In our world, a relentless onslaught of troubles and challenges slow us down, beat us up, and leave us feeling drowned, frustrated, exhausted, distraught, and sometimes angry (John 16:33). At times, it seems as if there is no escape from these waves of troubles. They plague our thought life, they plague our work life, they plague our family life, they plague our leisure life, and they plague our physical and mental health. They can even plague our spiritual life when our gaze is kept turned away from truth, purpose, and meaning. They come in the form of bills, temptations, broken relationships, lost opportunities, poor choices, sin, social pressure, corrupt or inept political leaders, injury, death, and everything in between.
Thankfully, we do not have to sink into the depths of these troubles, but instead, can walk on top of them if we keep our gaze focused, like Peter, on Jesus (Matthew 14:22-33). In that familiar story, Jesus is walking on water. Peter steps out of his boat and begins to walk on the water toward the Lord. However, he is soon distracted by the waves and winds. He begins to sink beneath the water. Jesus saves him, of course, But he also asks an important question: “Why did you doubt?” Peter’s mind had wavered between the fearful sight of his immediate challenges and the sovereignty of Jesus. The truth is that God is sovereign, the waves are not. Meaning that he has supreme and permanent authority over everything in his creation, including the waves, the wind, and your circumstances.
When we pause to recognize this sovereignty — that is to actually see it as tangible and real, it brings a benefit to every category of trouble we have. Because God is sovereign, we can assess our troubles as if they are joy because they are testing our faith, giving us endurance, and making us wiser (James 1:2). Because God is sovereign we can have peace as we trust that he has forgiven us our sins, and is restoring us to a relationship with him — a relationship in which we will enjoy sharing in his glory, and experiencing an eternal peace and quality of life. Because God is sovereign, we can have true life. Not a deadened life anchored to sin and scars, but one that is full of life, healing, reward, and the truest of loves.
Do not doubt. Do not waver. God has supreme authority over everything, and if you are in his family, he is on your side. Like Peter, you can walk above that relentless onslaught of troubles and challenges because you know you’ve already overcome them, because he has (John 16:33).