Problems arrive on everyones doorstep. Some are of our own doing while others are not. What do we do? How does faith work in these situations?
Matthew 14 has some great tips. We read of twelve men in a dangerous storm but only one takes steps to get through this storm. Peter the apostle took action while the other eleven allowed themselves to be owned by fear. And so why did Peter get to walk on water and not the others?
1. Simply, because Peter asked. In the storm, the others saw only the storm and a ghost. Peter didn’t waste time in self pity but saw Jesus in the storm.
Peter demonstrated a quality of faith that the scriptures repeatedly exhort us to: “keep on asking” (Mat.7:7 AMP); “in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil.4:6)
2. What did Peter ask for? He asked for Christ’s Word: “if it’s you…tell me…” He sought God first rather than just leaping out of the boat to escape trouble.
Faith is not a tool to achieve our own agenda. Peter wasn’t making demands or claiming his ‘right’ to walk on water.
3. After Peter sought God, he didn’t immediately jump out of the boat. Peter didn’t presume upon God’s answer, but waited for it. The faith that walks on water is faith that waits on God until He answers. Peter didn’t jump into the water until after he had waited on the Lord and heard from Him, and this is precisely where many Christians go wrong in their faith. They ‘jump out of the boat’ without sufficiently waiting on God and end up in trouble.
Satan tempted Christ to take a similar leap of faith in Luke 4:1-13. Satan took Jesus to the top of the temple and challenged Christ to jump off, based on a promise in scripture. But instead of jumping, Christ responded by quoting another verse, from Deut.6:16 – “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” To select certain promises from the Word of God without heeding the entire written Word often gets us in trouble. We take a rash stand on a certain promise, without taking the whole counsel of Scripture into consideration.
4. When Christ said ‘Come’, Peter put his trust in God and climbed out of the boat. He didn’t let fear or the natural circumstances stop him. Faith is always expressed by obedience to Christ. Peter put his confidence in God and didn’t look at his own inability to walk on water. God isn’t expecting us to do anything on our own: “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
5. Finally when Peter got out of the boat, he walked toward Jesus. Peter’s request was to go to Christ, not to walk on water. And yet he did walk on water. Peter was in trouble. Yet as he looked in this storm for God he did the miraculous. He achieved beyond his expectations.
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