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 Issue #86 Mon, 19 Jun 2006

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seeker of truth

Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #86 Mon, 19 Jun 2006   March 11th 2007, 23:57


Dear Youth,

Today we are going to learn some important lessons from a very well-known Bible story found in Matthew 14:22-33. This is the story of Peter walking on water. In this scene we see the disciples in a boat on their way from one side of the lake to the other. That very same day the disciples had witnessed the feeding of the five thousand from the small lunch of a young boy. Now as they made their way out to sea they were caught in a sudden storm. Most likely this storm took them by surprise since it had been a perfect day.

Now this wasn't just a sudden rain shower, this was a serious storm and the disciples feared for their lives. They all worked hard trying to keep the boat from sinking; all the while being driven further and further off course by the fierce wind. We are told in the book Desire of Ages that Jesus was watching His disciples from the shore and not even for a moment did He take His eyes from them. "As a mother in tender love watches her child, so the compassionate Master watched His disciples." (The Desire of Ages, p. 381)

You know, young people, I'm sure there has been many times in your life where things have run smoothly and times are easy. Things may be so peaceful that the storm takes you by surprise. All of sudden you are surrounded by a foaming sea and everything looks hopeless. Trials, tribulations and tragedy are all part of the sudden storm. But amidst the storm when everything looks hopeless, there IS someone watching you from the shore, someone who won't take His eyes off you for even a moment. "For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5) "Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God." (Isaiah 43:1-3)

Have any of you ever heard of a man by the name of Horatio Spafford? He was a wealthy businessman during the late 1860's and early 1870's in the Chicago area. He had a prosperous business, a beautiful home, a loving wife and four delightful daughters. Things were going well for young Horatio and Anna Spafford. But, in 1871 the Great Fire of Chicago affected Horatio's business in a very real way. It was about this time that Horatio's wife, Anna, was accused of being a fair-weather friend to God.

As if the fire wasn't enough, less than two years after the fire in Chicago, Horatio planned a family trip to France. A last minute business call kept Horatio home, but Anna and the girls were sent on the Ville du Havre with the assurance that Horatio would follow them as soon as could. It was on December 1, 1873 that Horatio received a cable message from Wales. It contained a two-word message from Anna: "Saved alone." The Ville du Havre had collided with another vessel and all four of Horatio's young daughters drowned; the youngest being swept from the mother's arms. It was while passing over the very spot his four daughters had drowned, on his way to see Anna, that Horatio penned these words:
"When peace, like a river,
attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll--
Whatever my lot,
Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul."*

Horatio Spafford knew what it was like to experience peace like a river, he also knew what it meant to feel sorrows like sea billows, yet in all this he trusted God. Through this tragedy, he was able to write the words: "It is well with my soul". Young people, do WE say the same thing when the sea billows roll and when the storm strikes in our lives?

We are told: "When their [the disciples] hearts were subdued, their unholy ambition quelled, and in humility they prayed for help, it was given them." (The Desire of Ages, p. 381) It was then that Jesus appeared to the disciples, walking on water. At first the disciples froze in terror, thinking that they were seeing a ghost. But as Jesus passed by them, they recognized Him and cried out to Him for help. Jesus says to them, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." (Matthew 14:27) Peter responds in verse 28: "Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus." (Matthew 14:28-29)

Is it possible to walk on water? Of course not! Now, I want to ask you another question. In and of ourselves, is it possible to obey God's law and overcome sin? Absolutely not! But Jesus told us that "With God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26) And Paul says: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13) What was it that Peter exercised when he walked on water? Faith, right? Through faith, Peter was able to do the impossible, and through faith, you and I can also do the impossible! By God's grace and by exercising faith in Him, we CAN overcome every temptation we are faced with! What a powerful and merciful God we serve! We are told: "He who has not sufficient faith in Christ to believe that He can keep him from sinning, has not the faith that will give him an entrance into the kingdom of God." (Review and Herald, March 10, 1904) We must have faith that God CAN do what He has promised us He will do!

We all know this story so well, that I'm sure you all know what happens next; Peter begins to sink. But why did he fall? There are actually two reasons why he began to sink. Next week we will look at those two reasons!

--Stephanie Fox

PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
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