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It is easy during this time of isolation and fear to allow the darkness of despair to get the best of us.  It seems there is only bad news, and we struggle to see how God is at work and helping us in these times.  If we are not careful, we will see everything through a lens of despair, rather than hope!  This is why we need this series, “Growing Faith.  We need a bigger faith in order to find peace, hope, joy, and love during difficult times.  In this week’s sermon, we turn to the power of “Personal Ministry.”  We are called to bring the presence of Jesus to the world around us.  Yet, as we struggle with our circumstances, it is hard to find the energy to care for others.  In Matthew 14:23-33, there is a dramatic and difficult moment for the disciples, but Jesus comes to them while walking on the water.  It is easy to get caught up in this miracle and miss the lesson that Jesus wanted to teach his disciples and Peter.  It helps us to find the strength to minister others under difficult circumstances.  As you read Matthew 14:22-33, may the presence of Christ come to you to give you courage and hope! Matthew 14: 23-33: After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”  (NIV)