THEME: “COURAGE, IT IS I! DO NOT BE AFRAID!”
(1 Kings 19:9, 11-13; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:22-33)
“Courage, It is I! Do not be afraid.” This was Jesus’ encouraging words to his frightened disciples, as Jesus finishes with his early morning prayer on the mountain and now walks on the sea to meet his disciples who were struggling with their boat amidst the strong waves as they cross to the other side. By this words and action, Jesus encourages us not to be frightened or give in to despair amidst our turbulence. Because, Jesus’ presence and power is bigger than the turbulence and our fears, provided we do recognize His ever abiding presence around us.
And so to all of us today Jesus is saying to us, “Courage, It is I! Do not be afraid.” Are you troubled in life, listen to His voice saying, “Courage, it is I, do not be afraid”. Are you frustrated, Jesus is saying, “Courage, It is I, do not be afraid”. Are things turning out negative beyond your expectation and imagination, don’t give up, hear the voice of Jesus saying to you, “Courage, I am still in control, do not be afraid”.
Jesus demonstrates to you and me today, the reality of His protective presence and power as he calls Peter out of the boat to walk towards him on the water as well. Peter did get out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus safely but the moment he starts to entertain fears of the forces and waves, Peter began to sink.
In our own life journey, in as much as our faith and focus is firmly on Jesus who holds ALL powers and forces in check, being courageous, being focused on Jesus, there will be peace and tranquillity in our lives amidst all challenges. Don’t lose focus of the centre of your existence, no matter the level of the waves. Always make Jesus your focal point. The moment we lost our focus on Jesus, we will start to sink deep like Peter. Nevertheless, our compassionate Jesus would not abandon us. He always reaches out to raise us up as he did to Peter, the moment we are able to call onto him “Lord, save me” whenever our faith is failing us.
Dear sisters and brothers, Jesus’ word to us today remains, ‘COURAGE! IT IS I! DO NOT BE AFRAID’! When you firmly maintain your grip and focus onto the Lord, giving Him the first place in your life and allowing His principles and values to determine your daily life decisions and choices, the Lord’s ever protective presence will be your stronghold and support. There is nothing that life can throw at you, you cannot overcome with firm faith and trust in the Lord who assures us today, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’