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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lessons in the Crisis

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!"

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

"Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:22-36‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus insisted. Yep. That's what it says. Insisted. Insisted that they get into that boat and cross that lake. Was Jesus not aware of the danger the disciples would suddenly face? Or maybe He knew but didn't care? Neither. He knew and He cared, but when Jesus sent His disciples anywhere, it was always for a purpose. There was always something He wanted to show them. There was always something new He wanted to teach them. And in this case, He wanted to reveal two things: 1) Their own hearts and level of faith and 2) Who He was, the Son of God. It took a major crisis for them to see the sobering reality of their serious lack of faith in Him. But it was also through this trial that they came out fully convinced of who Jesus was--which strengthened their faith!

Jesus hand picks what 'boats' He puts His followers in. No situation is ever for nothing. He is the great Teacher, and good teachers are always looking for opportunities to show their students something new. If the 'boat' you're in is facing a crisis, be sure to look for two things: 1) Jesus in the midst of it, walking toward you on the waves --revealing Who He is to you and 2) The lesson(s) He wants to teach you.

And remember, just as Jesus was able to get the disciples' boat to the other side, He is able to get yours to the other side, too.

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