And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. (Matthew 14:22-33).
Today's Morsel: Can you worship God in the storm of your life? As we look into the setting of this story, Matthew tells us that John the Baptist is beheaded; the 5000 are fed with 2 fish and 5 loaves; Jesus placed His disciples into a ship to send them to the other side while He goes up into a mountain apart to pray. Matthew records that when evening was come, Jesus was there alone. But the ship the disciples were in is now in the middle of the sea tossed with waves, for the winds were contrary (they were opposing winds, they were fighting waves that they could not control. They were battling the element that they could not do anything about). But notice, Jesus is observing and praying from the mountain top. Jesus is always watching over us. I wonder what He was praying? Maybe that they wouldn't lose their faith in the storm. We don’t get a time line for all that is taking place. However, we do know that it’s just before the break of day, the fourthwatch. Between 3-6 am. If you ever notice in scripture, when Jesus places his disciples in the boat to give them training, the storm always seems to arise when they are in the middle of the sea. It's never near the shore where they depart from, nor is it near the other side where they are heading. It’s in the middle of the sea. Deep water. It is like the place where you will have to make the tough decision. A place that will determine if you are going to continue on or turn back. But the writer of Hebrews tells us, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man drawback, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul" (Hebrews 10:38-39). The middle of the sea is a place that will make you or break you. The middle of the sea is a place of fear, because your life is at stake. It is a place of uncertainty. You don’t know if you will live or die. It's a place of perplexity. It causes confusion. It can even cause despair because when you don't see help and you start feeling hopeless. All these things get into your mind because you aren't sure if you are going to make it to the other side or not. This is what storms of life do and why God has designed such situations and circumstances to see if you are really who you say you are. Storms are designed to blow you, turn you, twist you, and rattle you, to see what you and your house are made of. A good ship will always take the storm head on. So my question to you is, can you worship God in the storm? If you can worship Him in the storm, your boat is in pretty good condition, and your eyes are set on the shore you are headed to.
Sing: Master, the tempest is raging, the billows are tossing high; the sky is overshadowed with blackness, no shelter or help is nigh. The wind and the waves shall obey Thy will, peace be still! Peace be still! Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea, or demons, or men, whatever maybe, no water can swallow the ship where lies, The Master of ocean and earth and skies, they all shall sweetly obey Thy will, peace be still! Peace be still.