Keep the faith in times of storms, difficulties

Published 8:09 am Friday, March 20, 2020

With all the recent changes in our daily life, it is hard to look around and see the products of our faith that we have been carrying around. We talk of faith when we are up on the mountain, but most of the time it’s down in the valley of trials and temptation when our faith is really put to the test.
We seem to be going through a little bit of a valley here in our community and across the U.S. at the moment with our economy, our limited church services, and our small businesses taking a hit. IT IS IN THIS TIME when we build STRONG families and STRONG communities that ban together for the GREATER GOOD and not because the name on our church sign or what political party we stand for. It is a time when you and I, as Christians, will be able to shine some light in a dark, dark world. It is our job, but how do you shine when everything seems so dark at the moment.
My devotion from Tuesday night was in Matthew 14 just shortly after the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus took a little boy’s small lunch and fed the multitudes and even took up 12 baskets full of leftovers. In this passage, Jesus sends the disciples onto a ship and sent them before him. Now, when you send someone ahead of you, that usually means that I will meet you there in just a little bit. If you read over this passage too quickly you will miss the promise that Jesus made to them. He already told them that they would be OK and that they would make it to the other side. But, my how fast we forget what the master tells us to do. Sometimes, its an important decision that we second guess and other times it’s simply our stubbornness that drives us away from God’s will, and sometimes it’s just the storms of life that roll through and flip our world upside down.
The ship that the disciples were in began to get beat and battered by the winds and the waves. It looks like Jesus sent them directly into the storm while he went to get some quiet time with the father. The winds in this passage represent everything in your life right now that seems out of control and seems like the waves are over your head. These winds seem like they are trying to capsize your boat and drown you and everyone else that’s onboard and you have no means at all of taking control of the situation.
The Bible tells us that in the darkest hour of the night that the Master comes walking on the water in the fourth watch of the night. What a powerful message that is in our darkest times and our darkest days, the Master of the Sea, the one that created all things, the GREAT I AM is walking toward them. When they see him at first they are afraid, they didn’t know who or what causes the storm that was so bad. I think here we see somewhat of a small test of their faith and how much they believed. They had just watched Jesus perform one great miracle and the very next moment doubt sets in. That is just like many of our Christians walk, we see God move in a mighty way, maybe even a miracle that he has performed in your life or the life of a loved one and at the very next moment, we doubt God’s capabilities to handle our next problem. In verse 27, Jesus spake to them saying, “Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid.” He is saying I created everything why do you worry, even the wind and seas obey me. John 1:1 says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. God is everything that we need in each and every situation in our life. He was the beginning and created all things. When you need someone to fix something that is out of control, you go to the source. Jesus is the only source you will ever need in your life, whether storms in the valley or views from the mountain top, HE IS STILL GOD.
You probably know the rest of the story, Peter stepped out of the boat onto the stormy waters and was walking to Jesus until he began to focus more on the storm than the power of God. Peter began to sink as soon as he took his eyes of Jesus. The only way our current situation will overtake us is if we take our eyes off Jesus. Maybe you have already taken your eye off Jesus, the Bible says as soon as Peter started sinking he cried out to Jesus and IMMEDIATELY Jesus reached out his hand to save him. He is right there waiting on you to call out his name, he will save you. Maybe you have been torn to pieces lately and you don’t have this comfort and faith mentioned above. Verse 36 says once the people heard what had happen, it says: “And they besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.” It just takes one touch from Jesus and he can make you whole again in a world that seems to be torn to pieces. Call out to the Master and he will reach down and save you. I hope this was and encouragement. God Bless!!!
(The Solution column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, David Odom)

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