Hold onto HOPE: Finding Jesus in the Storms

by Jennifer A. Miskov, PhD

 

“But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ 

‘Lord, if its you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’

‘Come,’ he said.”

Matthew 14:27-29 (NIV)

Do you feel like giving up? Are you in a storm right now where you feel close to drowning? Do you feel stuck in an area that you can’t seem to move forward in? Do you feel that something keeps trying to hold you back from your destiny? Are you in a relational conflict that seems hopeless, a financial pit, a struggle at work, or are things just not lining up the way you imagined?

Let’s just be honest, storms are horrible. I don’t like them any better than anyone else. However, I believe there is a hidden treasure somewhere in the midst of the eye of the storm if we just have eyes to see (Isaiah 45:2-4). Somewhere in the center of the storms we are in, Jesus is waiting for us to come to Him and walk on water (Matthew 14:24-33). Somewhere hidden beneath the relational conflict is a gem. Somewhere buried beneath the mountain of debt we are facing, is a pearl of great price. Somewhere in the midst of confusion is a peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:4-7). Somewhere in depths of uncertainty stands Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Jesus is the way through the storm you are facing. He is all-powerful. He is the always the answer.

Peter was in a boat in the middle of a storm and feared for his life (Matthew 14:24-33). When he saw Jesus, he and his friends didn’t recognize Him; they thought He was a ghost. Sometimes it might be easy to miss Jesus or even mistake Him as a ghost when we are in a storm. Our vision gets clouded when things comes against us. We don’t see clearly. However, when we hear Him say, “It is I, do not be afraid,” it gives us peace, assurance, and courage.

What if Jesus is right in the midst of your storm, ready to deliver you but you can’t recognize Him? Ask Jesus what He looks like in the midst of the conflict or struggle you are in right now.

If He truly is the way, the truth, and the life, then stepping outside the boat into even greater danger to cling to Him is the only answer really. We must be where He is. Peter had to be closer to Jesus in the storm. It didn’t make any sense at all. He never set out to “surf” in the storm. He didn’t want to do the impossible so he could brag to all his friends. No, he just had to be near his friend Jesus. He knew that no matter what storms might come his way, being near to Jesus was always the safest place to be. What a beautiful friendship.

What would that look like in our lives? What does that look like for us today in the midst of the present storm we are facing? Can we really see God do the impossible by simply keeping our eyes on Jesus and moving towards Him? It worked for Peter. 

When Peter kept his eyes locked on Jesus, he did the impossible and drew nearer to Jesus. It was only when he took his eyes off of Jesus and “saw” the wind that fear crept in. Do you realize that it’s impossible to “see’” the wind. We can see the effects of wind, but we can’t see wind itself. Peter saw and believed a lie rather than keeping his gaze on Jesus.

When we throw off every distraction, every obligation, and every lie that comes against us and run with everything inside of us to Jesus, the impossible happens.

What would happen today if our only agenda was Jesus?

What if we were so moved by Him, that we could do nothing but throw ourselves at His feet and just worship Him because He is worthy? What if we weren’t trying to see any breakthroughs or miracles, but we just wanted to see and to be close to Him?

Peter didn’t walk on water to say he surfed or to do the impossible. He just wanted to be closer to Jesus in the storm. He didn’t know where else to go so he put himself in greater danger to be with the one he loved. May we do the same today. No matter what it looks like, may we go out to meet Jesus in the deeper places still.

May the eyes of our hearts be opened today in a new way to recognize Jesus even in the midst of the storms. May we lock eyes with the One who loves us more than we know. May everything else fade away in the light of His glorious presence. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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7 Practical Tips for seeing Jesus in the midst of storms:

  • Regardless of the surrounding circumstances, worship Him because He is worthy (2 Chronicles 20).
  • Praise Him for His character and nature, focusing on the opposite of what you are facing. (For example, if you are struggling with lack, praise Him for being your Provider. If you are hopeless, praise Him for being a God of hope, etc.)
  • Practice thanksgiving (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Reflect on moments in the past when God came through in a similar situation. Thank Him for His faithfulness in those situations and also thank Him ahead of time that He is also going to get you through this storm.
  • Trust that God is good, is for you, and is working behind the scenes on your behalf to bring you into a greater measure of abundance as you press into Him (Romans 8).
  • Realize that you are on the verge of a great breakthrough and that on the other side of this storm is something special. Let your worship, dance, and prayers be even more fierce. Gather friends to worship and press in together. Allow the storm cause your roots to go even deeper today.
  • Don’t be afraid to go even deeper into the storm if Jesus is there. Be courageous and step outside of the boat.
  • Cling to Jesus and never let go!

To listen to Jen share on this topic in the context of worship and going deeper in intimacy with Jesus, go HERE

To read about Jen's recent Facebook Fast to remove distractions so she could better focus on Jesus in this season, see Confessions of a Facebook Addict

To see a book that this blog post influenced, check out Walking on Water coming soon.