A well known song to many believers is a hymn written in 1922, called, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” The first verse of the hymn goes as follows: “O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!” Matthew 14 is packed full of the wonderful works of Christ. Following the account of the five barley loaves and two small fishes, Jesus constrains his disciples to depart in a ship while he remains in prayer, alone. The ship encounters trouble in turbulent winds, and Jesus comes to the disciples walking on the water. At first, they are fearful, supposing Christ to be some kind of apparition! But immediately Jesus speaks peace into their souls and identifies Himself. Peter, rather boldly, asks Christ to permit him to walk to Him on the water. Jesus allows this, and Peter steps down out of the boat.
What happens next should come as no surprise to any student of the Bible. Even the most casual of Christians have encountered the story of Jesus walking on the water. But what we often forget is that a mortal man did, too! Peter walked on water. He followed the Lord in obedience and faith, doing the impossible. For a little while his faith in God’s power upheld him. Though the winds prevailed, Peter was not swayed. But eventually he sank. Human nature prevailed over divine nature, and the glorious power of Christ. Not because the power of God is limited in any fashion. But because the unrestrained, unbelief of men, often inhibits the demonstration of God’s power on earth. With this in mind, let’s briefly consider some applicable truths from this section of Scripture.
1. Jesus knew the storm was coming. He was the one that sent them away in the ship! (vs 22-23)
2. Our God is always at peace, and a place of peace. In the midst of our storm He remains steadfast. In this occasion He was alone in prayer. In another, He was asleep in the bottom of the boat. (vs 23-24)
3. Our God always speaks peace to weary, troubled souls. He will not neglect us in the storm. (vs 25-27)
4. Christ gives power and grace to sustain us in the storm. We can either rise above the waves, or sink below them. Our faith in His power determines that outcome. (vs 28-30)
5. Christ always extends His saving hand to a humble soul calling for help. Some storms exist simply to prove us. But all storms should result in us giving to God. (vs 31-33)
A simple truth is that when Peter removed His eyes from the Saviour, and placed them on the troubles surrounding him, he began to sink. Immediately sink. There is no delay to our peril when our eyes focus on our struggles rather than the Saviour. Life is suffering. Life is hard. Storms abound. But we can and should withstand the tests by turning our eyes upon Jesus!