Matthew 14:28-31‘Lord, if it’s You’, Peter answered Him, ‘command me to come to You on the water.’ ‘Come!’ He said. And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’
Here we see Peter stepping out boldly in faith because of his trust in Jesus. He was focused on Jesus and knew that through Jesus enabling Him, he could walk toward Him, despite the roaring waters that separated them. As Peter stepped out in faith, Jesus empowered him to walk on the water. However then Peter became distracted by the crashing waves around him, and being consumed with fear and doubt, began to lose his focus on Jesus. As a result he began to sink. As he cried out to Jesus for help, Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed his hand.
What an amazing story!
We see the power of faith in Jesus at work, and the courage displayed by Peter in stepping out of his comfort zone. Could you imagine stepping out of the safety of the boat onto the roaring seas? This recollection of Peter’s bold step of faith gives us great encouragement as well as a firm warning. God will call us out of our comfort zone. It’s in His nature to, as supported throughout the Bible in the stories of Abraham, Moses, Joseph, David, Paul etc. He wants us to make the choice to follow Him, no matter the obstacles. That’s how we grow in our faith and learn to rely on Him completely.
It was about this time last year that my wife, Christina, and I felt God calling us to be a part of the birthing of Hills Bible Church. It was both exciting and very scary. Our son Caleb was the only child at the time, and there were no other children in the congregation. It would’ve been very easy to justify to ourselves to stay at our previous church so that there would be other kids for Caleb. We were in a settled, supportive small group. We could have easily stayed in our comfort zone. However God was clear that we were to do His work at HBC, to help build a church that faithfully taught the gospel message and nurture one another in God’s Word. So despite the circumstances, we chose to obey God and journey into the ‘unknown land’. There were plenty of early struggles, in particular when Chris and I lost our second baby. We felt isolated and heart broken. But even in our darkest times, Jesus reached down and held us by the hand. We persevered in focusing on Him despite our struggles and we were blessed with a new small group and a church congregation that continues to grow with it’s vitality and love for the Lord. What a blessing! Only recently another baby has been born in to the church… Caleb is not alone! And Chris and I are expecting our next child in march next year!
Step Forward Boldly
It takes courage to step out in faith, but we must continue to focus on the source of our faith and courage – Jesus. If we don’t, we will sink. It’s natural to be sacred and nervous journeying into the unknown, but courage is defined as stepping forward in obedience to Christ despite those fears. In doing so when we call out to Jesus, He will hear us and hold us by the hand, granting us the faith and strength to soldier on. What a comforting and reassuring promise! With Jesus reigning in our hearts, we can step forward boldly, knowing that He will help us on our journey and never let us walk alone. What blessings await those who don’t procrastinate, but boldly follow Jesus, no matter the obstacles that lie ahead!
Is Jesus calling you out of your comfort zone? What roaring waters are distracting you from boldly following Jesus? We mustn’t be surprised when we are continually challenged by the road that God is leading us on. It provides us with the awesome opportunity to display the power of God in our lives, and receive the blessings that God has for us. God gives us the choice to either follow Him, despite the storms that may lay ahead; or to stay put. What choice will you make? We will only discover God’s best by stepping out in faith and following Jesus. We only have one life to do it. Let’s not miss out on the opportunity to take Jesus by the hand and allow Him to lead us according to God’s good plan for us!