First off Happy Labor Day everyone! Over the weekend I watched the movie Son of God again with my girlfriend and my mother and during the scene where Jesus walked on the water I felt very moved. The simplicity and power of what God is teaching us with that story about how to transcend any challenging circumstances in our lives is truly incredible. I was reminded of a post we did last fall titled the Eye of the Hurricane: Staying Calm During the Storms of Life, and though I believe there was some great information and encouragement there, upon re-reading the story in the Holy Scriptures, I believe God revealed something even more powerful to me. To start, let’s review the account in Matthew 14:22-33:
22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
Now the first thing I realized upon reading this story again is that sometimes when we first see and have an encounter or experience with God in our lives it can be scary and we can respond with negative emotions. When we aren’t used to seeing God move in our lives in a powerful way, we first react to things we don’t understand with fear. But we must remember what the Lord says: “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
All throughout scriptures Jesus was teaching his disciples and followers how to live a powerful faith-filled life with experiences such as this, and I absolutely believe God still does the same thing today! Many times in our lives we are faced with what seem like insurmountable challenges, and heart wrenching trials and tribulations and our natural inclination usually seems to be to respond with fear, apprehension, anxiety and stress. However, the good Lord has clearly given us the power and strength to transcend any circumstance by putting our faith and trust in Him and His omnipotent benevolence.
I believe that many times we are faced with these storms and challenges in our lives not because we are doing something wrong, but often because we are doing something right. First off, it is clear that enemies don’t pick fights with people who don’t put their agendas at risk. So if you are under spiritual attack by the kingdom of darkness it is only because you have a big destiny and purpose for the Kingdom of God. Also it is clear that God will ALWAYS get our attention when he wants it and unfortunately often if we aren’t faced with any obstacles in our lives, many of us will attempt to conquer everything in life thinking we are doing it all ourselves, and thus separate us from our dependency on God.
Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Often we have to hit rock bottom before we start looking up, and so many of us don’t seek God’s help in prayer until we get to a point of desperation. However, if we have a genuine heart-felt reverence for the Lord we seek to put our trust in Him. We allow him to guide us through our storms and we are also more open to gain the wisdom, insight and lessons He is trying to teach us either by bringing storms and tests himself or by allowing the enemy to bring his attacks on us.
The rest of this story gives the key to the power God has given us to transcend any circumstances in our lives, simply put:
First notice that Peter asked Jesus for a sign that it was him, and when we are faced with the storms in our lives is it crucial for us to ask God if he is still with us and listen to what He has to say. Then notice that when Jesus responded to him, he answered the call, and he took a step of faith, even though it very clearly defied all logic and human reason. Most importantly notice the key; as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus he also walked on the water, yet when he was frightened by the waves, the thunder and the lightning he sank and was immediately called out for his lack of faith.
What a powerful lesson that we all can directly apply to our lives to Transcend ANY Circumstance. Keep our eyes on God, trust that he is with us during the storm and remember that there is a lesson hidden in those crashing waves and there is a transformational insight in the thunder and lightning that is causing us fear. God is trying to get our attention and if we keep the proper perspective and stay in faith, God can keep up above the water and allow us to not only make it through the storm unharmed, but actually come out on the other side stronger and closer to Him.
IT IS IN OUR DARKEST MOMENTS THAT WE MUST FOCUS ON THE LIGHT
I hope this has given you some insight to your life that can draw you closer to God and allow you to make it through the challenges that inevitably will come. Answer God’s call, put your faith and trust in Him and your life will never be the same!
May God Bless you Always,