Imagine a gumball machine filled to the brim with colorful candy. With just a bit of pocket change, you can fill up on vibrantly colored candy, but with time, the gumball machine empties out and the gum loses its flavor. Upon first glance, that machine may have looked completely full, but really it had many empty spaces and was easily poured out.
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Perhaps you would try out for a school talent show or sports team. Maybe you’d write a book, begin a small business, or apply for your dream job.
As followers of Jesus, we get to celebrate that Christ changes our eternal ‘destiny.’ Sometimes, we still live in fear throughout our everyday lives. (We’re only human, after all!) But, when we accept Christ into our lives, we take the first step on a journey of faith. Even though we know the end of our story (victory!), we still have an invitation to a life that is full of Him each day!
Jesus calls this life one of abundance:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they
may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Walking in faith is a journey full of ups and downs. We approach trials and difficulties everyday in our workplace, schools, families, and communities. It can be easy to become paralyzed with fear or doubt. We become vigilant in protecting and caring for ourselves, because we fear that God may not show up if we enter into the unknown.
This fear can even be seen in Jesus’ friends who spent every day by His side. In Matthew 14:22-33, we learn about a moment when Matthew and the other disciples are in a boat at night in the middle of a raging storm. Imagine yourself on a small fishing boat in the dark, with waves tossing you and your friends back and forth, with no safety or escape in sight.
These men were already nervous in the midst of their circumstances when something even more out of the ordinary happened. Jesus began walking towards them—on the water. Jesus speaks calmly to his disciples:
“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Do you ever long to hear those words from Jesus? Our journey of faith will come with uncertainty—it’s undeniable. The “waves” around us can feel overwhelming, and we question how we will survive the chaos. In these moments, we need a voice of authority telling us to “take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Jesus does not stop with his invitation for these men to trust him. As mentioned before, Jesus invites us into an abundant life—a life that involves moments of awe and wonder at how He moves in our everyday. In this instance Matthew writes about in the Bible, Jesus invites Peter to step out of the boat and walk towards Him.
What does it mean for you to “step out of the boat?” Jesus has made each of us with purpose, and the plans He has for us are only possible with His help. For Peter, he was called out onto water to walk. Our immediate response to the plans that the Lord calls us into might be, “There’s no way I could do that.” Peter probably felt the same way! In fact, when he stepped out of the boat onto the water, he only took a few steps before sinking with fear.
Sometimes we put our trust in Jesus, step out of the boat, lean and trust in Him in prayer, then our circumstances don’t change. The wind and waves are still present, and we find ourselves doubting that Jesus will be faithful. But how beautiful this next moment was!
Jesus reaches out his hand and pulls Peter back to his feet. He calms the storm surrounding them and says, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When we prevail through difficult circumstances, we will have many retrospective moments when we ask ourselves, “Why did I doubt that God would provide?”
What if we were people who lived with the faith that Jesus is capable of abundantly more for our future, even if we cannot see what will happen?
Our journey of faith is a daily conversation with Jesus, full of moments of awe and wonder that cause us to share our faith with others saying, “I am amazed by what Jesus has done and continues to do in my life.” Paul writes in Ephesians 3:20 that this power within us allows us to live in “abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.”
"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen"
Jesus invites us to into an eternity with Him, and he also invites us to trust Him and “step out of the boat” into a daily life full of Him. He does not promise that the obstacles and waves will be immediately calmed, but He shows that He will give us a faith and confidence in the midst of any storm. Ultimately, He promises to care for us and write us into His incredible plans.
If Peter had been paralyzed by his fear, he wouldn’t have been able to experience walking on water with his Savior. Walking in faith allows us to be included in what is only possible with God Himself.
Today’s question: What fear do I need to surrender today so that I may freely trust God as I walk in faith where He is calling me?