14:22-32

22 ΒΆ And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.

23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.

25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

This is a story that many of us have heard over and over again.

Previous to this story, Jesus had been ministering to several thousand people who had gathered to hear his words and to receive healing for their various diseases.

Apparently Jesus had been ministering to them most of the day, for when evening began to close upon them the disciples suggested that the multitude be dismissed so that they could go into the nearby villages a purchase something to eat.

But Jesus had a better suggestion. Have them sit down on the grass and feed them ourselves.

Of course the disciples thought this was impossible since they only had five loaves of bread and two fish.

After all, there was about 5000 men there besides the women and children! Quite possibly, there may have been fifteen or twenty thousand people in attendance.

But Jesus took the five loaves of bread and two fish, blessed it and the people began to eat.

After they were finished, there were twelve baskets of fragments left over!

So then, after the multitude was filled with food, and then sent back to their homes, Jesus had the disciples to get into a ship and go to the other side of the lake, while He spent some time alone in prayer.

But there was a terrible storm that arose and began to toss their ship in the midst of the sea.

It must have been a scary storm, one of great magnitude, because verse 24 says, the ship was tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.

When they first left the shore it was fair sailing in the cool of the evening; but a storm gathered quickly as night covered the sky.

On the lake of Galilee the wind rushes down from the gullies between the mountains, and causes grievous peril to small boats;

sometimes fairly lifting them out of the water, and then

submerging them beneath the waves.

They were far from land, for they were "in the midst of the sea", equally distant from either shore.

There are times in our lives when we face storms and we feel the winds of doubt and fear, but it is when we are in the “midst” of our stormy sea that we fear the most.

Because when we are in the “midst” of the sea, we have no place to go, safety is so far away. Security seems so far from us.

That is when our faith is tested, in the “midst of the sea” of life.

Oh, things can be going so good sometimes. We are sailing on smooth waters, with a gentle breeze blowing in our faces, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere comes a storm of great magnitude, that threatens our little ship.

Sometimes those storms come right after we witness God’s greatness in our lives.

The disciples were on a spiritual high when they left shore that evening, after witnessing the miracles of the loaves and fish.

But little did they know that a storm was brewing over the horizon!

Often times we too witness the power of God in our lives, His glory, His greatness, only to face a tremendous storm the very next day.

Now, the sea was furious, and their ship was "tossed with waves."

This was no minor incident with scattered thunderstorms, and a 20% chance of rain with partly cloudy skies.

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