And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."
We who have been Christians as far back as we can remember often are ignorant of the impact and power that comes when a person meets the Savior for the first time.
As proof, I share with you the words of an Indian from South America. The man's words show that he was fully aware of the changes the Savior had brought about in his life.
Translated, his comments read: "It used to be, when I was living in the jungle without Jesus, we never knew a day without fear. When we woke up in the morning, we were afraid. When we went out of our houses, we were afraid. When we walked along the river, we were afraid. We saw an evil spirit in every stone and tree and waterfall. We saw evil spirits inside of us. When night fell, fear came into our huts and stayed with us all night long."
He continued, "But when Jesus came, the fear was gone. When Jesus came, we had hope and we could rest because we knew He had changed our world. We still were surrounded by the jungle, but we had Jesus."
Now, let me ask, is it possible you are surrounded by the jungle? No, I don't mean a rainforest filled with big beasties and poisonous creepy crawlies. I'm talking about a jungle of pain and problems, of hurt and horrors.
If so, remember Jesus is the answer.
Even as Jesus once came to the frightened disciples on the Sea of Galilee, so He comes to us. As He comes, His message is unchanged over the centuries. He says to us what He said to the disciples: "Take heart, it is I. Don't be afraid."
He is absolutely right, you know. He who has soundly defeated the powers of sin, death and the devil can conquer the difficulties that beset us.
That's because His Word can still silence our storms.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, all around us is the darkness filled with unknown terrors. Still, Jesus is by my side. Your light dispels the darkness and brings peace to those who once were afraid. Raise us up and bring us into the light provided by the Savior's life, death and resurrection. In His Name we ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries