The gospels give us two different accounts of Jesus on the Sea of Galilee. In the first (Matthew 8:23-27), the disciples are in the boat with Jesus when a raging storm comes up, threatening their lives. As the disciples are panicking, Jesus is in the back of the boat, sound asleep. When they wake Jesus, He gently rebukes them (“O ye of little faith”), then commands the storm to stop.
Which it did.
In the second (Matthew 14:22-33), Jesus sends the twelve out on the sea without Him. Again, the winds blow up, threatening to capsize the boat with the disciples aboard. Out on the choppy swells they sea what they think is a ghost. The “apparition” is no apparition at all.
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.”
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?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.Matthew 14:26-32 (ESV)
Notice a few things:
- In both instances Jesus was in the storm with the disciples.
- In both instances Jesus recued the disciples.
- In the first instance, Jesus led them into the storm, and stopped the storm immediately.
- In the second instance, Jesus bid Peter to walk through the storm. Peter was fine as long as he kept his gaze on the Lord. But, when he took his eyes off Jesus, Peter began to drown. When he cried out “Lord, save me!” Jesus did just that. Immediately.
- In the first instance, Jesus spoke to the disciples, saying “O you of little faith”. When He rescued Peter, Jesus repeated the phrase to him. And then, just as before, He calmed the storm. This should have served as a reminder to Peter about the first storm Jesus saw them through – emboldening their faith even more.
There is a lot to glean from these two passages in Matthew. But the point I’m making here is the simple / obvious one: we’re going to have troubles in our life. Circumstances are sometimes going to be ugly. Even when you’re far away from the relative safety of the shore, the LORD is in the boat with you. The wind and waves are under His control. Whether He stops the storm immediately or calls us to walk through it, He is there.
There is no reason to fear any storm in life. The LORD is in the boat with us. Focus on Jesus, not the troubles. Stay the course with God and know it’s all OK. It doesn’t matter how your bad your situation may seem, it’s all in God’s hands. Rest in that knowledge. Praise God for Who He is. And keep your eyes on God.