Posted: Friday, January 22
Verse of the day:
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” (Matthew 14:27)
Sometimes we find ourselves drowning in overwhelming circumstances; bad news from the doctor, uncertainty about our job, difficulties in our relationships, or even financial hardships. We don’t always know how we are going to make it. The disciples find themselves in a similar situation, out on a lake in a life-threatening storm, and Jesus comes to them and says, “Take courage.” And He doesn’t just tell them to be courageous, He says, “I am here”. These are the same words that God used to declare His name, “I Am.” Jesus is saying, “Take courage because it is Me, God in the flesh. There is no reason to be afraid when you trust in Me.”
But wasn’t it Jesus who sent them out into this lake? These disciples have been struggling against this storm for close to 8 hours and they are only half way done on a trip that should have taken them only a couple of hours altogether. Didn’t Jesus know that a storm was coming? Couldn’t Jesus have saved them from having to face this storm at all? Why did Jesus even send them into a storm He knew would cost them so much energy, and exhaust them, and bring about this fearful response? I believe it is so they could grow in their faith. There are times in our life when the Lord is going to send us into the storm.
Maybe you feel like you are in one of these storms of life right now. Maybe in your life you are struggling just to keep the bills paid and gas in the car and now the bills are rolling in, and in the middle of all of this you think, “God wants me to tithe to the church?” We can feel like it can’t be done. Or maybe it seems like you have one medical condition after another in your home and it just doesn’t seem to end. Or maybe you are just exhausted from all the busyness of life. You’re straining just to survive and then something so out of the blue introduces uncertainty and you think you might die on the spot.