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Peace in the Midst of the Storm

Alan

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Matthew 14:22-33 “Peace in the Midst of the Storm.”

By Alan

 

“And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:22-33

 

The account of the Lord Jesus walking on the water is a wonderful story that shows us His lordship over His creation and loving care for His saints.

 

Before we begin this devotion, let me bring a reminder that the disciples in the ship were Jews and were familiar with the account of how the LORD God takes care of the saints; even on the dangers in the sea. “They that do down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.” Psalm 107:23 and 24 God, in either Testament, God is Lord over all of the creation.

 

The Bible is a wonderful book. The Bible is God’s Word and it gives us an understanding of God and His will for our lives. It also gives us peace in our hearts as we go through the storms of life and the hope of eternal life in heaven.

 

“... tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.”

 

In this world, all of us go through storms of life. We have physical, mental, and spiritual problems. We have fears in our hearts, doubts, wants, needs, and stress, in our family and work. Everybody has storms in their lives. The Lord Jesus wants us to have peace in the midst of our storms: whether those storms are physical, mental, spiritual, societal, governmental, family, or work related. 

 

What a wonderful story! This story tells of the power and majesty of the Lord Jesus. Jesus is truly Lord.

 

“... walking on the water.”

 

During the time of their deepest anxiety of life, the disciples saw the Lord Jesus walking on the water. Also, there was a very big storm on the water at the same time.

 

How was it possible for Jesus to walk on the water? Can you walk on the water? Do you know of anybody else that can walk on the water in front of other people? Did Confucius walk on the water? Did Buddha walk on the water?

 

Job knew, as the Jews knew, and as those who know their Bible know, only God in heaven, the LORD, can walk on the water. Job 9:8 says, “Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.”

 

Jesus could walk on the water because He is Lord. Colossians 1: 15-17 says, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Because Jesus created all things, He is Lord and has the power to walk on the water!

 

God, who lives in heaven, is invisible to all of us. The Lord Jesus is His only son. Jesus is the image of God. The Lord Jesus created this world and all that is in it. He created all of the things that you see and all of the spiritual things that you cannot see. The Lord Jesus created: the oceans, land, mountains, islands, our body, the thrones, or the governments, of this world, the angels, the Devil, or Satan, heaven and hell. All of the creation of the Lord is used for His purposes.

 

“Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”

 

The Lord Jesus can give us peace in our heart in the midst of the storms of life.

 

The disciples were on the boat and the storm was raging. They thought that maybe they would die. Some of the disciples were fishermen. The disciples knew the dangers of the sea. Also, they never had seen a person walking on the water.

 

The disciples had never seen a person walk on the water, so they thought that a ghost was coming to them. At the beginning, they did not understand what was happening. They were very scared. Then they cried out with fear. Like the disciples, so often in our lives we are fearful of the dangers in our paths and do not have a full understanding of the spiritual happenings around us.

 

The Lord Jesus said, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” The Lord Jesus does not want the Christian to have fear in their hearts.

 

The Lord Jesus also said in John , “Peace I leave unto you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

 

The Lord Jesus gives the Christian peace in our hearts. The Christian has peace in their hearts that only Jesus can give. Jesus gives the Christian peace in the midst of the storms of live. When a Christian dies, he knows that he will ascend into heaven and live with Jesus.

 

“Come.”

 

When Jesus spoke these words the apostle Peter realized that it was the Lord walking on the water. Peter had faith in the Lord. So, Peter asked the Lord if he could come on the water and walk to Him. Jesus said one word, “Come.” We need to come to Jesus in the storms of life!

 

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

Peter is a good example. In verse 29 we see how Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus. How did Peter walk on the water? Because of his faith the Apostle Peter was able to walk on the water. Faith is an amazing thing. We all need to have faith.

 

“Lord, save me.”

 

But, now we see that Peter took his eyes, his thoughts, off of the Lord Jesus, and looked at the wind and waves. Then he became afraid. Then he started to sink .That caused Peter to cry out, “Lord, save me.”

 

“Lord, save me.” All of us need to pay careful heed to these words of Peter. If you are not a Christian then you need to cry out to Jesus and say, “Lord, save me I do not want to go to hell. I do not want to go to hell forever. Lord save me! I am a sinner and deserve to die and go to hell. But, Lord, in your mercy save my soul.”

