God’s Hope for Your Heart from Matthew 14

JESUS WANTS TO CALM YOUR FEAR

In the fourth watch of the night [Jesus] came to them, walking on the sea.  But 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 heart; it is I.  Do not be afraid.”  (Matthew 14:25-27)

In the days of Jesus, the fourth watch of the night was a timeframe between 3:00 and 6:00 in the morning.  The disciples had set sail before sundown the previous day, and a mighty storm had been blowing all night.

It’s no wonder they cried out in fear at the sight of Jesus.  Every ounce of their being was being strained by this mighty storm and they must have been mentally exhausted.  Not only that, but they had no point of reference, no category by which they could have even conceived of a man walking on the water.

Yet, there was Jesus, strolling on the sea.

I find it so fascinating, so comforting to see what Jesus says to His disciples in this moment as they mistake their friend for a phantom.  He doesn’t rebuke them for not seeing more clearly.  He doesn’t berate them for not acting more bravely.  He doesn’t tell them they should toughen up, row harder, quit whining or get a grip on themselves.

He says, “Take heart; it is I.  Do not be afraid.”

He doesn’t try to make them feel like wimps.  He tries to help them see that He is with them in their fear.

He wants to do the same for you, if you’ll let Him.

Are you in a place of struggle?

Are you weary and worn, and perhaps a little prone to worrying right now?

Are you in a season or circumstance that you don’t recognize, in waters you’ve never sailed, challenges you’ve never faced?

Are you finding it hard to see Jesus in the tempest?

Take heart!

Just because the storm is unfamiliar doesn’t mean your Savior is uninvolved.  If you’re in Christ, He is with you and working and inviting you to rest in His presence.

He may not give you all the explanations you want, but if you put your trust in Him, He will give you all the peace that you need.

Whatever season or storm you’re experiencing right now, may your heart be lifted in hope as you respond to this truth: Though He may not always stop the storm, Jesus wants to calm your fear.

-Pastor Phillip


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