Stand..When it Doesn’t Make Sense. [Scott Moore, Lead Pastor of Eastridge Community Church]
(Matthew 14:22-33) 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. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
Jesus proved to the disciples that he is GOD.
He alone has spread out the heavens and marches on the waves of the sea. (Job 9:8 NLT)
(back to Matthew) 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.
And now Peter does the unthinkable. He does what only God can do. Is Peter just bold, arrogant, or showing off? Either way, he had the FAITH that he could do whatever Jesus asked him to do.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. (John 14:12 NLT)
It looks like Peter is beginning to get it; he understands Jesus’s words are true.
(back to Matthew) 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.
IMMEDIATELY Jesus grabs him. He doesn’t let Peter sink just a little more..he immediately rescues Peter. He wasn’t teaching Peter a lesson..he was rescuing him.
“You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. (Matthew 14:22-33 NLT)
We must trust His way even when it doesn’t make sense.
Facts about following Jesus:
- Sometimes Jesus invites us to join Him in impossible and illogical situations.
After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. (Acts 14:21, 22 NLT)
“Having faith often means doing what others see as crazy. Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers.” -Francis Chan, Crazy Love
- Sometimes we falter and fail.
But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. (Galatians 2:11, 12 NLT)
Paul had to call Peter out because he was showing favoritism and fear. Peter was afraid of criticism so he didn’t show love and grace when he should have.
- The greatest miracles are in the darkest storms.
Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But not a hair of your head will perish! By standing firm, you will win your souls. (Luke 21:16-19 NLT)
Jesus tells the disciples that they will be persecuted. That following Christ will NOT be easy..but he will make sure that we are not eternally harmed.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35, 37-39 NLT)
So how do we trust?
- Remember..Jesus is in your storm.
What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:15 NLT)
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT)
No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. (Joshua 1:5 NLT)
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time. (Psalm 34:18, 19 NLT)
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NLT)
Am I a God who is only close at hand?” says the LORD. “No, I am far away at the same time. Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:23, 24 NLT)
He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. (Colossians 1:17 NLT)
- Respond to the invitation by getting out of the boat.
Comfort keeps us from getting out of the boat. We like the good life..the American Dream is attractive. No one WANTS to suffer. We want the good life.
Too much of the good life ends up being toxic deforming us spiritually. A lot of things are good by themselves but all of it together keeps us from living healthy, fruitful lives for God. -Francis Chan
- Reach out to Jesus.
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 56:3, 4 NLT)
Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock. (Isaiah 26:4 NLT)
Are you ready to step out of the boat?
Are you ready to trust that God will let you walk on water, and rescue you if you fail?
Here is a story about someone who has stepped out of the boat..Katie Davis..