It is I; be not afraid
‘Be of good cheer; it is I, be not afraid.’ Matthew 14:27
We all have our favourite texts and portions of Scripture and I have to confess that this is one of mine. I have grown to love this text because of the assurance of comfort it provides. When things are going well with us and we are ‘on a roll’ then we do not take much notice of texts like these. It is a different story for those brothers and sisters who may be going through the mill at this time.
No matter what we may be going through in our lives, if we can accept wholeheartedly that ‘it is the Lord,’ then we can go through anything. ‘One man and God is a mighty army!’ With God on our side what do we need to fear?
It is worth noting that these experienced fishermen were really scared! Darkness surrounded them and the wind and waves were against them. What chance did they have of getting safely to shore? What makes this even more remarkable is the fact that they are caught in such a storm at the Master’s request! The Lord commanded them to go over to the other side. They were doing God’s Will!
It may be hard for some to grasp that God would lead His children into darkness and storms, but that is often the case. We are pupils in the School of Faith and there are many precious lessons that our Good Master would have us learn. He is a wonderful and patient Teacher and never leads us where His grace cannot keep us. He watches over us each moment with tender care, ready to stretch forth His hand in love should it prove necessary.
The trials He sends us are indeed blessings sent in disguise. Each one is measured for the recipient. We shall not be tested above that which we can bear. Sometimes though we think we know better than the Good Master as to just how much we can bear!!!
I have been aware of a consistency with each trial the Lord has put me through. There is always a measure of darkness. I pray but it seems as though the heavens are brass or God has turned His ear away from my cries. There is loneliness and this can be the case even when surrounded by family and friends. Why? They may not have a clue as to what we are experiencing in our soul and we find it impossible to explain to them.
There is the feeling of hopelessness and shame. Hopelessness because we soon realise that we are in a position that requires Divine deliverance. Shame comes from the ever present sin of unbelief which seems to magnify daily! The faith we seemed to have when things were going smoothly for us seems to have vanished completely! Questions arise in our hearts and anxious thoughts over our standing before God. Am I His or am I not?
As parents we want the best education possible for our children and Our Father in heaven is no different. We have lessons to learn and the sooner we start to acknowledge His hand in all our ways, the sooner we will move on to the next test.
The disciples had no sooner accepted the Lord in the ship when the wind ceased! This is the reward for each of us when we take His Word to heart.
My friend if we would but grasp this text as a gift from the loving Hand of God. A personal gift to help us conquer all our enemies and whatever each day may hold for us, then we would be stronger and richer as a result. Them that honour Me, I will honour. No matter what your position may be today listen to what your Beloved Redeemer is saying to you, ‘Be of good cheer; It is I, be not afraid.’