Have you flipped a quarter off your thumbnail to see if it lands on heads or tails? Our raft high-centered on a rock in the middle of the most treacherous part of the Arkansas River in Colorado. The roar was almost deafening. The seven of us quickly did as instructed, but the foaming water pinched the end of the raft and flipped it like that quarter.
Suddenly we are gasping for air bobbing in the sloshing current. I grab the back of my daughter’s life preserver and yell to my wife that I have her. The wild ride finally ends in calmer water to be picked-up by one of the other rafts.
We had just finished a four-day mission trip teaching children’s Bible schools. We went from the high of spiritual victory to the defeat of a powerful river.
Jesus fed 5,000 with a boy’s lunch in Matthew 14. He then sends his disciples to cross the sea of Galilee by boat. Jesus goes to pray up on a mountain. Jesus sent them from this mountaintop experience right into a ferocious storm. Terrified, the 12 men lose control of the boat.
About 3 a.m. their terror grows as they see a ghost, they think. But it is Jesus walking on the water. He speaks: “Take heart. It is I. Do not be afraid.” Or … be encouraged, I am here, be fearless!
Peter asks to walk to Jesus if its really Him. Jesus tells Peter to come on. Peter walks on water. But fear of the wind and waves overwhelms Peter’s faith. He sinks. Jesus rescues Peter and exclaims, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” They both get into the boat. The wind ceases. The twelve worship Jesus.
Jesus knows when you are going into a storm. When you get there or maybe you already are there, remember, “be encouraged, Jesus is here, be fearless!” Jesus can enable you to walk above it and can reach down to rescue you from it. Jesus expects you to trust Him and not doubt His power over the greatest of life’s storms. Worship Him. He is greater than the storm.
This is part-three of my sermon series: Amazing Encounters with Jesus. Come Sunday for our Classic service at 9am or the Celebration service at 10:30am. Sermon videos are posted on Facebook and at BalboaBaptist.Church, click “Media”.