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Oceans Deep, Part 8

by | Jan 6, 2017 | Oceans Deep (A Mini-Series), Trials, Trust

Over the last 7 devotionals, we’ve been looking at the story of Jesus–and Peter!–walking on water. We’ve seen:

1. How God has indeed called each of us out upon the waters, into situations where ‘our feet may fail’! But it is there that we find Him in the mystery, and in the deep oceans of whatever our storm may be, our feet will stand;

2. That fear is a normal part of going through the storms of our lives, but if we take the time to contemplate God’s miracles, in our own lives–in the Bible and in the lives of those around us–when we enter our storms, we won’t be so afraid;

3. That Jesus doesn’t always immediately come and “rescue” us from our storms, and sometimes, though we may see Him in the distance, it is as if He is going to pass us by. In these circumstances we can hypothesize that His purpose in this is to grow our faith, to remind us that despite the storm, we are not alone; to show us that despite the wind and the waves, we can follow His example and walk across the surface of the storm;

4. That Jesus doesn’t wait until we cry out to Him in faith. He doesn’t even care if we don’t immediately recognize Him in the storm. The moment we cry out, however, whether in faith, in surprise or in fear, He responds with “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” We also saw that although fear is a normal part of going through the storms of our lives, it can be overcome by faith, faith that comes from spending time with Jesus, getting to know Him, experiencing personally His love and His miracles;

5. That although stepping out into the wind and the waves is a scary thought, when Peter did just that, he stopped bobbing along at the whim of the storm, and instead, he walked on the surface of it. When we’re willing to take that huge step in faith as well, we, too, will walk over the surface of our storm instead of bobbing along inside of it;

6. That God doesn’t penalize us when we aren’t quite ready to take that extra step in faith and abandon our safety nets. Nonetheless, the rewards of taking the opportunities He gives us to grow our faith are beyond comprehension, for it is only then that we, too, can experience the humanly impossible by walking over the surface of our storm;

7. Finally, we’ve come to learn that as we consider answering Jesus’ call to come out of the safety of the boat, we will only be able to walk across the surface of our storms if we keep our eyes upon Jesus. The moment we begin to doubt, however, all we have to do is call out to Jesus and He will reach out and save us.

We are all going through storms right now. For some the storm is called “Cancer”. For others it is financial difficulties, marital problems, work problems, and a host of many other possible things. I would like to encourage each of you right now to take a moment and contemplate just who in the story you can best relate to: Is it Peter? Or the 11 other disciples in the boat?

Let’s remember that our “boat” can be so many different things. It can be family, friends, oncologists, jobs, counselors, pastors, padded bank accounts, contingency plans…And let’s remember that God didn’t make the boat disappear when Peter got out of it; in fact, Peter and Jesus got back IN the boat! This tells us that our “boats” are not bad things. They are, in fact, things that God may use to get us through the storm. But God is calling us out. He wants us to put our trust in Him, to be 100% submitted to His will, no matter where that may lead. That’s what it means to come out of the boat.

Are we still clinging to the “boat” instead of to Jesus? Like the other 11 disciples, have you even considered coming “out”? Or are we like Peter, ever ready to get out of the boat, to walk across the surface of the storm, but the moment that storm doesn’t seem to be calming, we lose faith? Do we become distracted by our circumstances? Do we start to–sink?

Jesus is calling us each to come out of our boats, to put our trust in Him and Him alone, no matter where that may lead. He asks us to simply keep our eyes upon Him, no matter what happens to the wind and the waves of our storms. In so doing, He promises that we will experience Him so much more fully, and that our faith will be given so much more opportunity to grow.

In bringing this devotional to a close, I would like to ask each of you to take time to prayerfully mediate upon the song that began this series: ‘Oceans’, by Hillsongs United. As you read these words, ask yourselves what God is calling you to do. Whatever it is, I would encourage you to do it, and I guarantee that if you do, your walk with God through your storm will change. I can’t say how it will change, but it will change, and in the end, that change will be for the better.

Hillsongs United:

OCEANS (Where Feet May Fail)

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you’re my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Hillsongs United

But wait a minute…Getting out of the boat is such a concrete thing to do. We don’t find ourselves in boats in the middle of literal streams. Just what is our “boat” anyway, and how can we get out of it? Join us next time for a real-life example of getting out of the boat and walking on water in ‘Oceans Deep, the Conclusion’

In His love

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

(To access the entire “Oceans Deep” mini-series, please click here.)