March 27, 2020

The I Am Is Here – 21 Days of Peace Day 15

“But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ He said. ‘Take courage. I am here!’” Matthew 14:27 (NLT2)

It took a storm for the disciples to understand who Jesus really was. This revelation came in response to the disciple’s desperate cry in verse 26, “… in their fear, they cried out …” Our desperation often brings inspiration. It’s when we come to the end of our resources, our abilities, our understanding, our humanity in all its limitations and cry out to God that we experience Him as God. Had it not been for the storm, the disciples would have missed the opportunity to gain the spiritual insight of who this man they had been following really was and they worshiped Him in verse 33, “Then the disciples worshiped Him. ‘You really are the Son of God!’ they exclaimed.

Through storms their faith was growing. In an earlier experience found in Matthew 8:23-27, Jesus was asleep in the boat when a fierce storm suddenly arose out of nowhere. The disciples woke Him up and shouted, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Vs. 25) Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves and just as suddenly as the storm came, it was gone! Verse 27 says, “The disciples were amazed, ‘Who is this man?’ they asked.

Their view of Jesus changed in the second storm. No longer did they see Him as just a man with unusual and exceptional ability, a miracle worker or prophet, a rabbi or teacher sent by God, but God Himself! In this second storm, they had been alone. Jesus instructed them to go to the other side of the lake while He remained behind in prayer. Matthew records what happened:

Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw Him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, ‘It’s a ghost!’ But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ He said. ‘Take courage. I am here!’” Matthew 14:24-27 (NLT)

They were terrified by the storm and the ghostly figure approaching them. They failed to recognize that it was Jesus coming to them. They had never experienced Him this way. When Jesus spoke to them, He used a name for God that would have been so familiar to the disciples. He said, “I am here!” In the Greek it literally translates, “The I Am is here!” This was the name God gave to Moses in Exodus 3 when Moses asked God for His name. “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.‘” (Vs. 14)

Jesus was clearly identifying Himself in this crisis as God to calm the disciple’s fears assuring them that as God, He was with them and they were safe with Him! “Don’t be afraid … Take courage. The I Am is here!”

This is the promise for every child of God! Through storms God develops our faith as we come to experience Him as the great I Am! When you are afraid, He says, “I Am with you!” When you can’t see what to do or where to go, He says, “I Am the way!” “I Am the truth!” “I Am the resurrection and the life!” “I am the beginning and the end!” In other words, God is saying, “I am all that you need!”

What do you need today? Comfort? Provision? Peace? Hope? Direction? Love? Take another look at Jesus. Let the storm you’re in develop your faith until it rests in the confidence that the great I Am is with you. Then do what the disciples did and worship Him as God, for God He is!