I want to start with a question: do you think you’re walking in faith?
Now, I don’t mean having confidence in the Lord when life is going how you expected, or when you’ve had a good day and life seems pretty easy, I mean trusting God when the complete opposite of what you hoped would happen, happens. And in those times when having confidence that God is all you have, and having faith even when you feel completely lost that He still has a plan and purpose just for you. In the moments when you’re tested beyond your own strength, are you walking in faith?
I want to start today’s blog in Matthew 14, the story of Jesus calling Peter out of the boat.
Matthew 14:25-31 [NIV]
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 out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards 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?’
Peter serves as an example of how we should be taking steps and walking out in faith. We know from verse 26 that his natural response was fear, but when Jesus called him he stepped out in faith knowing that it was the Son of God calling him out of the boat. The most beautiful part of this scripture to me is how Jesus still caught him when Peter lost faith, He didn’t reject him or leave him.
How often have you responded to Jesus calling you out of the boat, just as Peter did, even if it was a risk? Never? Sometimes? Every time? I don’t know about you, but I know that I haven’t always responded.. and honestly I’ve walked away the same as before. Nothing bad has happened, I wasn’t ‘punished’ or turned away, I just simply stayed in the same place I was. However, in those times that I have responded to the call of Christ it’s pushed my boundaries of faith and drawn me deeper in my confidence in Christ. If we truly want to walk in faith and not just live stationary we need to respond, even when it involves us taking big risks that we see as scary and intimidating.
I think Paul put it beautifully in his letter to the church he addressed in Philippians when he was in chains for the gospel (Philippians 1:21): “To live is Christ and to die is gain”. He truly understood that by living and continuing to step out in faith he was outworking the calling that Christ set before him, even though it meant him suffering. Our lives on this earth are for the glory of God and to serve His kingdom here. If we are truly living a life for Christ, we need to be stepping out in faith to bring Him glory, even if it makes us uncomfortable, because that is where our true purpose lies. When we’re living out our true purpose with Christ, we will feel the most satisfied.
But why do we need to step out if we can just sit comfortably?
Hebrews 12:1-3 [NIV]
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
We’re called to “run with perseverance”, to persist in the race despite difficulty, and we can be confident that Jesus knows the struggles as well! We’re running a race, not watching one and we can’t run very far if we’re standing comfortably in the same place. James 1:3 tells us that “the testing of your faith produces perseverance”, and the way our faith is tested is by trusting God and being assured He has purpose and a plan when we cannot see ourselves.
Be assured that Jesus hasn’t given you a spirit of fear and timidity, but rather one of power, love and sound judgement (2 Timothy 1:7), so keep walking in faith! He’s walking right beside you, guarding you every step of the way. There will be many ups and downs, days you feel distant and lack hope, days you don’t feel you have it in you to keep going, but even though our feelings and circumstances change God doesn’t!! The same God that strung the stars in the sky at the beginning is the God that’s living in you! Keep going!
If it puts me in the fire, I’ll rejoice ’cause you’re there tooChrist be magnified by Cody Carnes
Now consider the question at the start again, are you walking in faith?