We all want more faith, but rarely enjoy the faith growing process. Faith does not just happen it takes time, it takes loss, it takes fear, it takes coming face to face with our pride and it takes realizing that we can not do it alone. Today I was reading the old familiar story about Jesus walking on water and calling Peter to him. This message inspired me, because even though Peter did not manage to walk on water for very long, he did more than most people just by stepping out of the boat. No one else got out of the boat. Faith requires action, it requires that first step, which in my opinion is the biggest step. Until this moment Peter had never seen anyone walk on water yet decides that he can do it too. I think there is a lot to learn from this passage!
“Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,”they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,”he said, “why did you doubt?”” Matthew 14:25-31
1. Faith Takes Action
We have to take action, we have to move. Jesus asked Peter to take a step and Peter did it. He did not ask questions he stepped out of a boat in the ocean and into the water. Would he sink? Would he walk? He did not know where his feet would go, he just did it. God is asking every one of us to do something, He has something that He wants each of us to do. But we have to take the first step, we have to step into the unknown. It is terrifying I know, that is why I think that first step is the hardest. Your faith will growth which each step, and God gives you such a peace when you are in His will. Everything in this world will try to keep you from taking the first step, doubts, fear, pride, other people…it will all try to stop you. But you have to decide that what is on the other side of that step is greater than the things telling you that you can’t. You have to tell yourself that God is greater, and if He is asking you step out of the boat then you are going to be okay. Will there be an absence of storms, probably not, but who better to have with you in a storm that God?
” If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22
2. Doubt Kills Faith
Peter was doing great, he took the unknown step and he did not sink. And now he was walking on water, I can not imagine how awesome that would be! His eyes were on Jesus and all was well. Then doubt came in, and doubt killed his faith. He had walked with Jesus, had seen miracles, even walked on water, then doubt comes in and he forgets all of it. How often has faith brought you so far, and then doubt swooped in? God has given us promises in His word and once we start to doubt those promises our faith can fail. We begin to sink, life begins to overwhelm us. Faith sustains us through the storms of life, without it we get knocked down and can not get back up.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6
3. Jesus Is Always There In the Midst
Jesus was with Peter the entire time, He never left his side. Peter just failed to stay focused. Sometimes we get so caught up in doubt we forget to keep our eyes on Jesus, we feel like He is far away, but He has not moved. He is always right beside us, we just have to stay focused. Faith requires focus on Jesus. And if we do lose focus and begin to sink, He is always there with a helping hand.
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Keep Your Eyes on Jesus,