We live in a culture obsessed with obtaining the most comfortable lifestyle – not one that embraces stepping out of the comfort zone. God commands us to comfort others, but we would rather comfort ourselves. We even have comfort foods! Comfort isn’t necessarily bad, but our ultimate comfort should not be dependent upon things or circumstances but rather upon God.
As we follow Jesus, we discover that He is not as concerned with our continual comfort as much as we are. God is more concerned with our character. God knows that discomfort actually has the potential to help us grow closer to Him, to depend on Him, and it allows God to show Himself strong on our behalf. God tests us, stretches us, and shapes us in uncomfortable ways—ways we would never choose for ourselves. Jesus often led His disciples out of their comfort zone and into uncomfortable, even dangerous, situations.
One night, Jesus sent Peter and the other disciples away in a small boat, knowing that a raging storm was on its way. Jesus came to them like a ghost, walking on the dark water in the middle of the sea, unmoved by the wind and the waves. To prove He was Jesus, He instructed Peter to get out of the boat and walk on the water toward Him. This was an ultimate out-of-the-comfort-zone moment! Peter’s obedience and quick faith allowed him to walk on the water, but fear almost drowned him when he took his focus off of Jesus.
Jesus used discomfort to show His miraculous power that night. Jesus and Peter walked on water,Jesus rescued Peter and the other disciples, Jesus calmed the storm, and He accepted their worship. When we obey God’s voice, take steps of faith outside of our comfort zone, and focus on Jesus, miracles can happen. If we recognize Jesus as God, we can trust Him in any situation. Jesus is our Comforter. He has saved us. Jesus deserves our trust and our worship, regardless of our circumstances.
Out of the Comfort Zone – Hear It
Read Matthew 14:22–33 with your family. Imagine being one of the disciples in the boat. Discuss the following questions and talk about how this story relates to your lives today.
• If Jesus knew the disciples would be caught in a storm, why do you think He sent them out that night?
• Was Peter comfortable walking on the water? Why did Peter start to sink?
• What happened when Jesus got in the boat? What changed?
• What do you think the disciples learned that night? What can you learn from this story?
Out of the Comfort Zone – Do It
Challenge yourself this month to do something out of your comfort zone that you know would be pleasing to God. Trust that even if you are uncomfortable, Jesus will show up and uphold you. Suggestions:
Ask someone (maybe a neighbor) if there is anything he needs prayer for, and if he does, pray for him right then and there.
Compliment someone you think needs some encouragement, or as uncomfortable as it might be, say, “I love you” to a family member who needs to hear it.
Look intently for opportunities to help someone. When you see an opportunity, no matter your comfort level, go for it—just like Peter jumping out of the boat!
Invite someone to go to church with you. Or maybe join that person for an event she would enjoy that you may not.