 

If you are a Christian, and you have taken your eyes and thoughts off of the Lord Jesus and onto the world and all of its problems then you need to turn your eyes on Jesus and say, “Lord save me.”

 

In the hymn book there is a song called, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.” The stanza says, “Turn your eyes on Jesus, look full into His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” Jesus is Lord and He is truly wonderful. We need to take our eyes, our thoughts, our actions, off of the things of this life and trust in the Lord Jesus for all of our needs and give Him our fears.

 

“O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

 

In verse 31 we read these wonderful words, “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

 

Faith pleases God but doubting does not. When we doubt, and criticize the Bible, and the things of God, then we displease God. The Bible, and all of the doctrines, stories, miracles, prophesies written therein, are to be believed and not doubted.

 

With very little argument, the greatest defender of the faith in the Chinese world was Wang Ming-Dao, July 25, 1900-July 28, 1991. Wang Ming-Dao is one of the best examples of the work of the scriptures in the heart of a Chinese convert. After salvation, as he was teaching in a Presbyterian mission school, because of his biblical stand to be immersed, he was dismissed in 1920.

 

Later on, in the beginning days of the Charismatic Movement in China, he openly taught against the Charismatic movement and denominational hierarchies. Wang Ming-Dao became known for his indigenous church work. From 1955-1980 he was imprisoned, twice, by the Communist government. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Ming-Dao

 

Through all of his intense verbal, spiritual, cultural, family relations, religious, denominational jealousy, and governmental persecution, Wang Ming-Dao maintained a rock-solid faith in Christ, doctrinal integrity, and inward peace through his personal storms in life.

 

Wang Ming-Dao said, 王明道「魔鬼敗壞信徒的計策很多,但最毒的莫過於使他們對神的話發生疑惑,因為這是根本的方法。」“Satan has many scheme’s to destroy the believer, but the greatest poisonous, and the original, method is nothing more than to cause them to doubt the word of God.”[1] The English translation is a free translation from the author.

 

The Lord Jesus saw that, without divine intervention, Peter would quickly drown and lose his life. But, until Peter called out for the Lord to save him Jesus did nothing. But, when Peter called out to Him then Jesus saved him. When we call upon the Lord to save us He will do so. “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalm 18:3

 

Many a person, in time of extreme distress, potential loss of life, war, accidents, and other physical dangers or spiritual dangers, have called upon the Lord for not only the eternal salvation of their soul, but for physical deliverance.

 

“Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

 

The Lord Jesus took Peter’s hand then both Jesus and Peter walked back to the boat walking on the water. Peter embraced Jesus! When they got back to the boat the wind ceased. When Jesus and Peter arrived back to the boat the other disciples realized the wonderful thing that Jesus did. Then the disciples worshipped Jesus. They said, “Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” As Job realized that only the Lord in heaven could walk on the waves of sea, so must we. The confession that Jesus was the Son of God was a confession that Jesus was the Lord from heaven and equal in attributes, character, power, and authority. Both the Father and the Son are eternal and worthy of worship.

 

Psalm 2:7 and 12, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee. ... Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”

 

In conclusion, we need to be like Peter and the rest of the men in the boat. We need to worship the Lord Jesus. Why not be saved today? Call upon Him in prayer and say, “Lord save me.”

 

 

 

[1] Wang Ming Tao, Treasuries of Wang Ming Tao, Volume II The Hard Road, (Touliu, Taiwan: Conservative Baptist Press, 1996), Page 256.



16 Comments


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Many times the storms of life are the catalyst that causes people to look to the only hope of salvation that can carry them through the storm. Peter is a fine example of Christian life experiences; though the storms of life may at times cause us to falter, our faith in our Savior God will always carry us through.  Ps 119:116  Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

Thank you for this fine devotion Alan; we all need to be reminded that He who created and upholds all things is more than able to hold us up amid the storms of life.

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What a blessing...and a very timely one too!  I had just read this account in Mark 6 this morning!  Yesterday, I had been praying specifically about some trials that I've been struggling with, and so I believe the Lord has comforted, reassured, and encouraged me with this account of Jesus in both Matthew and Mark today!  Truly....praise Him from Whom all blessings flow!  It's so very exciting to me when there is no question that the pecious Saviour has answered my prayers.  Proof positive...AGAIN...that He is ever there for me!  I'm praising Him for working in and thru you, Alan....to put forth this devotional!  I'm blessed beyond words, and greatly encouraged!  Thank you!

