Summary: Peter’s doubt almost made him fish bait, but Jesus lifted him up and spoke peace to the storm. They worshipped Jesus after the Storm, but we need to worship him before the storms.

Fish Bait

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

By Pastor Jim May

Matthew 14:22-32, "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. 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. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased."

Be instant, in season and out of season: that’s what Paul commanded Timothy to do while he served the Lord as a preacher of the gospel. In another place he says it this way; “… be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you why you have hope in the midst of a hopeless situation, and why can you maintain an attitude of meekness in an arrogant world, and why do you fear, or reverence your God, when no one else even believes that God exists, and would just as soon forget about him.”

Yet God’s people are caught off guard so often by the storms and troubles of life. One day we are on the mountaintop and how soon we forget that on all sides of the moutaintop, the road ahead must lead downward, often into the valley of troubles. The best that any of us can hope for in this life is that the moutaintops get higher and last longer and that the valleys aren’t quite as deep.

As we mature in Christ, the valleys tend to shallow out and we don’t seem to get quite as shaken by every little trouble that besets us. Sooner or later, the true Child of God learns that there is a Heavenly Father watching out for them, and that he will somehow work all things to their good in the end. That’s the reason for the great hope that we have.

On a number of occasions, the nation of Israel, God’s own chosen nation, would find themselves in a position of doubt and fear because they lost sight of the ability of God to work all things out for them. How soon we forget the miracles when the next sickness comes along. How soon we forget that God has always met our need when we get an unexpected layoff at work. How soon do we forget that it is God that supplies our needs; not the banker, nor the boss on the job.

But the closer we get to Jesus, the less anything bothers us; somehow, it’s going to be all right. I don’t know how. I don’t see how. I don’t understand God’s ways. But I’m his child and he cares for me so I’m refuse to worry about it.

Sometimes other people mistake the one who has a nonchalant attitude toward life’s troubles for being someone who doesn’t care what happens to their neighbors. Quite the opposite is often true. If you pray for someone, asking God to take care of them, then let God do it. Why worry, when you can’t change a thing on your own anyway? It’s all in God’s hands, so leave it there and keep moving on. In his time and in his way everything will be fine. So kick back, close your eyes and enjoy God’s provision, then don’t doubt him.

Many times we worry ourselves sick over nothing. Some people walk around through life with a thundercloud over their heads, just waiting for the lightning to strike. Sometimes it’s a lack of faith. At other times, it’s a lack of understanding. But most of the time worry is a spiritual condition that is the direct result of not being close enough to Jesus and not truly knowing him as the absolute Lord of your life.

That’s just how we find the disciples one night as they were out on the sea without Jesus.

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