Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror. But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come ahead.”
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!” (Matthew 14:24-30, The Message)
Over the last few days, I have been reading a 4-part devotional about the above passage. Usually when this verse is referenced, Peter gets a bad rap for becoming afraid and losing faith because he begins to sink. But recently I had been looking at this verse in a different light, and the devotional I read had some great points that reflected a different view of Peter.
1) If God doesn’t call you to do it, don’t do it! For something to be truly successful, we need to be sure that we are hearing God’s voice about a matter, and not just our own impulsive one.
2.) To experience miracles, you must get out of your comfort zone. The wind was blowing and the waves were crashing, but Peter still got out of the boat, even though I’m sure it would have been more comfortable for him to stay put. “God designed you to do more than simply avoid failure; He’s calling you to step out in faith and accomplish things.”
3) You must focus on the Lord, not the storm. Every new venture is full of hope…then come the storms and setbacks. Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials.” (John 16:33) Instead of seeing the waves, keep your eyes on God. Storms are to be expected; it’s part of the faith journey.
4) You must feel the fear and do it regardless. Growth requires taking on new challenges. Each time you do it there will be fear, because growth and fear go together. But each time you step out of the boat and onto the water without drowning, even if it’s just for a little while, you gain the confidence to do it again and again.
5) Failing doesn’t make you a failure, quitting does. Failure is just a part of learning.
6) The real failures were the ones who stayed in the boat. Peter might have sunk in front of an audience, but because he got out of the boat and tried, he got to experience the excitement of walking on the water.
I commend Peter for having the faith to try…to do what no one else in the boat was brave enough to do. I don’t know about you, but I’m seasick from my cruise called life. I’m ready to set my focus on God, climb overboard, and moonwalk on the water; to accept the challenges, and weather the storms, in order to truly live life to the fullest.
**Some content taken from “The Word For You Today” Daily Devotional.