Do you enjoy the feel of the open water? The feeling of waves gently rapping on the haul of a boat? Some of you may, or know someone who may, enjoy boating, fishing, and/or other watersports; but would you have the faith to endure troubled waters? Twice in the Scriptures, we see a testing of faith on a boat. Let’s examine these scripture verses together and see what truth lies within them:
Mattityahu (Matthew) 8:23-27:
(23) When he got into a boat, his talmidim followed him.
(24) Behold, a great tempest arose in the sea, so much that the boat was covered with the waves, but he was asleep.
(25) They came to him, and woke him up, saying, “Save us, Master! We are dying!”
(26) He said to them, “Why are you fearful, oh you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a great calm.
(27) The men marveled, saying, “What kind of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
– Here we see the Talmidim (Apostles), at their beginning, lacking the faith and courage in the face of a storm and the full realization of whom was with them! We too are like them, being tossed around violently in the midst of the “sea of humanity,” fearful for drowning in it. These men’s lives are a great testimony to us all because they did not spring forth as venerable wise men – they began as trembling and fearful men, lacking the understanding of the power within them through our Messiah Yahushua. Despite the lacking in faith, Yahushua will not let you drown and certainly will not let you die. That does not mean that you will not come under tribulations and trials, but when you do, you are not alone. We need to be refined and strengthened as swords in the fire.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 14: 24-33:
(24) But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, agitated by the waves, for the wind was against it.
(25) And in the fourth watch of the night Yahushua went to them, walking on the sea.
(26) And when the taught ones saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a phantom!” And from fear they cried.
(27) But immediately Yahushua spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”
(28) And Kepha (Peter) answered Him and said, “Master, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
(29) And He said, “Come.” And when Kepha had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Yahushua.
(30) But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid. And beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Master, save me!”
(31) And immediately Yahushua stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “O you of little belief, why did you doubt?”
(32) And when they came into the boat, the wind ceased.
(33) And those in the boat came and did bow to Him, saying. “Truly You are the Son of Elohim.”
– Does Peter’s plight sound familiar? How many times have you, full of the Spirit of Elohim, walked out boldly before other men/women only to have the “wave of fear and doubt” come crashing on you? This is what Peter was experiencing: He stepped out boldly before the Talmidim seeking to show his faith and confidence to the Master, only to have his faith shaken by the environment around him (in this case, strong winds). We, just as Peter, have Yahushua standing before us with His hand extended to help us up, even when we are lacking the faith that we should have in Him and the Father. That is a beautiful picture for us to see: we have struggles and difficulties, surrounded by troubles and unsurmountable obstacles, just as the Apostles did and we have the same hand of loving-kindness and compassion extended to us.
– One added note for deeper reflection: Peter’s full name is Kepha bar Yonah (reference found in Mat. 16:17, & John 21:15), which means “Kepha son of Yonah (Jonah),” and therein may lie some additional insight. Much like Kepha, Jonah walked boldly before Yahweh (as a prophet) until he was called to perform a task that shook his confidence. He too wound up on a boat facing turbulent seas. The exception is that he was attempting to escape prophesizing to Nineveh because he “lacked the faith” to follow Yahweh’s command. So you see that both share a similar trait – a degrading of faith in the face of great obstacles. For more information on this particular topic, check out the book of Jonah in your scriptures for a complete recounting of the story.
In the book of Hebrews, we are told this about faith: Ib’rim (Hebrews) 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We have a faithful and true witness in our Messiah Yahushua to guide us, who has and will shoulder our burdens for us if we will be faithful to Him and the One He serves – Yahweh our Elohim. His hands are always extended to us to help us in our time of need, so walk forward boldly and without fear to seek out His truth’s with faith and confidence. May Yahweh bless you and keep you.