Keeping your eyes on Jesus = Faith | Matthew 14:22-36

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[a] 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![b]
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[c] 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.
34 After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. 36 They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.

Observation:(What do you see when you read this scripture?)

Jesus has just finished feeding the 5,000 and what had started out as an attempt to spend alone time with His Father ended up in a compassionate time with the needy masses. The group was not small, numbering the same as the size of any town or village at that time.

The crowd has been dispersed and there is now time to spend alone with His Father. Jesus sends the disciples off in a boat to cross the sea and then heads up into the hills.

This is conjecture on my part but I see Jesus asking His Father for help in guiding the disciples for what must soon come. He has just experienced yet another display of their weak faith as they doubted the Father's ability to feed the crowd through Jesus and He knows that their faith in Him and who He is will be the key to their success after He is gone.

I hear the Father tell Jesus that He will set up another opportunity to help them (the disciples) with their faith...and then the storm happens. He understands the "mission" and is then sent to the waters to glorify His Father by not only helping the disciples in their desperate hour but by showing them what happens when you take your eyes off of the source of true power.

I see Peter, still stinging from his earlier display of faithlessness, zealously wanting to prove his faith to Jesus by walking to Him on the water. He does make it out of the boat and proceeds toward Jesus, but soon takes his eyes off of him and notices the "wrath" of the waves; thus being overwhelmed by the fear of his circumstances. He cries out to Jesus to save him and Jesus reaches out the minute he asks for help and grabs his arm to pull him up. Jesus comments on Peter's lack of faith and asks him "Why did you doubt Me?"

They climb back into the boat and immediately the winds and waves stop. The disciples are once again awed by a display of Jesus' power and they worship Him.

Apply:(How can I apply this to my life today?)

What is faith? Is it a feeling that can be mustered and bolstered by straining our wills? No, I don't think so. Faith is belief in the promises and the word of God; belief that does not bend and weaken under the stress of hard times or personal weakness. It is keeping our eyes on Jesus even when everything around us seems to be a storm of troubles and doubt. It is taking His hand and never letting go. Peter learned this valuable lesson on faith that day, and yet still had dark moments and doubts. He even later denies Christ! But, and this is the important "but", he did not stop believing in Jesus. His faith brought him back to Christ with full force and he became one of the great disciple leaders of his time.

Prayer:(Let the Lord know what your thinking)

Dear Father in Heaven,

I thank You that You have given us Your Word and Your promises that we can claim and hold on to during those dark times in our lives. Please help me to have that faith that does not let go, ever.

Thank You for all that You provide in my life. Help me to never forget that You are the source for all that I have. Watch over my daughter in Alaska and bring her back to us safely. Continue to help my son to grow and learn and break through his autism.

Be with me today at work. Help me to accomplish much and do a good job with everything that I do. Help me to share Your love with someone today. Amen.