Summary: Deals with trusting in what faith believes is true
I was visiting with a friend of mine this week & he told me of a book he was reading. In the book, the author said something that has stuck with me all week. I haven’t been able to get it off of my heart. It goes along with what we talked about last week, when we looked at having faith in God. I don’t remember the book, nor do I remember the author’s name, but the thought from the book is about trust. Faith is believing God is able to do what we ask, or what He says. Trust is acting on that belief. We may say that we believe God is able to do this or that, but do we trust Him enough to act on that faith? Do we have the trust in Him to do it.
Jerry Clowers relates a story of a man that had fallen over a cliff & was holding on to a root. He began to pray, asking if there was anybody up there. He received the response, have faith, let go of the rope. Called again, same response. Called for a third time, same response. Man said Is there anybody else up there? We are very similar. We ask God to do something in faith believing He is able to do it, but when we are given direction on what we are to do, we begin to question. Putting our faith into action is all about trust. With that said, I would like to share some thoughts with you this morning about breathing deeply in the ocean.
1) PETER & THE STORM
* Peter & the other disciples had just witnessed the feeding of a great multitude with the loaves & fishes. Now, they were sent in a ship to the other side of the sea. Jesus wasn’t going with them. He was going to pray. Night fell, the wind began to blow, & the ship was being tossed about. The disciples see something walking in the midst of the sea. They thought it was a spirit. But to calm their fears, Jesus spoke to them. "Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid."
* Peter shouted out, Lord if it you, call me to you. Christ said come, & Peter got out of the boat. It took a lot of faith to step out of that boat. Peter knew that if it was Jesus, he had to be walking on the water, he knew they were in the middle of the sea, knew there was not another boat, they would have heard it. All that was there was Jesus & the water. If Jesus was walking on the water, Peter had enough faith to believe Jesus could cause him to walk on the water. He knew if he was with Jesus everything would be okay.
* This is where trust came into play. Peter believed it, but he could have believed it from the boat. He could have told the other disciples that Christ could do it, but to step out on that faith. To employ trust, that what Christ had said would happen, & now he had to step into the water.
* When Christ told Peter to come to Him, Peter had two options. Go or stay. Had he stayed, he would never have sank, he would never have been told, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt." But he also would have missed the blessing of being closer to Jesus, experiencing His closeness.
* For you & I, we have something very similar in our lives on a regular basis. We all face the proverbial storms, experience troubled seas, & have our boat tossed about by the tempest on occasion.
* Do we see Jesus in the midst of the storm? Do we look for Him, is our faith such as to look past the eye of the storm long enough to see Him seeking us & our trust. If we see Jesus, what do we do. Do we take comfort simply in knowing He is there, or do we, like Peter, call unto Him, "bid me come." Lord draw me closer to you during this.
* Storms will do that if we choose to see Christ in them. He is there, assuring us be not afraid, I am here. Sometimes we get a bit self-serving, or feeling sorry for ourselves because of our storm. Some of us even relish our storms so much we wouldn’t know what to do without them. All we do is talk about them, we glory in them apparently.
* The point is this. In every storm in our life, Jesus is there, calling to us, wanting us to come closer to Him, wanting us to employ a little trust with the faith we profess. If we know He is the master of the sea, the stiller of the storm, why do we choose sometimes to not trust His call to us. If His call for us is to step out of the boat, to let go of the rope we are hanging on to, or to step into the sea that is ahead of us, if our faith is such to believe He is able to calm the storm, lift the soul, & part the sea, then our trust must be such as to step out, let go, & step in.