Faith over fear
Thursday, March 26, 2020
Matthew 14:27-31 [NLT]
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
“We’ve never experienced anything like this before.” Fear of the unknown is one of our most basic human emotions. It’s a built-in survival instinct. Peter, the fisherman, had never seen anyone walking on water – let alone done it himself. He knew that water doesn’t support human weight – unless you are lying flat!! But spending time with Jesus, he had learnt that, however you might describe “normal life,” Jesus turns everything upside down. If Jesus encouraged him to walk on water, he would give it a go. And it worked.
For a start, anyway. But Peter’s rational mind began to work overtime. People don’t walk on water. This can’t be happening. Look at those waves! Calling out to Jesus for help was the very best thing to do.
Peter was no super-hero. Call him a realist. Circumstances got him rattled. Time and again he responded out of fear. His faith was “little” – but it was faith in Jesus. The God who created everything – has come among us in Jesus. And Jesus transforms every circumstance.
Its OK to be afraid of the unknown. But even fearful people like Peter can trust Jesus to see them through the dangers of life.
As the old song says: “Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea!”
God of the unknown future, I trust you for today and tomorrow. Keep me looking to Jesus for the strength and courage I need.