Summary: Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step with God.
"Failure: Learning What Not to Do"
INTRO: "The life of Jesus Christ was an absolute failure from every standpoint except God?s. But what seemed to be failure from man?s standpoint was a triumph from God?s standpoint, because God?s purpose is never the same as man?s purpose." (Oswald Chambers; My Utmost For His Highest: August 5)
God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
7Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
No matter how bad our circumstances may get, or what we ever we go through in this life, if we are saved we have these promises that God will never abandon us.
BODY: Matthew 14:22-32
"He who never makes a mistake never makes anything." Abraham Lincoln
1. Sometimes God will send us into a storm with the purpose of increasing our faith.
22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.
Note that Jesus made the disciples, not persuaded, or asked, or motivated, but made. All the while knowing He was sending them into a storm. Just prior to this Jesus had performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand, although it affected the disciples it was nothing compared to what they were about to experience.
When you recognize God as Creator you will admire Him.
When you recognize His wisdom you will learn from Him.
When you discover His strength you will rely on Him.
But only when He saves you, will you worship Him.
25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It?s a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
Up until this point the disciples had never seen Jesus walk on water. He didn?t walk on water while they road in the boat, and say; "hey guys check this out". So it makes sense that when they saw Jesus "in the night" walking on water for the first time that they would mistakenly think it was a ghost.
We must be careful, if were not looking for God we will miss Him. Remember the promise He will never leave us, nor forsake us.
29"Come," he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
It?s so easy to criticize Peter for his mistakes, but how many other people do you know of who walked on water? When Peter was walking on the water what were the other eleven disciples doing?
illustration: The #1 selling chair in America is "Lazy Boy". This is an icon of our culture we love to come home from a hard days work and just "veg-out" in front of the T.V. This is where our term couch potato came from, it means to do nothing. And that is exactly what the other eleven disciples were doing, they were "boat-potatoes". Could you imagine trying to market a chair called Risky Boy? Who would buy that? The point is that many times in our Christian life we must take risk for God to increase our faith.