Monday, December 2, 2013

Contrary Winds

"Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away...but the boat was in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary."  Matthew 14:22, 24 (emphasis added)

The Greek word for "contrary" here is enantios and it means "against, opposed as an adversary".

Have you ever found yourself in a contrary situation?  

There are times when we face contrary winds in our lives.  These storms threaten to toss us about as that boat was by the waves.  However, there was purpose in the storm when the disciples were in the boat just as there is purpose when we come head to head with contrary winds.

Notice, "Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him."   Jesus, being the son of God, knew a storm was coming.  Yet, He did not say to His disciples, "You know, a storm is coming, maybe you should hang out with me on land a little longer."

No, He told them to go out onto the water knowing the storm was coming.  He led them into the storm.

In March this year, God told me a trial was coming.  Shortly after, we went through a trivial test involving a stay at the Sleep Inn.  I was hoping that was the trial, but I knew in my heart the winds that were coming were much more contrary than an uncomfortable stay at an interstate inn.

This year has proven to be full of trials and contrary winds.  Some may argue that God would not lead us into these trials, and we somehow stumbled on the hardness by our own means and possibly sin.  That may be the case at times, but it was not the case for us this time.  Scripture clearly shows there are times God leads His people into a storm (Matt 8:23, Matt 4:11).

Why would God lead His disciples to go on the boat KNOWING a storm was approaching? Hmmm...Why would God lead us on our path KNOWING the trials and opposition we would face?  

Well, I think if we read on in Matt 14, we will find some answers (I encourage you to stop and read it now).

In short, Jesus decided to take a walk (on the water).  Peter jumped out the boat and walked towards Him (on the water).  Peter took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink.  Jesus reached out and saved Peter. They both got into the boat and the storm stopped.

"Then those who were in the boat came and worshipped Him, saying, Truly You are the son of God."  Matt 14:33  

When we are in a trial facing contrary winds, we can rest in knowing Jesus isn't surprised by the storm.  He knew it was coming and He wants us to trust Him enough to jump out into the water with Him.  

He could have stopped the storm at any time.  But, he waited until they got back to the boat.  Miracles happened while waiting for the answer.  The disciples saw more of Who Jesus was.  They saw more of His glory and came to know Him more while they waited weaving in the waves.  One could argue there is no greater miracle than knowing more of our Heavenly Savior and King.

The rest of what God spoke to me after He told me a trial was coming was:

"It [a trial] is coming, but I won't leave you.  I will never forsake you.  do not be afraid for I am with you.  Do not be anxious for I am Your God.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Do not look to the left or to the right.  Do not look at circumstances.  Keep your focus on Me.  I will not allow you to be shaken.  I will not let you be moved.  Trust in Me and My love.  This will end well and for My glory."  

Jesus did not leave His disciples alone on the boat to fight the storm by themselves.  He came to them.    As long as Peter focused on Jesus, and not to the right or left or circumstances, he stood on water with the son of God.  But even when Peter's gaze shifted away out of fear, He lifted Peter up by His hand (He upheld Him with His righteous right hand...literally) {smile}.  It did end well for Peter and the other disciples. It ended in more of His glory being revealed.

I don't know what contrary winds you are facing at the moment.  But, I want you to be encouraged.  Do not be afraid.  Keep your focus on Him. The King of Kings is walking on the water with you and He WILL NOT let you fall.  Know that whatever you are facing is not a surprise to the King of Glory.  As your eyes stay fixed on Him, You will come to know Him more intimately.  You will come to know more and more of Your savior and King.  There is no greater gain.  Just trust.

Power Verses: 

"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:6-7 

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." 2 Cor 4:17

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