These are the most wonderful words to hear. In the panic, in the most difficult state of affairs, in the middle of the fight, within the helpless disappointment of things spiraling out of control, these words will bring calm and reason in your mind.
You are out of harm’s way. You are protected. Always and everywhere – without exception or interruption. It is the truth. It is guaranteed.
Have you truly heard the Word of God?
…for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down, relax My hold on you! Assuredly not! (Hebrews 13:5, AMPC)
Permit the Holy Spirit to burn the Word of God into your heart and mind.
Most people who grew up in church would know about the stories in Matthew 14. Maybe familiarity renders them powerless. It is power-words from a miracle-working Saviour. After the picnic-feast for roughly 10 000 people (5 000 men – John 6:15), the people are ready to crown Jesus King and Messiah and live the political solution they have been anticipating for centuries.
Jesus sends his disciples away on a boat to the other side of the lake. Were they part of the problem? Perhaps. They were very aware of the oppression of Roman rule and this wonderworking man was their ultimate weapon of guaranteed victory. Jesus slips away to spend time alone in the mountains. He had to focus on the grand plan of which earthly kingship had no part.
The lake of Galilee (sometimes called the Sea of Galilee) is the biggest freshwater lake in Israel. The particular geological structure of Mount Arbel creates a wind tunnel through the Arbel Pass to blow up raging storms over the lake.
The disciples were in a fishing boat roughly eight meter long, two meter wide and one and a half meter deep. The measurements were taken from a recent archaeological discovery of a fishing boat on the northwestern bank of the Sea of Galilee. The boat could carry one-ton fish with a crew of five. Instead of the catch, the boat could carry ten passengers with the crew.
The night was divided in watches of three hours each. Jesus spent a few hours in the mountains and then walked around the lake to meet his men on the other side as agreed. By the fourth watch, He sensed their panic and came to them on the water.
In the mayhem of the storm they struggled against wind and wave. When they saw this figure approaching, they did not recognize Him. That is exactly what a storm in your life does. It blinds you to become aware of his presence. Darkness and noise hold you captive to the situation. Things are always worse in the night – true?
How will you recognize Jesus in your storm?
Precisely like the disciples recognized him! They heard his voice with these wonder-words of peace:
But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I Am! Stop being afraid! [AMPC]
But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” [The Message]
Jesus speaks clearly and direct. No niceties – straight to the point. He knows your fear and knows the way out. This is what He says:
He is the source of every possible miraculous solution for your circumstances. He does NOT calm the storm. He speaks first to you and your mind. The point is not the storm. The point is the recognition of his voice. He is there! He is present in the storm!
Hear the echo of 2 Kings 3:18:
And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord.
Faith in his words is the test. Nature will obey him. Faith is your choice. Will you obey him? The heart of the matter is your choice to believe him and obey his words not to fear.
The presence of Jesus elevates your situation from crisis-level to expectation-level.
What happens next? Oh, very good, you might say. Now that I recognize his presence, He will act on the situation.
Well, that is not how the story continues!