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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"A Lesson in Faith: Jesus on the Water"

August 30, 2004

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But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:27

Feeding 5,000 – a heady miracle for the disciples who distributed the food and saw the loaves multiply – surely a faith-strengthener. But immediately thereafter they experience paralyzing fear in a boat. Asked by Jesus to travel alone at night by boat to the other side of the lake, they run into strong winds and high waves. Though seasoned fishermen, the rough conditions and eerie night hour grip them with fear. Add a ghostlike figure walking on the water, and they cry out in terror. Faith tested.

Could a lesson in faith be in order for us? We participate daily in God’s Word-and-sacrament miracles among His people. We see others come to saving faith and experience His daily providence in our own lives. But then stormy circumstances arise – difficult family situations, illness and death of loved ones, mountains of bills. We feel surrounded by the eerie darkness of loneliness. When a shadowy figure appears which we understand as a judging and condemning God, fear paralyzes us too. Faith tested.

Help in sight through the darkness. Jesus says to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Their Friend. Their Savior. Nothing to fear. His voice comforts. The darkness remains. The wind continues to blow. The waves buffet the boat. But they need fear no longer. A lesson in faith.

Jesus walks on the water in the midst of our paralyzing fears and says, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” He came into this dark world in the little town of Bethlehem. He triumphed over sin and fear in the darkness of Good Friday. Faith tested, the darkness remains. The wind continues. The waves buffet the boat. But our Savior says, “It is I.” We need fear no longer. For us too, a lesson in faith.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for teaching us a lesson in faith on the night waves of Galilee. Reassure us with Your presence. Amen.

(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit

Today's Bible Readings: 2 Chronicles 13-14    2 Corinthians 4

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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