But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. Matthew 14:27.
I was today to write upon Christ walking on the sea and stilling the tempest.... How vividly before my mind was the boat, with the disciples, buffeted by the waves. The night was dark and tempestuous. Their Master was absent. The sea was strong, the winds contrary. Had Jesus, their Saviour, been with them, they would have felt safe. All through the long and tedious night they bend to their oars, forcing their way against wind and waves. They are beset with danger and horror. These were strong men, accustomed to hardships and perils, and not easily intimidated with danger.
They had expected to take their Saviour on board the ship at a certain designated point, but how could they even reach that spot without Him? All [seemed] in vain, [for] the wind was against them. The strength of the rowers was exhausted, and yet the merciless storm had not abated, but was lashing the waves into a fury as though to engulf the boat and themselves. Oh, how they longed for Jesus. In the hour of their greatest peril, when they had given up all for lost, amid the lightning flashes in the fourth watch of the night Jesus is revealed to them walking upon the water. Oh, then, Jesus had not forgotten them. His watchful eye of tender sympathy and pitying love had watched them all through that fearful storm. In their greatest need He was close by them....
At the very point when despair was taking the place of hope, when they felt that they were utterly deserted, the eye of the world’s Redeemer was watching them with a compassion that was as tender as a mother watching over a suffering child, and this love is infinite. The disciples were at first affrighted, but above the roaring of the angry tempest is heard the words the disciples longed most to hear, “Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid.” Their confidence is restored. “Jesus; it is Jesus!” was spoken from one to the other. “Be not afraid; it is Jesus, the Master.”
Jesus said to winds and waves, to the troubled waters, “Peace, be still.” Oh, how many times have we in our experience been in a similar position as were these disciples. How many times has Christ revealed Himself to us and turned our sorrow into joy. Oh, powerful Redeemer, gracious and compassionate Saviour, able with Thine infinite power to calm all tempests, able to revive all hearts. He is our Redeemer. We may trust Him in the storm as well as the sunshine.—Letter 5, 1876.