Building the Base on which Saints Stand

[Matthew 14:24]...The boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.

The wind and the waves are casting the small boat this way and that, side to side and up and down. Veteran sailors struggled against the winds that assailed them. To make things worse, this superstitious lot thinks they see a ghost coming their way on the surface of the sea.

The weather is making the familiar waters dangerous and unstable – and the supposed ghost is making the grown men tremble and scream. This was by no means their best moment. Their world seemed to be falling out from underneath them and there were few choices. Some might have considered jumping into the sea and swimming for whatever safety they could find. Some opted for panic and fear, screaming like infants, hoping for a rescuer to step out of the dark night to save them.

Under normal circumstances, we could agree that these manliest of men had assessed their situation fairly well, and would be forced to choose one of the less than ideal options – swim or scream. But these were no run of the mill seafarers; and the ghost wasn’t the typical garden variety. The boat’s passengers were followers of Christ, and the ghost was none other than Jesus Himself!

I must admit that things looked disastrous for our soggy heroes in the fishing boat. I couldn’t have done any better. I might have tried both options (screaming while swimming). We can’t fault them for their reaction. But we can learn from their humiliating misadventure.

When the Lord commands us to go – we are going to arrive safely!  [Matthew 14:22] Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side... The long hours of serving thousands of meals, followed by the struggling against the wind had caused the disciples to forget the power of Jesus’ Words.

We can fall into the same snare. We too are easily caught up in the busyness of work and the worries of the world; we too forget the powerful Words that God has spoken. For example: “Fear Not” appears many times in the Scriptures – still, we are often afraid (as were the disciples).

We consume the Word of God, we digest some of it, and for a time we get some benefit from it. In the same way, our stomachs become empty and we begin to be hungry again – so too our souls need continual feeding. We must endeavor to return again and again to the Bible to feed on its Truth. There is no more constant and reliable source of nourishment for the saint’s soul than God’s Word (truly the Bread of life).

The work and water worn disciples very much needed a midnight snack of the Word, and Jesus gives it - [Matthew 14:27]...Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”  We also are privileged to take daily comfort in these wholesome Words. On every Word of God, the Saint may stand firm.

[Matthew 7:24] “Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the Rock.”