In Matthew 14:22-33 we find a familiar story, and one that I think is very significant. Our Lord Jesus Christ had been preaching and, as usual, had attracted a large crowd. Five thousand men, besides women and children, had gathered to hear Him, and He not only taught them, He fed them all (possibly as many as ten thousand people) through a miracle of provision (verses 20-21). After He had fed them, He sent them away, and instructed His disciples to get into a boat and go ahead of Him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee while He Himself went up into a mountain alone to pray.
While Christ was in prayer, there came a terrible storm, and the waters of the sea became severely troubled. But in the fourth watch of the night (somewhere between 3AM and 6AM), He went out to the boat, walking on the water!
When the disciples (who were, I’m sure, already very concerned about the weather) saw Him, they were frightened, and thought they were looking at an apparition! Knowing this, Jesus said “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid!”
Peter—always the first to speak up, good or bad—said “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water!” So Jesus instructed Peter to come on out to Him.
Following Christ’s instruction, Peter proceeded to go out to Jesus; and to his amazement, he too was walking on the water! But when Peter saw that the wind and the waves were tempestuous, he was afraid, and began to sink down into the water. He immediately cried out to the Master, and Jesus stretched out His hand to catch him—and as Jesus caught him, He said “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
Jesus took him, and they got into the boat; and when they did, the storm immediately ceased, and they instantly went from being in the middle of the sea (Matthew 14:24) to being at their destination on the other side of the sea (John 6:21). Upon experiencing this awesome miracle, they all worshipped Jesus, saying “Of a truth, Thou art the Son of God!”
There is something very significant that I want you to see in this account; something that I hope will help you and give you strength and direction in times of trouble and sorrow. In reading this passage, I was struck with its familiarity and its relevance to our lives today.
You see, our Lord has gone up; and He has sent us out on the sea of life to face the storm. Although it may seem at times that we are alone, we are not alone, for He is ever mindful of us, and is praying for us. As the Bible assures us in Hebrews 7:25, He ever liveth to make intercession for us.
As long as we hear His Voice, and obey His Word, we will be on top of the troubled water, or, on top of the storm—the situation that troubles us—we will be on top of life!
When Peter followed the Master’s instruction, He was on top of the water, as troubled as it was. But when Peter took His eyes off of Jesus, and began to look at the troubled water all around him, he began to sink down into that water.
What He was focused on began to consume him!
It’s the same with you and I. You see, just as Peter sank into the troubled waters, we too will sink if we focus on the trouble that is all around us!
What we are focused on truly will eventually consume us! That is why we must keep our eyes on Jesus! Because as we are focused on Him, we will not be consumed by the storm, but we will be consumed by Him as He becomes more and more the center of our life! And when we are focused on and consumed with the central figure of all the ages, we will never be shaken!
Life is full of storms. What are you going to focus on? Don’t focus on the troubled water, and be consumed by it!
Live your life according to God’s Word. Keep your eyes on Jesus and put your trust in Him, and you’ll be on top of the troubled waters! Because right out there in the middle of all that trouble is the Rock of Ages; and He’s a firm foundation!