Deep Waters

"God’s people are hurting." Oh how often we hear these very true words during these perilous times. There are reports of unsaved loved ones…difficulties in the meeting…attack from without…attack from within… disease stricken bodies…almost insurmountable practical needs…tragedies on every hand, and on and on. Could we say that God’s people are in DEEP WATERS? Surely we can! So as we think of the circumstances of Christians today, we’re reminded of the many deep water situations in the Scriptures. There was Noah. There was the Red Sea. There was the Jordan, and there was Jonah. Truly all these were deep water experiences. Likewise, when we come to the New Testament, God’s people are found in deep waters and perhaps there is something meaningful there for us to glean.

It seems that on at least four separate occasions the Lord’s disciples were found in deep waters of the Sea of Galilee: (1) At their call, Luke 5 — (2) Going to Gadara, Luke 8 — (3) Going to Bethsaida after 5,000 were fed, Mark 6, and (4) fishing after the resurrection, John 21.

It’s interesting to notice that in all four instances it can be found that they were in deep waters even in obedience to the Lord. He said, "Launch out into the deep" and they did. He said, "Let us go forth unto the other side." And they launched forth." "He constrained them to get in the boat and to go…." And they did. And after the resurrection the Lord sent word for them to go to Galilee. And they did. It’s easy to understand the deep waters of Noah in an entire world of disobedience toward God, and it’s easy to understand the deep waters of Jonah in view of his blatant disobedience and rebellion toward God, but what of these instances of deep waters in obedience? Could we suggest that it’s in these deep waters that we learn something of Who He is and His sufficiency in every area of life and also something of our own unbelief?

Much of the Christian’s trouble, even in the deep waters of obedience, stems from our unbelief. Even in the four situations before us, it is the problem of doubt that pervades each story—doubting His abundance (letting down just one net)— doubting His ability (to preserve when He bids "Come") —doubting His appointment (to arrive safe at their destiny) and doubting His appearing (when it was said of Him "there shall ye see Him"). Oh my dear brother, oh my dear sister consider something of Who He is in His all-Sufficiency and doubt not any longer. Oh that we would just recognize Him as LORD of the deep waters like the disciples did ("I am a sinful man O LORD" …"LORD we perish"…"LORD save me"…and "It is the LORD") and just dwell on His abundance…His ability…His appointment, and on His appearing!

His Abundance in Pardon

Oh that we would each remember often that day when we fell at His knees like Peter and cried out, "I am a sinful man, O Lord" (Lk 5:8), and received a pardon far more than just adequate. Oh that we would realize that the Person and work of Christ has abundantly met the requirements of a holy righteous God, and it’s on this basis that He not only pardons but He "abundantly" pardons (Is 55:7). Oh dear Christian, there’s great peace to be found even in deep waters when we dwell often on the abundance of His Pardon.

His Ability To Preserve

Oh that we would each simply remember that He is able to preserve us if only we’ll keep our eyes on Him, and be like it was said of Abraham, he was "fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able to perform" (Rm 4:21). Then, Christian, remind yourself that not only is He able to perform but also "to perform exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us" (Eph 3:20). It has been so aptly said that the risen Lord Jesus Christ said, "All power is given to me and I’m with you." How could we possibly doubt? Oh there’s much peace to be found even in deep waters when we dwell often on His ability to preserve us in the storm.

His Appointment in Destiny

Oh that we would often remember that He is sovereign in His appointment and here, too, there can be no doubt at all. Brethren, He said, "Let us go forth to the other side" and that’s exactly where we will go. Could we spend time each day just musing on His appointment of "The other side?" "I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am there ye may be also" (John 14:2b-3). "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout…and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (I Thess. 4:16-17)—on "the other side!" There’s much peace to be found even in the deep waters when we dwell on His sovereign unchangeable appointment—the appointment that will take us out of the deep waters once and for all.

His Appearing in Glory

And then, beloved, there’s His appearing—"ye SHALL see Him there" Are we longing for His glorious appearing? Oh that we would never doubt His appearing in glory and power. If, my friend, there’s peace to be found in His abundance. If there’s peace to be found in His ability. If there’s peace to be found in His appointment. How much more there must be in His glorious appearing. After all, we get the truth of His appointment at the rapture basically in three short passages (John 14, I Thess. 4, I Cor. 15) and the whole event takes place in a period of time so small it cannot be divided (a twinkling of an eye); however not so with His appearing. Over and over and over, the Holy Spirit is pleased to dwell on His appearing in glory. It was prefigured in the kings, known by Job, sung of in the Psalms, prophesied in the Prophets, foretold in the Gospels, further promised in the Epistles and manifested for one thousand years and right on through to eternity in the Revelation. Praise The Lord! I wonder which one our God places more emphasis on? Oh, Christian, never be impatient, because His timing is impeccable and never doubt, because when He comes this time we’ll come with Him. Surely, there’s much peace to be found even in deep waters when we dwell on His glorious appearing, His sovereign appointment, His exceeding ability, and His abundant pardon. Blessed be His Name!

If He has helped thee hitherto, He will not fail thee now.
O how it must wound His loving heart to see thy anxious brow.
O doubt not any longer; To Him commit thy way
Who in the past has helped thee, Is just THE SAME today.