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It Is I

But immediately He spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I!  Do not be afraid!”  Matthew 14:27 (AMP)

The Jews, as well as the Romans, usually divided the night into four watches of three hours each.  The first watch began at 6pm, the second at 9pm, the third at 12am and the fourth at 3am.  It was during the fourth watch, between 3-6am, that Jesus came to His distressed disciples.  Matthew 14:27 tells us of the encouraging voice of Jesus amid the storm:

But immediately He spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I!  Do not be afraid!”  Matthew 14:27 (AMP)

Take courage.  It is offered to you.  Reach out and lay hold of it today.  In Deuteronomy 31:6 Moses spoke:

“Be strong.  Take courage.  Don’t be intimidated.  Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God is striding ahead of you.  He’s right there with you.  He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG)

Psalm 27:14 tells us:

Be strong and let your heart take courage; yes wait for and confidently expect the LORD.  Psalm 27:14 (AMP

Jesus said:

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 (NASB)

It is I.  The words translated in our daily reading as “It is I” actually mean ‘I AM’.  This brings to mind God’s self-identification to Moses.  God said:

You shall tell the children of Israel this: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’  Exodus 3:14 (WEB)

Jesus employed the same words in His declarations, “I am the way, the truth, the life;”  “I am the Good Shepherd.” etc.  When caught in the grip of unspeakable fear, unable to face what seems to lie ahead, it is precious to hear His voice saying, “It is I.”  Not merely, “I am here too,” but, “It is I.”  Paul wrote in his very last epistle and in its very last chapter:

At my first defence no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them.  But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.  2 Timothy 4:16-17 (NASB)

Stop being afraid.  Everyone feels afraid at some point in life whether it’s a gnawing, anxious feeling or a paralysing phobia which freezes us into inaction.  The Bible offers a powerful alternative to the voice of fear, reminding readers repeatedly, “Do not be afraid.”  Stop it!  John wrote:

Perfect love casts out fear; for fear has torment.  1 John 4:18 (DARBY)

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

God tells us:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10 (NIVUK)

The winds and waves of life may be adverse and threatening, but when anchored in Jesus Christ, we can hear His reassuring voice prompting us to take courage, reminding us of His Presence and convincing us to stop being afraid.