"But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” (ESV)
"But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." (ASV)
"But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” (NKJV)
Did you take that step out of your comfort zone yesterday? How did it make you feel? If you are like me it made you feel as if you had food poisoning. I get pits in my stomach, begin to sweat, feel my throat tighten, and that is just the beginning. I pray that your experience wasn't quite so dramatic. These baby steps will help you to feel more and more comfortable outside your comfort zone and you will be able to take bigger and longer and more frequent steps. Do not try to do it all at once and do not try to do it without your eyes on the Lord.
In the gospel of Matthew, as well as in the gospel of Mark, the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water is accounted.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”Peter was given an amazing gift from God, the ability to walk on water. As long as he held faith and had his eyes on the Lord, he was able to continue to this feat far outside his comfort zone. When Peter's faith and eyesight wavered, however, he began to sink and struggle to finish his task. We should see this story as instruction as well as a warning. When we are called by the Lord outside of our comfort zone, we must keep the faith that the Lord will continue to lead and instruct our steps. In exchange, we must keep our eyes turned to Him.
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,”he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. (NIV)
Today, try to take another step outside of your comfort zone. Build upon yesterday's step. If the step you took was, say, 3 feet out of your comfort zone, today go 4 feet. It doesn't take much, but it does push your limits. In all of it, keep your eyes turned to the Lord. Build upon what we learned last week as well, rejoice, pray, and thank God for all that He is doing for you in giving you courage and strength.