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9 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Many times the storms of life are the catalyst that causes people to look to the only hope of salvation that can carry them through the storm.

Jim is entirely correct.

The storms of life help a lot of folks understand their need of the help of God in their spiritual and physical well-being.

Once I realized my hopelessly lost condition, and the prospect of dying during my military tour, the storm of my life caused me to seriously consider the gospel of Christ and led me to salvation and to the peace in my heart that I needed. To this day, I am very thankful for the man who gave me a New Testament Gideon Bible upon my entrance to the Air Force, and three months later another soul winner who gave me a gospel tract that led to my salvation.

Jim, thank you very much for bringing out that thought.

Alan

6 hours ago, WellWithMySoul said:

Yesterday, I had been praying specifically about some trials that I've been struggling with, and so I believe the Lord has comforted, reassured, and encouraged me with this account of Jesus in both Matthew and Mark today!  Truly....praise Him from Whom all blessings flow!  

WellWithMySoul,

It is a blessing to my heart knowing that the devotion was a blessing to your heart in the time of your struggles.

The scriptures give all of us comfort, reassurance, and encouragment, in the times of our distress, trials of life, and struggles through life. The word of God is indeed a living word that helps us in time of need.

God bless!

Alan

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The peace of God is something which cannot be explained fully to an unsaved person. What wonderful comfort we have with the Holy Spirit indwelling us and comforting us (John 14:16). When physical, financial, familial, and all concerns seem to be overwhelming, the peace of God gives us such comfort knowing that Jesus has overcome the world, and that we, through Him, have overcome as well. We need to always bear in mind that this life (in corruptible bodies) is merely temporal (2 Cor. 4:18). Truly a speck of dust in comparison to eternity.  I would like to contribute to brother Alan's devotion by quoting 2 very comforting and powerfully assuring verses which have been a blessing to me throughout the years:

John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

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Ronda,

Thank you very much for your comments and welcomed addition to the devotion on reminding us of the wonderful promises of the Lord in John 16:33 and Philippians 4:7

Every saint is blessed in so many ways in this temporal life and in the eternal one to come.

Alan

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Brethren,

Hope you like the accompanying photo.

The Red Peacock Flower

or sometimes referred to the Red Butterfly Flower

the National Flower of the island of Barbados

Peacock Flower, Red, Matt. 1427.jpg

Fortunately for us on Taiwan, the Peacock Flower grows wild. The photo is for you to enjoy, is not copyrighted, so use it as you please.

God Bless!

Alan

 

Edited by Alan

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I just wanted to make another comment about the sweet peace that we can truly experience even in the midst of a storm.  Even though grievously wounded to the very core of one's being, our precious and beloved Lord Jesus is quite able and longs to grant us that heart-reviving peace that only He can give.  It matters not the depth of the wounds or the "fragile" condition of our shattered hearts...for those are the very conditions in which the blessed gift or fruit from the Prince of Peace is greatly enhanced.  Many a time with tears streaming down my face spilling over from my anguished heart, I've "gritted my very teeth" in thanksgiving regardless of the pain, and it was then that my dear Saviour has lifted me with that glorious peace that passes all understanding!  It isn't easy to be thankful while in the midst of a storm, but if we can direct and discipline our hearts to truly know and trust that HE allows each trial for our sakes and longs to work them for our good - it is then that the door is opened for the Spirit to work peace in the midst.  I long to encourage fellow believers with this truth, and to know that hope and faith will surely grow from the experience of it.

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5 hours ago, WellWithMySoul said:

Even though grievously wounded to the very core of one's being, our precious and beloved Lord Jesus is quite able and longs to grant us that heart-reviving peace that only He can give. 

Wonderfully said.

Thank you for your testimony. The Lord Jesus can truly give us peace in our hearts in the times of our distress and during the trials of life.

Alan  

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I think that so many Christians get caught up in their daily mundane activities that they fail to hear the voice of God. If God is our primary focus, and knowing that He is in control of all our circumstances and trials in our lives, then we can rejoice and experience the joy of the Lord even in the midst of all hardship and persecution.

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Daniel,

Thank you  for your comments. So often we let the affairs of this life hinder our walk with the Lord.

As your comments were a blessing to me I am sure they are a blessing to the other brethren.

Alan

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