‘Take courage! It is I’ (Matthew 14:27 NIV)
There were times in my life that when I was younger, I could just not handle, and even later in life, when I became a Christian this did not initially change for me.
Even though I believed and trusted God, I still struggled, and at times I wanted to curl up in a corner and forget everything else that was going on around me, I could just not handle it, I felt under pressure and overwhelmed.
Many people go through similar things, when they have problems that they cannot cope with. Some people learn to cope and some do not.
Those who learn to cope may use various techniques; some techniques are not so good for you, and people escape their situations using drugs or alcohol; there are other ways that can help and be beneficial to the body, meditation, yoga, chanting, or prayer. Even atheists admit that they sometimes pray, even though they do not believe in God.
Sometimes, you do not have to know how something works; you just have to believe that it will.
I do not know how a combustion engine works in a car, apart from the basics; it just does work when I turn my key, and if it does not, then I call a mechanic.
I do not know how planes fly, apart from the absolute, very basics; they go very fast and lift up, they just do, and if they do not, then I may meet Jesus sooner than I planned.
When I could not cope with what my life was and the things assailing me, my minister at the time sat me down, and told me that I need to trust God more for his help in those bad situations, that he had plans for me and would not let anything bad happen to me, they were;
‘plans for welfare not evil, to give you a future and a hope’ (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV).
As I grew older, and supposedly wiser, although many will say that there is still no sign of the getting wiser emerging yet, I left the church and struck out on my own, because I thought I knew better. That did not work out too well, and I ended up a physical, mental, and spiritual wreck.
I quickly realised that I needed Jesus back in my life.
Ultimately I know that he never left me, and it was I who had turned my back on him. I had been called into friendship with Jesus and decided to walk away. Yet even back then after walking away, I knew that God had said;
‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).
After coming back to the church and letting God back into my every-day life, I quickly realised what I had before I left.
God has a plan for our lives, we just need to ask him to reveal it to us, and that plan will surpass everything that we can ever think up;
‘I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not evil’ (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV).
God wants the very best for us, and nothing that he has planned for us will harm us.
In addition to the good plans he has, he will teach us what we need to know;
‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go’ (Psalm 32:8 NIV).
So if we are having problems that seem to be immensely bigger than us, and much stronger than us, we need to remember;
‘Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you’ (Psalm 55:22 NIV).
When we trust God with our lives, they do not then truly belong to us, we belong to God, we are his and like him, and he said;
‘Let us make man in our image’ (Genesis 1:26 ESV).
We are created in the very image of the living God. We are made on purpose and made for a purpose, and that purpose is to worship God, and bring others into the knowledge of God!
In our lives there are some things that we can do and some things that we cannot. The things we can do are gifts from God. We each have a purpose on earth, and these gifts help us achieve our God given plans;
‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us’ (Romans 12:6 NIV).
Your gift may be talking to people, you may find that very easy, I particularly find that incredibly difficult. Your gift may be serving, or healing, or giving; whatever your gift, do it with the grace that God has given each of us.
Use your gift for the benefit of the Kingdom of God, and not for selfish purposes, because Jesus did not die for a selfish purpose, he died for you and me;
‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ (1 Timothy 1:15 NIV).
So God will not let anything bad happen to us. Sometimes we go through stuff that we do not like, and sometimes in the chaos, God will silence the noise and mess around us so that we can get through whatever it is. At other times, God will give us the peace we need in order to weather the storm, a peace that we cannot understand, peace that transcends everything else.
No matter what we are going through, we should not tell God we have a big problem, but tell our problem that we have a BIG God.
If we trust in God at all times and in all things, then we can be game changers, we can show people around us that no matter what is happening, Jesus is in charge of our life and our situations because we are trusting in him, and by the way we live, we can show people God in our lives.
We need to make a decision, and we need to decide, just as Peter did. Shall we stay in comfort and security, or shall we trust in Jesus, cling to what is good in our lives, and get out of the boat!
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep my faith will stand
I will call upon Your Name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) (Zion #4)
Joel Houston, Matt Crocker, Salomon Lighthelm
Lord we thank you for everything that you give us, the gifts that we have, the grace that we have, the love that we have. Help us the use these to share you with others, that they may also come to know and trust you. Lord we want your kingdom to grow here on earth give us strength, wisdom and courage to share your love with those around us.