“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV).
Many of us probably identify with Peter. He would make bold statements and even take bold actions, only to fall flat on his face a few moments later. Or perhaps I should say only to fall in the water a few moments later.
Remember the time when Jesus walked out on the Sea of Galilee to join the disciples when their “boat was already a considerable distance from the land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it” (Matthew 14:24)?
When they saw Jesus, they were terrified. They thought they must be seeing a ghost. But then Jesus cried out, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Peter’s whole perception changed immediately. He took his eyes off the waves and looked at Jesus: “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” Jesus said.
So Peter, with eyes still fixed on Jesus, “got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
Stop and imagine this. Peter did something he never imagined that he could do – as long as his eyes were fixed on Jesus.
But when he looked at the waves, he began to sink.
We are living in stormy times. Some of the waves are fierce. But as long as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will walk forward in strength. If we begin to focus our attention on the waves, we will begin to sink.
The story goes that Smith Wigglesworth would not allow a newspaper in his home. He did not want to focus on the reports coming from man, but on the message that was coming from God.
May we all run with confidence the race marked out for us, “fixing our eyes on Jesus.”