Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Are you in the Boat with Jesus?

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

The vital thing in discipleship is to follow Jesus wherever He goes. It is not enough to be impressed with His person, we actually have to follow Him.

Jesus said to His disciples, ‘…Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead’ (Matthew 8:22). After which, ‘[Jesus] got into the boat and his disciples followed him’ (v 23).

An extraordinary incident then followed:

‘Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying “Lord, save us! We're going to drown!”’ (v 24-25)

It was such a severe storm that these professional sailors panicked. Humanly speaking the situation became increasingly grave. So Jesus,

‘…got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him”!’ (v 26-27)

If they had recalled some verses from the Psalms they would have known immediately that this man was none other than God incarnate, for only God controls the wind and the sea:

‘…O God our Saviour…who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves…’ (Psalm 65:5, 7)
‘O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them’. (Psalm 89:8-9)
‘Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble…He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven’. (Psalm 107:28-30)

Not surprisingly Jesus asked,

‘…"You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"…’ (Matthew 8:26)

Indeed where was their faith? After all they had enough to get into the boat with Jesus and follow Him. The trouble was that for these disciples getting into a fishermen’s boat was getting into their comfort zone. They had done that hundreds of times. They had also ridden out a few bad storms in their lifetime. They were just trusting in their own competence as professional fishermen, and when that was not good enough to get them through the storm they just panicked rather than have faith in Jesus.

One thing that hinders faith is trusting in our own strength, whereas following Jesus is to trust in His strength alone, to have faith in Him. When we look to Him rather than our own skills and abilities we should have the confidence and courage to face all the storms of life. We don’t need to panic when the going gets tough and beyond our control, because Jesus is with us, and we have to focus our faith on Him.

So, have you got into the boat with Jesus? And if you are there, is His presence reassuring? It should be, because whatever storm comes our way we can be sure that Jesus has it under control.

Along with Horatio Spafford can we say,

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessθd hope, blessθd rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Have a good week sailing with Jesus,

Pastor Barry

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