Focusing on Christ

Matthew 14:23-31 (RSV)
"And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, 'It is a ghost!' And they cried out for fear. But immediately he spoke to them, saying, 'Take heart, it is I; have no fear.' And Peter answered him, 'Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.' He said, 'Come.' So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, 'Lord, save me.' Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, 'O man of little faith, why did you doubt?'"

Often as we face the storms of life, our first inclination is to try to take care of it ourselves. We leave Christ out of the picture, except perhaps as a last resort, when we should go to Him in the first place.

Often, too, in our Christian lives, we struggle and usually fail to stay straight on the godly path. We often stray of the path from time to time because we continue to look at ourselves rather than focusing our attention on Christ.

Consider the story above. The disciples feared they were seeing a ghost, spirit, or some phantom walking on the water towards them. So they, of course, were filled with great fear, even when Jesus tried to calm and reassure them that there was no need to fear. But Peter, being a bold and brave, decided to test this Person walking on the water. He got out on the water and started walking on it himself, keeping his path focused on Jesus. But when he looked away from Jesus and became fearful of the waves, his faith sank, and so did he. Fortunately, the Lord is merciful and helps him with His strong arm and saves Peter.

A point I realized from this story is that we need to keep our focus on Jesus, and not on our troubles or ourselves. Not doing so weakens our faith and causes us to sink as Peter. By keeping our focus on Jesus, our faith is strengthened and we begin to be transformed into the image of His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). In such a case, we can live victorious Christian lives, that bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

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