Greetings again my Brethren.  Last month we looked at the LORD coming to us during a time of rest and this month we will look at the time when we most hope the LORD shows up or visits and that is when we are in trouble. Often we look at trouble as something that is bad and most times they are, but in the LORD troubles can be a good time for us especially if we have the wherewithal spiritually  to see what God is doing.  Have you ever heard the little hymn, “Count Your Blessings?  You know the one that says, “count your blessings name them one by one and you will be amazed to see what God has done.”  Well, my Bible teacher Charles Haun taught me a different way to sing this song. It went something like this, “count you troubles name them one by one, count your troubles see what God has done, count your troubles name them one by one and you will be amazed to see what God has done.”  Troubles my friend can be our servant if we have the spiritual wherewithal to see the work that the LORD wants to do in our lives through the troubles either the LORD allows or the troubles we get in through our disobedience. In either case God can and will use these troubles to work in our lives, through His dealings and judgments to conform us the more into the character and nature of His dear Son Jesus Christ, the LORD’s grand goal in our lives.  In Matthew 14:23-25,  we find a time when at first all was well with the world. A great miracle of the feeding of the five thousand men, beside women and children, just happened.  take heed my friend when all is going well.  When everything looks like roses and puppies, take heed God could soon be at work   So Jesus tells the disciples “to go before him unto the other side” while he sends the multitude away I guess they were still hungry and wanted Jesus to do another miracle. Ready read,                

“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. 23 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. 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.  (Matthew 14:22-25) So the disciples got into the boat and sailed off. And it looks like Jesus could not pray (see verse 23) with the disciples around.  But now the ship was in the middle of a good storm and the winds were contrary or blowing in the opposite direction.  And now about the “fourth watch” (from 3 am to 6 am, about sunrise) they see Jesus walking on the water.  Here comes the LORD for a visit to save them from the troubles of the raging sea.  This same scenario plays out time and time again with the disciples.  All is well with their world then suddenly they are thrown into troubles and Jesus saves the day.  I guess they never got it. Now do not misunderstand me here my friend the LORD is here if we need rescued, but the LORD put them into this situation for a reason.  And I would say Jesus wanted them to grow up and learn that they need to walk by faith and not by what they see.  Jesus said, boys, I will see you all on the other side, but did they believe or even remember His words when the storm arose?  No of course not. The story continues,            “And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I be not afraid.28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.”  (Matthew 14:26-32)  Now here is where I want to get to, with Peter walking on the water.  Jesus comes to save the disciples and Peter wants to do something religious and foolish like get out of the boat.  Why would you want to leave a place of safety and provision to go after the supernatural?  Saving Peter from himself was not in the plan, but Jesus had to take this opportunity to teach Peter and the other disciples a lesson. Peter asked, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.”Well, Peter just saw Jesus do a miracle.  How long has Peter been with Jesus? Does Peter not know what Jesus looks like? Oh no Peter had to do something (like us all at times) to where Jesus had to save him.  Of course we know the rest of the story. Jesus saves Peter from himself, they enter the boat, and Jesus calms the storm to the glee of the disciples. I am sure this story will be preached somewhere in the world this Sunday talking about how wonderful it is to walk on water, but that is not what Jesus said. After things calmed down Jesus said to the disciples, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” So the question I have for us is what will Jesus say to us after the trouble is over?  Will we be like Peter looking for the supernatural or will we be obedient and do what the LORD has asked of us?                 

         Next month we will continue to look at some circumstances in which the LORD has visited man as seen in some diverse situations. Do you see Him draw near? Please know God is near to them who are near to Him. Do you feel His presence?  Do you see His hand in your life? He is waiting on us to make our first move.  Written by David Stahl