Posted by: Michael | January 31, 2012

The Trying Of Our Faith


Matt 14:26-33: “And when the disciples saw Him (Jesus) walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Have you ever wondered why Jesus was out walking on the water on such a bad night?  I have.  I believe that Jesus didn’t do anything that did not serve a divine purpose or a lesson to be learned.  Peter was about to have his faith tested and like some of us he would fall short.  In the above passage it says that the wind was boisterous.  Imagine if you will a dark windy night, the waves crashing against the boat, the boat pitching up and down, to and fro, I would think that it was a feat just trying to stay seated.  I often wondered, could they even see the shore?  The next question I have is why were they out on a night like this anyway.  Those questions are not answered unfortunately.

First of  all everybody thought it was some sort of apparition and were fearful.  But immediately Jesus said, “Be of good cheer! It’s me; don’t be frightened.  I am sure that hearing the Master’s voice soothed the rattled nerves of those in the boat.  They knew everything was going to be all right.  Peter obviously felt this way.  He wanted to walk on the water and be with Jesus.  When He said come, Peter got out of the boat and started walking toward Jesus. This must have been an amazing experience.  He was doing something that is humanly impossible.  But nevertheless here he is walking on the water in the midst of a storm.  I can only imagine the thrill and excitement he must have felt. All the while keeping his eyes on Jesus.

But something happened.  Peter started noticing the wind and how it was whipping up the waves and blowing fiercely.  All of the sudden the thrill is gone.  He takes his focus off of Jesus and puts it on the situation around him and begins to sink.  He cries out to the Lord to save him.   Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand to keep Peter from sinking below the waves. Then Jesus said to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”.  I think it’s safe to say that we all have had a Peter moment.  Maybe more than one.  I know I have.

It’s so easy to doubt what we can not see, touch, taste, hear, or smell.  I think it would be safe to say that if Jesus had appeared on a bright sunny day, where the wind and sea were calm and visibility was unlimited.  I think everybody would have wanted to walk on the water then!  But only Peter asked the Lord to let Him come out on the water.  When there is no perceivable danger or when you can see what’s ahead of you it doesn’t take a lot of faith.

It’s in the valley and in the midst of the storm where your faith or lack thereof gets tested.  God demands faith from his children.  Without it we cannot please Him.  Trusting the Lord is easy when there is money enough in the bank to pay the bills.  Faith is pretty hard to shake when everything is moving along as it should.  But life isn’t like that is it?  The Bible says that our lives on this earth are short and full of trouble.  I sure we can all attest to that.  And in these last days the lives of Christians are being attacked as never before.  We are being assailed from every side.  But this is to be expected.  We are not of this world, if we were, the world would love its own.

Trusting God when all hell seems to be breaking loose around you is hard.  It’s meant to be.  It’s especially during this time that God wants to show you His power to do above all you could ask or think.  When God brings you through a seemingly hopeless situation you will never forget it.  And you can’t help telling somebody, anybody, about what He has done.  I think most of the lessons we learned that had an impact on our lives were painful ones.    I remember when I was learning to fly.  On this particular training day I was with my instructor and we had been flying for several hours.  I was physically and mentally exhausted.  We were coming in for a landing and I committed a terrible sin.  I did not keep an eye on my airspeed.  When flying at slow speed such as in the landing configuration, you always watch your speed.  But today I just wanted the flight to be over and the plane back in the hangar.  I was thinking about getting home.  I didn’t notice that I was going too slow on my final approach.  I wasn’t paying attention to my ever decreasing airspeed.  But neither was my instructor.

I was about 10-15 feet above the runway when the airplane stopped flying, and just fell onto the runway.  I reacted too late and so did my instructor.  The plane smacked the ground hard.  Really hard.  I hurt nothing but my pride.  We weren’t too sure about the airplane.  We taxied back to the flight school where the mechanic inspected the plane and turns out it was OK too. That was the day I almost stopped flying.  When I talked to my instructor about discontinuing my attempt to become a pilot, he told me to be glad that it happened at my home airport and that he was with me.  He told me to keep flying.  Let this be a lesson to you.  He also said that this is something that you will never let happen again.  He was right.  It never happened again.

After that I watched my airspeed like a hawk.  I was determined that any plane I flew from that point on would never fall out of the sky like that again.  When I became a flight instructor I drilled the same lesson into my students always watch your airspeed.  What am I saying? First, the lesson we learn best are the ones that cause us trouble, pain, apprehension, fear, etc.  Like a pilot taking his eyes of such an important indicator as his airspeed, taking your eyes off God, and onto your circumstances is equally as foolish.  Even more so.

But how do you keep your eyes on God when there is so much going on in our lives?  It takes discipline.  You must make an effort to read the word everyday.  You don’t need to read a whole chapter, start slow, read a verse or two.  I suggest the book of Psalms.  You will be surprised how much you will want to read and learn.  Spend time alone with God.  You can find the time if you really want to.  And in these last days it is vital that we spend time with our Heavenly Father.  More than any other time in human history, we need His guidance, protection, mercy, forgiveness and love.

While none of us likes pain or heartache sometimes it’s the only way God can get through to us.  He has a divine plan that you are a part of.  In your time of hardship and pain always remember this.  You may want to know, why me?  Why did this have to happen to me?  Only God has the answer to that question.  But I do know this, He will not put on you more than you can bear.  Keep your eyes on Him not your circumstances.

