Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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Pandemic Perspective – Part 143 Courage in the Chaos – Part 2

Matthew 14:22-33

22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” 28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” 32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

Not only does Jesus call and command but second:

2.         He prays.

Verse 23 tells us that the next thing Jesus did was to pray. I think He prayed for two reasons. First He was facing the same temptation He encountered with Satan in the wilderness when He was tempted to use His miraculous power to gain followers. So He called on His Father and reaffirmed His mission and marching orders. Second I believe He pray for his disciples, because even after experiencing His miracles they were still in danger of missing the whole point. He also knew the storm they were sailing into. Hebrews 7:25 reminds us that Jesus is still interceding for His followers today: “He always lives to intercede for them.” Jesus knows the trials and temptations facing you, he knows all about the tempest that is trying to tossing you around so that you will throw in the towel, and He is interceding for you so that you don’t flounder in your faith. When it feels like Jesus isn’t doing anything faith reminds us that he is faithfully interceding on our behalf. We can live courageous lives because we know that Christ is interceding powerfully in prayer. Third:

3.         He cares. 

Verse 24 describes the boat being several miles from shore as it was buffeted by the wind and waves. The Greek word here literally means that they were “tormented” by the waves. This storm was so bad that the disciples, many of whom were professional sailors, were not only fearful but were fighting for their lives. Now Mark 6:48 gives us a powerful glimpse not only into the deity of Christ but also His care for His sheep. It says Jesus “saw the disciples straining at the oars because the wind was against them.” Now I want to remind you of a difficult fact, it was Jesus who commanded them to climb into the boat and sent them out into the storm. And we may be tempted to complain and ask what kind of a Savior sends His sheep into a storm, but let me ask you if He had left them on the shore would they have survived the pounding storm of popularity and pride? Or would they have floundered and fallen away? Sometimes we get angry with the Almighty and we wonder why He would let us go through these severe storms, but if He had left you were you were you would have been swallowed up and you would have drowned on dry ground. We may not like the sea storms that Jesus sends us into and we may be tempted to think that we would be safe on the shore, but sometimes the deadliest storms are where we think we are the safest. There are at least two kinds of storms that you will face in the Christian life.

· Storms of correction. Like Jonah, sometimes the storms of life are meant to get our attention and call our rebellious heart to repentance. .

· Storms of perfection. Like the disciples, God allows these types of storms to build our character and to cause us to deepen our dependence upon Him so that we can flourish in faithfulness. If you let Him God will use the storms to strengthen your faith. Look there are only 2 outcomes either storms will strengthen or they will shatter your faith.

We can have courage in the midst of the chaos because we have a Savior who calls, intercedes, and cares.  What about you, are you focused on the Savior or on the storm? Our courage is not based on the absence of chaos but because of Christ’s presence in the chaos.