A pleasant good morning to all my brothers and sisters in the Lord. To our Patriarch and other ministers of this precious Gospel greeting and the peace of God our, Father be unto you. As we approach the dawn of this new day we have many things to thank God for and for all the benefits unto us in these trying times.
In Matthew 14:13-21, Jesus had just fed 5,000. He had abundantly provided their needs. Then right away look what Jesus did: “Immediately Jesus constrained His disciples to get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a spirit,” they said and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I, don’t be afraid,” Matthew 14:22-27.
Some of His disciples were seasoned fishermen. They knew when a storm was brewing, and from the way Matthew records it here, Jesus ORDERED them into the boat, apparently they had no say in the matter. Today it is very much different because everyone has a word and do not want to hear from their leader. I believe true Christians want to know and to follow the will of God in their lives. But this Scripture says Jesus MADE His disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side of the sea. Getting into the boat and going to the other side of the sea was doing God’s will. Jesus is God. These men were doing exactly what Jesus had commanded them to do. They were in God’s will. There is absolutely no question about that. We have a plan and a word to follow and that is to do the will of God our Father. This means to follow every doctrine, every line of the word of God. We are not our own, we belong to Jesus.
But, being in God’s will, does not always let us know our future. We do not always know what will happen this afternoon, just because we were in God’s will this morning. Jesus left them and went up a mountainside by Himself to pray. Then the storm comes. You see, storms can come when we are in the will of God. We may not always know when, where, how, or what about the coming storm, but we can expect storms to come in our lives when we are in God’s will. We are not immune for the trials of this life. The tempest may rage like the sea billows roll but we must be sure to anchor our souls in the haven of rest knowing that Jesus will be able to smile at the storms.
Maybe we thought that when we are in God’s will, everything would be okay. We will be protected from the evil one and from all of life’s trials, tribulations, and troubles. Not all storms come when we are disobeying God. We may be at the very center of God’s perfect plan and will for our lives, and a storm will come. Just as it did in our lives. We can have encouragement: even in our storms, God is with us. Why didn’t Jesus invite the disciples to stay on the mountain with Him? He wasn’t caught up in their storm. He sent them into it while He was safe on a mountainside. Why didn’t He have them just spend some time in prayer with Him until the storm subsided? No, God sent them out into a storm in their lives. They were exactly in the center of God’s will. Right where God wanted them to be. Hallelujah Right where God wants us so He can minister to us and teach us a great lesson. It is not our will but His will be done. My brothers and sisters we may not know the other person’s storms but we know what Jesus can do in the midst of a storm.
Jesus came to them in the fourth watch. Why did He wait? There are four watches in the Jewish day: “evening,” “midnight,” “cock-crowing,” and “morning.” These terminated respectively at 9:00 PM, midnight, 3:00 AM, and 6:00 AM. Why did He wait until the last watch when it was early morning? He knew He was coming, so why not come on the first watch before the storm really got bad?
Sometimes God leaves us in storms to teach us. Are you willing to learn a great lesson? Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the Name of the father, and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things we are commanded of Jesus Christ. He came in the fourth watch. But to God, it may have been the first watch — right on time. What may seem to us to be the fourth watch is exactly on time for God. God puts us in storms sometimes, not always in sunlight. So, here they are, obedient, but in a terrible storm. Verse 26 says they were terrified to see Him! They didn’t recognize Him. They thought they were seeing a ghost. “It’s a spirit!” It’s a spirit!” They cried out in fear. I know I have fear at times. Most Christians, if they will tell the truth, occasionally have fear.
Sometimes when we are obeying God, He shows up and we don’t recognize Him! We have made up our mind on how God should show up and sort of become little gods ourselves In my case, when I saw my brother and sister underneath the the heavy load of care, I had no idea what to do. My mind was made up. They are spiritually wounded and possibly dead. Yet Jesus was close at hand, my brethren were hurt but not dead, thank God! He was just a prayer away and He showed up in that very moment. Sometimes Jesus may show up in our lives and we don’t recognize the Saviour. However, we sometimes claim that someone sent a spirit for us. Oh hallelujah, how far can we get from the truth
As we embark on this Christian journey together, you may be convinced that you are in God’s perfect will. Likely, you are obeying Him in the very center of your life. But there may be a storm appearing out of nowhere and where is Jesus? It’s the fourth watch and He finally lets you know He’s there with you. You don’t recognize Him! You were expecting Him to help you out of the storm some other way. He seems not to hear your cries to Him. We are often storm-tossed, perplexed, in despair. The Saviour seems far away. But all the time He is interceding for us. When the night seems the darkest, He is near at hand. We often mistake Him even then and push the panic button. Then we hear His comforting voice and remember that the waves that caused us to fear are under His feet. All we are longing to hear is “Peace be still, it is I be not afraid”.
WHEN PETER PREACHED ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST, HE WAS FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THERE WERE 3,000 PEOPLE WHO WERE SAVED. WHEN STEVEN PREACHED AT THE SANHEDRIN, HE WAS FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THERE WAS A STORM OF 3,000 ROCKS THAT CAME DOWN ON HIM.
Just like Peter, Steven was in God’s perfect will. So are you my brothers and sisters and This Mystical Order. You have to learn to trust Him and believe Him for what He said He will do. If you are going through storms of life right now kneel down before God and lift your heart and voice crying out this prayer: Say it together with me and watch God manifest Himself in our storm-driven lives. Regardless who brought the storms or the distraction, remember that in every circumstance Jesus is in charge of the storms or situations in your lives.
“Dear heavenly Father, I feel pain and hurt in my life right now as I face these storms that are besetting me at this moment. I don’t feel any joy left in my life, these storms are weighing me down so even my prayers are hard to offer up to You. Please open my eyes and my heart and help me see these storms as tools to strengthen my life in You. Bring me to the new level of maturity that You are offering me through this storm. Help me see them as preparation to take me into a deeper walk of faith with You. Jesus, I know You are near, I pray and ask You to get in the boat with me and calm my storm. I surrender my all to You as of this moment. As I am tossed around in this stormy sea, You are my anchor and my lighthouse, bring me safely back to the shores of peace, love and forgiveness. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN!
I pray that you will continually seek God’s will in your life and that you will be obedient to it regardless of the storms that may come. I need to only believe that Jesus will also come, just at the right moment. He will calm the stormy sea as He is your LIGHTHOUSE AND AN ANCHOR IN THE STORMS OF OUR LIVES! ALWAYS REMEMBER OUR ANCHOR HOLDS!
Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head
Follow me on Twitter @ArchbishopGregg
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