Put Your Hand In The Hand Of The Man Who Stilled The Waters
By Donnie Swaggart with Justin Nicholson
“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. 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. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” —Matthew 14:22-33
As I write this article, I hope that our nation has been able to navigate its way out of the COVID-19 lockdowns, and that every state is completely opened for all of its people and their jobs.
However, we all know the dire economic and emotional hardship so many people have endured, and are enduring still, so I want this article to be an article of encouragement, faith, and hope.
I want to begin by stating that it doesn’t matter who you are, what you are, or what has happened to you, and it doesn’t matter how great the storm, or how boisterous the waves of life seem to be; if Jesus is with you, you are going to make it through the storms of life.
The Other Side
Verse 22 states, “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side.”
There are two points I want to bring out here:
1) The word constrained means “to be very firm.” In other words, it was a command. It’s also important to note that the Lord gave them no reason or explanation. The idea is that we are to learn to trust and to obey, even when we don’t understand.
2) The phrase, “the other side,” speaks of the journey of life. We all must pass over to the other side. Our walk with the Lord is never to be neutral or backward; we are to be forever moving forward.
The text then states that Jesus “went up into a mountain apart to pray.” Prayer was the hallmark of the Lord’s earthly life and ministry. Prayer is not a theological exercise, and neither is it out of reach of the most immature Christian. Prayer is simply talking to the Lord. As well, prayer is tied to one’s relationship with Christ. Matthew 9:6-15 gives the proper outline to help us in our own personal prayer life.
Verse 24 tells us that the disciples found themselves “tossed with waves” for the wind was contrary. The journey of life is never stormproof. There will be problems, and we will be tossed with waves. This phrase does not imply a storm, but it instead means “turbulence.” The phrase, “for the wind was contrary,” paints for us a perfect description of what the world has faced since early March. These contrary waves are the product of Adam’s fall. Every problem of life can be traced back to sin and rebellion.
The Lord knew these winds were coming, yet He sent the disciples, and us, as well, into the storm to learn trust and to develop faith.
“The Fourth Watch”
Verse 25 states, “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.” The fourth watch was between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. There are two lessons for us to learn here.
1)Wait on the Lord: we must learn patience, and we must learn that the Lord has a perfect will and a perfect time.
2)Wait for the Lord: the Lord is our only hope in life, and we must wait for Him, for there is no other substitute.
The text then says, “Jesus went unto them.” They couldn’t get to where He was, but He came to them. Deuteronomy 31:6 gives us an eternal promise, “He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” That means that He will never leave us or forsake us. Matthew 14:25 says that Jesus came to them by walking on the sea. The idea is that even though the sea was tossed with waves, every place His feet touched became calm.
Verse 27 states that Jesus spoke and said, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Good cheer means “don’t be discouraged or fearful.” No matter what, be of good cheer.
Bid Me Come
Peter said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Greek scholars say Peter’s request was not that he would walk on the water only, but, as well, his love for the Lord was so great that he wanted to come to Him.
Jesus replied, “Come.” The Lord always responds to faith more than need. The Lord is saying to us all, “Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden.” At the Lord’s bidding, Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water. What a miracle! As long as his eyes were on Jesus, the boisterous winds and waves were no problem. When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began to focus on the boisterous winds, he began to sink. When faith wanes, fear rises up.
Lord, Save Me
These three words, “Lord, save me,” are three of the most powerful words in any language. The answer you need is found in those words. In every situation that we find ourselves, this is a request the Lord will answer.
The text then says that “Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him.” When the Lord caught him, they both walked back to the boat, and calm came to the wind and the waves.
So, if you find yourself in the midst of a storm:
Put your hand in the hand of the
Man who stilled the waters:
Put your hand in the hand of
The man who calmed the sea.
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