Having good courage means having faith | Worship

By Bishop Gordon Nishimoto | Jun 28, 2017

“Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9).

In the Bible, there is a story about the apostle Peter. It was in the fourth watch of the night, probably around three in the morning. Several of Jesus’ disciples were on a ship on the Sea of Galilea. The wind was blowing fiercely, and the ship was being tossed by the waves.

The scriptures account, “And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a spirit;’ and they cried out for fear. But straightaway, Jesus spake unto them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.’

And Peter answered him and said, ‘Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, ‘Lord, save me.’

And immediately, Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him, and said unto him, ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, ‘Of a truth thou art the Son of God’” (Matthew 14: 25-33).

What an amazing experience. Peter had actually walked on the water.

Of this account, a modern day apostle and prophet, Howard W. Hunter, has said, “It is my firm belief that if as individual people, as families, communities, and nations, we could, like Peter, fix our eyes on Jesus, we too might walk triumphantly over the swelling waves of disbelief and remain un-terrified amid the rising winds of doubt.

“But if we turn away our eyes from Him in whom we must believe, as it is so easy to do and the world is so much tempted to do, if we look to the power and fury of those terrible and destructive elements around us rather than to Him who can help and save us, then we shall inevitably sink in a sea of conflict and sorrow and despair.”

There are so many challenges today, with truly evil things happening throughout the world. How can we protect our families and raise them in happiness and safety? Is there a way to live in this world, but without constant fear or worry?

Part of the answer to overcoming fear is to have faith. Faith in God and in his son, Jesus Christ, reminds us of who we are and that we are not alone in this world. There is a plan of happiness that, if we follow, will bring us back to them again one day. We can look forward with optimism and reject gloom and despair. Happiness, beauty and goodness will come to us if we have faith. Things will work out.

So, when the turbulent waves of life try to drag us into the deep and swallow up the tossed vessel of our faith, I hope we will always remember, amid the storm and the darkness, the sweet utterance of the Savior of the World: “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid” (Matt. 14:27).

 

Bishop Gordon Nishimoto is a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Mukilteo. The Mormon church is at 11001 Harbour Point Blvd. For more information, go to www.lds.org.

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