Summary: From the amazing stories of multiplying of bread and walking on water I want to share some faith principles and seek God’s blessing as we consider them.
CONSIDER YOUR FAITH
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Romans 1:17b “…The righteous person will live by faith.”
The basis of our Christian life is faith - trust in the living God. How do you rate your faith? Is it a straight line or wavy? We’re in good company - the disciples experienced this and they were walking with the Son of God!
Today we heard two amazing stories about Jesus - the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus walking on water. The feeding of the 5,00 is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. As we reflect on these I want us to consider our faith.
This month we have been using the theme CONSIDER YOUR LIFE: Consider your Day, Consider your Neighbor, Consider your Influence. Today we Consider your Faith.
*We would all experience renewed strength in faith
*God’s Spirit would reveal our need for greater faith
*We would examine our lives to see where we need faith
*We would commit to the Lord Jesus and live by faith
From these two amazing stories I want to share some faith principles and seek God’s blessing as we consider them.
1. Have Faith When You’re Hurting
Jesus is compassionate and is aware of every need we have.
Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Change ‘they’ to ‘we’)
Matthew 14:14 “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”
Jesus is seeing your most difficult troubles right now and feels compassion for your struggles.
2. Have Faith When in Need
The crowds were hungry. The disciples wanted to send them away. Jesus wanted to bless them with abundance.
It is a mystery to us about God’s timing and ways. He does not send us away, but provides as He chooses. Never give up in hope and prayer, He listens.
Jesus met the greatest need of all when he made eternal life available to the millions of people alive today!
2 Corinthians 9:9 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
3. Have Faith When You’re Weak.
Before the hungry crowds… “We only have…” - reflects reality without faith.
* Moses - what is that in your hand?
*“She has done what she could”
*David - what do you have? A sling, five smooth stones
*What do you have in your hand?
Pratt: What matters most is not the measure of your faith. What matters most is always the object of your faith. Your faith is strong only when the object of your faith is strong
4. Have Faith When You’re Afraid
When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water they thought he was a ghost. “They cried out in fear.” There are 366 commands from God not to be afraid. These are not empty, wishful- thinking commands; they are backed by the power, character and love of God.
Psalm 23:4 Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me.
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom should I be afraid?
Jesus is praying on our behalf. He is moving in our behalf. He is anticipating a great day of return to make all things new.
5. Have Faith When You Feel Lost
Peter’s sinking into the water led him to cry out, “Lord, Save me!” When we are convicted of our own sin before God, we should run to Him with the same request.
When you feel lost, exercise your faith … In following His teachings to be baptized and begin a new life as a forgiven and assured. In keeping communication open between you and the Lord. Cry out to Jesus!
6. Have Faith When You Need Peace
Pratt: “He is the only One able to bring peace in the middle of the storm, and there is coming a day when He will bring total and complete peace to His people. This gives us encouragement to persevere amid trials and temptations.”
Conclusion: Faith Trusts then Worships (14:33 “Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’”)
The challenge of Jesus is to hear Him and to step out of the boat … take the risk … trust Him.
Hudson Taylor "Unless there is an element of risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith.”
Millions turn their nose up at him, regard him with disinterest, distrust, and even disdain. Consider your faith. If you are hurting, in need, weak, afraid, lost, or in need of peace, He is the Savior to turn to. Will we go away hungry … drowning in our pain … or will we trust Jesus today to be compassionate and caring. Consider your faith and ask God to give you greater faith!