By the way, for those of you that want to get mad at God, or blame Him because of something you’re going through, it’s OK. He’s seen and heard it all before.   It won’t change a thing.  As a matter of fact He still loves you and wants to care for you.  That will never change.  He remembers that we are but dust.  Psalm 103:14.  He knows that our understanding is extremely limited.  That’s why it’s imperative that we trust The God of the Universe, The Creator of All Things, The Great I Am, The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, because He already knows your future.  He has promised to take care of us.  He is not a man that he would lie.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. What an absolutely comforting and encouraging message, Michael. There is one thing I have learned in all of my trials and that is that God never ever fails me. It may seem like I am going to drown in the sea of my troubles, but somehow he always pulls me out before I go under. And it is in those times that I get to know the power of the God I serve. Each fiery furnace that he rescues me from makes me that much stronger for the next trial. There is a purpose in all of our troubles. It is where we see the love of God working through them to equip us for all that we face. It is not easy for me now, my brother, but I know that I will get through it. God has taken me way to far for me to doubt him now.

    • Sister your blog has helped so many people including me. I don’t even remember how I found it. Obviously God has plans for the both of us!

      Praise God for the impact that He is having on people because of you. It will become even greater as you go through this valley with Him. The Holy Spirit will write through you has He never has before.

      I pray for you continuously. My prayers are thanking God for what He has done for you today. Giving you the strength to go on another day, blessing you will all you need, He is showing you His power in ways that you have never seen before.

      The enemy hates you. But his hatred for you is now multiplied. You are being used by God to further His kingdom. But you and both know he can’t harm you. He can only go so far. Then our Father says, That’s enough”.

      I know you are tired and in pain. In your weakness that when He is strongest. You are closer to your breakthrough than you know. The stronger and more frequent the attacks become the closer you are. Expect a move of God suddenly.

  2. Praise be to God my brother.

    Truly this is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.

    What a powerful lesson the Lord has used you to minister to His people. When I find myself in the storms of life, I pull out 2 Corinthians 4:18-While we look not at what is seen because it is temporary, but what is unseen for it is eternal. Yes, We must fix our eyes on God who is the author and finisher of our faith.

    We must remind ourselves of Romans 8:28-31-And we “KNOW” all things are working together for our good. Feel good, no, but working for our good.

    Thanks for such a beautiful and inspiring Word on this morning. Without a doubt, I know that this message was sent from Heaven to sooth the souls of God’s people.

    God bless my brother, keep the faith, keep believing, keep trusting and WATCH GOD take you places you never dreamed.

    THANKS FOR SHARING AND DO TELL THE LORD THANK YOU.
    DEBRA

  3. Dear Michael,

    First of all, thank you for your insight and desire to share the gift God has given you with all of us! Second, I am glad you landed safely that day! I agree that our best lessons are learned with our feet to the fire! You NEVER want to go back there again.

    “Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.”

    One of my favorite hymns…but it is so easy when times get tough to fall back on our own strengths rather than trusting God for His. I think you are right that we need to spend more time in the Word (I always turn to Psalms 1st!). How else do we learn to trust someone if we don’t spend time with them and get to know they are trustworthy?
    My simple take away from this blog is to keep my eyes on Jesus and not my circumstances while praying for the discipline I need. Thank you for your encouragement!

    God Bless
    Ellen Davis

    • Hi Ellen,

      I am so glad that you stopped by to visit! Praise God that He blessed you through this blog. My sincere desire is to help people understand that God loves us and is more than willing to give us whatever it is we need.

      The great thing about this is that He has also said that He will gives us the desires of our hearts! What a great and wonderful God we serve.

      If you look on the right side of my blog you should see a button that says follow this blog via email. Let me know if you still have trouble.

  4. oh Michael, how beautifully you write of the Lord and His teachings! I really feel privileged to have had your comments on my blog. I had a wonderful miracle on Thursday morning and I blogged about it last night-if you want to check it out-But God has been so gracious to me this which started out so very hard and is ending so very well! Of course, all I want to do is PRAISE HIM, PRAISE HIM, PRAISE HIM! Tomorrow I am going to be in my church singing for the first time in 6 years and so excited! I wish I could say I was completely healed, but maybe that will come.
    In the meantime. You seem to have figured out how to do a table of contents and put pictures in and I can’t, can you help?

  5. Good morning Michael.

    To reply to your message on my blog. I SAY “AMEN!”

    Truly men have become lovers of themselves and have rejected the truth. They will believe a lie before believing the truth of God’s Gospel. God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth, that he shall reap.

    Sign of the last days are revealing themselves daily. God is calling th world to turn to the truth of the Gospel. Now is truly the time of salvation. We must speak God’s truth in season and out of season.
    When it’s convenient, when it’s not, when it’s popular and when it’s not, when they want to hear it and when they don’t want to hear it.

    All I could say is that I am speak what the Lord tells me to say. The blood of those I know will not be on my hands. Of course, in love and kinedness will I do it, but I am compelled by Him who called me out of darkness into the marvelous light to do it.

    God bless and do tell the Lord thank you.

    Your sister in Christ.
    Debra

  6. Hi Michael.

    Just checking in on you my brother. I pray all is well.

    God bless.

    Debra

  7. Checking in on you Michael. It has been a while. I pray all is well my brother. God bless. Debra


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: