And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Matthew 14:28-32
Our Victory Call today is a simple reminder to us both that what fills our vision matters to the peace in our souls. As we once again consider this year’s Keswick theme, Facing the future with confidence, let’s take a moment to pause and think about this very familiar story of Peter.
We often hear of the impetuous nature of Peter, how he often spoke or acted before he thought. In that regard I can identify with Peter. But, as we think about our Scripture today from Matthew 14, I also see another side of Peter.
Peter stepped out of that boat immediately when the Lord said “Come.”
He didn’t ask 10 follow-up questions.
“Really Lord, are you serious?” (I wonder if Jesus ever joked with the disciples)
“Should I take off my sandals?”
“Will my feet get wet?”
“Should I bring John? Maybe he should go first.”
“Can you come in a little closer?”
No. Peter stepped out of that boat with little thought about what would happen next. Could that not be regarded as faith? His immediate action to get out of the boat was based on his belief in Jesus.
When Peter got out of the boat he walked on water. We don’t know how far he walked on water but we assume his eyes were fixed on Jesus. Now humanly speaking, I can’t imagine he didn’t also glance down at his own feet because let’s face it wouldn’t we want to behold this miracle with our own eyes. I’m pretty sure Peter at least glanced at his own feet.
The Scriptures indicate that it was when Peter SAW the wind was boisterous he became afraid and began to sink.
When do we become afraid? When we are more focused on our circumstances and our surroundings than we are on the face of Jesus.
How do we face the future with confidence? By never taking our eyes off the face of Jesus. How do we do that in a practical way?
1. Be fervent in prayer
2. Rehearse the Gospel daily
3. Develop an awareness of God’s presence and activity in your life
4. Regularly practice an attitude of gratitude
5. When you find your eyes wandering to your feet or the wind or the water – go back to number 1
We can face the future with confidence by keeping our eyes and hearts and minds fixed on HIM.
Diane Hunt served for 16 years on the staff of America’s Keswick until recently when she and her husband relocated to North Carolina. She now continues serving as a contributing writer and Partner Care consultant. Diane is also a Biblical Counselor, speaker, teacher, and author. She delights in the opportunities she has as a women’s conference and retreat speaker to share from God’s word. Many of her illustrations are drawn from her relational experiences as a wife, mother, and mema. They are the very relationships that bring her the greatest joy and the most fun!