Monday, July 20, 2009

Sink Or Swim

I wrote last Friday about my lack of patience--something I'm trying to work on. When it comes to trusting God's hand, impatience can often be a sign of your lack of faith. When we get impatient because we don't see God working or moving in our circumstances, we quickly forget how He has brought us out of prior situations.

You remember the story of Peter's walk on the water. Matthew 14:25-33 says, "During the fourth watch of the night, 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 said, 'tell me to come to you.' '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?' And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God,'"

Could Jesus have picked a worse time to walk on the water? For goodness sake, it was 3 o'clock in the morning and the winds were blowing and waves were lapping! When Peter asked in verse "Lord, is that You? I want to come to you." Jesus just gave Peter one word: "Come". He didn't encourage Peter like you have to do a puppy and say, "Come on, Peter, you can do it!" Some may criticize Peter for sinking because of his lack of faith, but they quickly forget that he was the only one who got out of the boat!

It seems to me that God always picks a time when it looks like you're at your weakest and you can't do it. Peter could have negotiated, "God, can we try this again tomorrow? At least when the storm is over?"

We always have suggestions for God when His work doesn't fit into our time frame. But God picks that particular time to show how faith in Him will work anytime, anywhere and for anyone who will believe Him.


Anonymous said...

Just what I needed to hear today!

Carol said...

Oh, Barbie. So, so, so true.

Anonymous said...

During his later years, Simon Peter, the disciple and apostle of Jesus Christ, was a shining example of a Spirit-filled Christian. However, this was not always the case. Like many of us, Peter started off his Christian life sometimes acting like a tantrum-throwing toddler or a moody teen-aged child. We’re talking about a man who went from refusing to allow Jesus to wash his feet in one breath, to demanding that He wash his whole body, in the next. (John 13:6-10)

What caused the change from this Peter to the man we see in the epistles I and II Peter: the spiritually mature believer? The answer is that he grew in grace and knowledge. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (II Peter 3:18)

Nature teaches that the keys to physical and mental growth are a healthy diet, exercise, and caring companionship. These are good illustrations for the balance needed for spiritual growth also – growth in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Believers must partake of spiritual food: the bread of life, which is the Word of God. Also, they must be active in obedience and good works: Christian love, or “charity.” Finally, they must learn to fellowship with other believers in caring for, and being helped by, the Church.

Christians who swing violently from one extreme to the other in spiritual matters are demonstrating spiritual immaturity. Those who are growing are marked by consistent Bible-study and obedience, active service in sharing the love of Christ, and in regular church attendance and ministry to the living saints.

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